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Bonfire of the Sanity 2020

I only asked as I know people with each type. The Rough one is batshit mental goes everywhere at 40 mph regardless of what's in the way, Smooth one scared of it's own shadow!
Lovely dogs you have.
Unfortunately, had.
Reg died @8 in 2005, Ron @11 in 2007, both with stomach cancer.
Still miss them and their predecessors.
 
View attachment 518191

One of each. Litter brothers - go figure!
Reggie & Ronnie. The smooth one (Ronnie) was a bit 'delicate'; wouldn't play catch unless he'd vetted the ball first. Tennis ball, too hard, soft, squashy leather ball (McD giveaway donated by kid next door), fine. Sneakily swap mid game would cause a sulk and end of play. Oddly, he was the one not scared of fireworks.
The hairy one was as thick as two short planks and could be guaranteed to hog-tie himself stepping over the power cord avoiding the vacuum cleaner.
What were they? Cocker crosses?
 
We used to have 2 Italian Spinoni. Classed as gundogs -
Neither would go in water deeper than their ankles.
They put up a pheasant on a walk one day; scared them so much they ran back and hid behind me.
Any noise at night, they'd come and wake me, then wait at the top of the stairs whilst I investigated.
First bang from Fireworks would have one on my wife's lap, glued to her. Fair point, the other one would run out in the garden to give the fireworks a good barking at.
Mental as hell, but great dogs.
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You need one of these... she retrieves things I haven’t even shot...
 
Just don't fire up out of date distress signals, especially not in a pandemic
 
I did exactly that once. 'There's a box of pen flares. Get going.' Families Club bongey, 1985.
 
I did exactly that once. 'There's a box of pen flares. Get going.' Families Club bongey, 1985.
Glenridding bonfire night late 60’s someone up patterdale let off an enormous ships red distress rocket ( avec parachute) . Very impressive to us youngsters and lit up the valley bright red for a couple of mins.
Shame they never told plod or the mountain rescue, Still they probably appreciated the practice.
 
Many years ago, while living in a South Sea tropical paradise I celebrated New Year's Eve with a fireworks display in the garden with the kids.

In one of those hold-ma-beer occasions, I pointed a rocket at a tall palm tree and told my kid to pretend he was firing a SAM-7 at a passing helicopter. By God he was a good shot, straight into the heart of the tree, it exploded with a very satisfying flash. The problem is that, I don't know if you have ever seen the inside of a palm tree, but it's pretty much a mass of dried up leaves and stalks and burns like a bonfire.

So there I was with this 30-foot high flaming bush, wafting in the balmy breeze and scattering burning embers over the roofs of the neighbourhood, much of which comprised the usual jerry-built shacks to be found in such places.

Oh fook.

I shouted to my wife, who chose that moment to appear at the kitchen door to call the fire brigade (how quaint), my wife simply took one look at it and calmly told Toto the house boy to cut the tree down and try to avoid hitting the house with the now well alight tree. Fair play to him, he was at it in a flash and in five minutes he had it down and with commendable accuracy he landed it nicely, only skirting the eaves of the house and whacking off a couple of dozen roof tiles and a length of guttering. He then poured a bucket of water over the fire and the drama was over.

Sheepishly I asked my wife later why she didn't call the fire brigade, she pointed out that a) no fire appliance could get within 500 yards of our garden even if it did get through the narrow alleys to get to our house and b) all sorts of questions would be asked and money expected, not to mention police and local government officials summoned to examine our house and home with all that that would entail, better to get Toto to do his work and with a decent new year's bonus to boot.

She's a sensible woman my missus, doesn't drink either, which helps, I wonder what she ever saw in me.
 
I’m not allowed fireworks any more, the one edict laid down by SWMBO that I agree entirely with.

When the kids were a bit younger my best mate was the local pub landlord. His kids and mine kicked around together and we got pissed. As he had a car park for a garden, bonfire night was always round our place. So far, so good.

Problems arose when being piss heads with unlimited access to carry outs from his pub got mixed in with explosives.

Generally we got away with it but Visit 1 from officialdom resulted from trying to hammer a Catherine Wheel nail into a fence post in freezing drizzle and pitch darkness. Add in 20+ years of bone dry leaf litter under a 15’ high leylandii hedge (the inevitable final resting place of the free running Catherine Wheel) and you can guess the rest.

The kids got to clamber all over a fire engine, our wives thought some of the firemen were dead fit and I had an uncomfortable conversation with the insurance people.

Visit 2 was occasioned by my normally easy going neighbour (now much more visible as the new hedge was only about 18” high) reached the end of a very stretched tether when we blew out every pane of glass in his greenhouse.

The irony was that it was all the result of me planning ahead and being responsible. The week before I’d had a bit of concreting done, filled a bucket with some surplus and shoved a plastic tube in it; nice stable platform for launching rockets, none of your wobbly milk bottles falling over at T-1 second.

Matey pitches up with a rocket the body of which was about 2’ long and 4” in diameter, stuck on a 5’ stick. To be fair, I thought the stick felt a bit tight as I jammed it in the tube. Normally it would have shot off taking the plastic tube with it but not with 20 lbs of concrete.....

The dammed thing just sat there, roaring away it’s propulsion with us sobering up rapidly with the realisation that the “bang” bit that should be happening at 2000’ was going to be a rather more local event.

It was quite impressive in an appalling sort of way, a kind of audio visual multiple orgasm. We grabbed an armful of kids each, retreated to the side of the house and waited for about 4 months for the mayhem to begin. An enormous bang followed by multiple secondaries and every colour imaginable.

Then silence.

A ringing in the ears, the last tinkle of glass falling from the greenhouse frame and then the recriminations began.

”What the fuck” (neighbour, who’d been enjoying the free show from his garden / testing range)
”Nice going” (my wife, oozing sarcasm)
”I told you that wasn’t a domestic firework“ (his wife, oozing smugness)
”Awesome Dad” (eldest daughter, oozing hereditary sarcasm)
”Again! again!” (youngsters - who will have all my inheritance)
”Another beer mate?” (Him)

”Good evening Sir, might we have a word?” (Cheshire Constabulary)
 

philc

LE
I pondered this in the garden this evening with a small chiminea and a large scotch.

When we were kids, as others have said it was a box of piss poor weak Standard Fireworks from the local Newsagents, you wrapped up warm and stood around a bonfire, a fire that had at least 6 tyres, just to get it going and every piece of paint coated wood for a mile. The fumes alone caused cancer, you were then treated to a sausage or two, nothing foreign like a beefburgers or marshmallows. You watched various fathers leap around like lunatics and then held a sparkler. That was it, no huge display, and by the time you were 10 you had out grown it any way.

Now its a spectacular waste of money.

On the subject of dogs, mine would run around like a devil possessed, I hated it, to the point I would drive him out on to the Yorkshire Moors and sit in a lay-by for 2 hours, now his old and deaf and that makes me sad.
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
Well it appears that, as I had suspected, our village is behind the time, the geriatric bowls playing, Kia driving little Englanders.

Throbbers are letting off fireworks tonight.
 

endure

GCM
Well it appears that, as I had suspected, our village is behind the time, the geriatric bowls playing, Kia driving little Englanders.

Throbbers are letting off fireworks tonight.
Obviously forgot to put the clocks back...
 
Just don't fire up out of date distress signals, especially not in a pandemic
It was me I confess.
Farley Mount, Winchester, Nov 5th 199Something......
Out of date distress flares, the red schermuly type.

I furkin luv every kind of firework. A bit like airshows, the loudest are the best.
 
nasty business, mercury switches !
Maplins found themselves under investigation and no longer able to supply them
I worked for a big electrical comany servicing and repairing fire alarms, we had to account for and make secure every old Bimetallic heat detector we removed, just in case they ended up over the water as each one contained a nice little mercury tilt switch

When was that? We were still buying commercially available mercury tilt switches and other IED components in 2008.

There’s no point bannng the sale of such items or pointlessly accounting for them, switches are easily improvised - tilt switch just requires a bit of plastic tubing, ballbearing and hot glue, pull switch requires clothes pegs and drawing pins and pressure or pressure release could be the door switch of a car courtesy light.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
When was that? We were still buying commercially available mercury tilt switches and other IED components in 2008.

There’s no point bannng the sale of such items or pointlessly accounting for them, switches are easily improvised - tilt switch just requires a bit of plastic tubing, ballbearing and hot glue, pull switch requires clothes pegs and drawing pins and pressure or pressure release could be the door switch of a car courtesy light.
Mid 80s
you could still order them from RS components, but then you would have an account, I think it was to stop the cash sales, lots of older cars used them to trigger boot lights, I think I have a few tucked away someplace
I guess the mercury switch was more reliable and easier for unskilled people to use than to fabricate something

we also found some very very old Smoke detectors in Bristol that contained some very radioactive stuff, which rather upset my boss as he had not budgeeted for the disposal costs of the detectors, associated wiring, and the paint scraped off the ceiling above them, plus the masks and paper suits, think they went to the National Physical Laboratory in the end, Radium was the main component, not sure how much, but not the sort of thing to get in the wrong hands
 
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