Thursday, 5 November 2015

Easy Reading

Sitting at the desk during quiet times yesterday I took to reading the 'Kellys Directory' of 1926.  These were large nationwide directories that appear to contain everyone and everything about a town anywhere in the nation.  These are great helps when looking into the past as they list all the office bearers of all organisations, the local dignitaries and most ofnthe population.  A brief description of the town is given, the main buildings, churches, places of interest, then the office bearers, private citizens and tradesmen.  An wider number of people are listed at the rear of the book, the 'plebs' I suppose.  
Havinggone through the war memorial searching for people I love this book as it lists the relatives of many and other names that crop up in day to day queries at the museum.  Some folks relax with drinking, some jogging, others take long walks or spend their money is shops, I find myself reading an out of date directory.  What does this say about what my life has become?
Today was the third day in a row I have worked.  Not just that but they forced me to work at lifting things also!  I only went in to help with the tea and buscuits at the end (all of which this lot of visitors snaffled I must say!).  This was a local history group from some distance away who came for a lecture on 'Magna Carta'  and a guided tour of the museum.  As they were talked down to I was seen humping and carrying things my knees thought too heavy.  My back now agrees but the lady in charge merely muttered 'wimp' and 'shut up' quite a lot.  
Yesterday was lazier as I went in for the afternoon shift and little of note occurred.  That is why I dug out the directory.  Such a useful book if looking for people in the past but I fear their uses ended after the war.  Modern communication, telephone books for instance I suppose ended their purpose.
They tell us much about the importance of some citizens, and on occasion their self importance.  It reveals also how individual shps are replaced by supermarkets and other devices.  Trades once common disappear as do streets and all those mentioned.  Their descendents however can be seen in the streets if the eye is open.

As I write a battle is occurring outside.  Explosions rent the air, acreeching rockets climb into the sky spilling silver or coloured starlets around, larger ones explode like 'Jack Johnsons' from the Great War while nodoubt younger children enjoy the spectacle that takes place in the back garden while their dog and cat hide under the sofa.  I await the weekend with trepadation as that is when large organised events wil take place, oh goody.
But as someone observed today why is it now called 'Bonfire Night' instead of 'Guy Fawkes Night?'  That was how we knew it for so long, and we used a lot less fireworks in thsoe far off poorer days.  Have people forgotten the reason for this needless excitement?  This guy Guy tried to blow up the House of Commons when the Kingw as in attendance, an act of terrorism that would be condemned today by the majority.  Mind you when Prime Ministers Question Time is taking place maybe, just maybe....
Anyway we would not like such an event to actually occur so why commemorate this one?  So many years ago, so many folks who no nothing of the King or his ideas, the intentions of Fawkes and his mates, and probably would have opposed him if they knew him at the time.  Still, a few fireworks, a bonfire, and an accident or two are things most people would wish to experience once in their life. 


Lee said...

Hiss! Hiss! Boo! Boo! Spoil sport!!!

Kay G. said...

We were in Lewes a few weeks ago and there was a lot about their Bonfire Night there. I looked it up and it is their bigget event of the year! I bet you enjoy it really, don't you, out there whooping it up?

the fly in the web said...

As '1066 and All That' has it...we commemorate the Gunpowder Plot to remind Parliament that it would have been 'a Good Thing'.....

soubriquet said...

People were ordered to burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, as a national reminder of the fate of treasonable terrorists.
Fawkes was, of course, a Yorkshireman, and not far from Otley, there's the Hawksworth Estate, which was in the Fawkes family ownership. They do not have a 5th November bonfire, and I understand, it was generally the case that their estate tenants did not, either.
St Peter's school, in York, does not. Fawkes was a pupil there.

He wasn't burned at the stake though, he was sentenced to be hung, drawn, and quartered, but jumped from the scaffold and broke his neck, thus escaping a worse fate.

Mo said...

I used to think it the strangest ritual in this country, celebrating an act of terrorism. However I increasingly think it a good idea to have another attempt at blowing up the whole damn parliament and its bullies.

Adullamite said...

Lee, Yes and PROUD of it!!!!!

Kay, this year Lewes burn an effigy of David Cameron & a pig.

Fly, If only that had been mentioned at PMQ's.

Soub, We ought to have known he would come from Yorkshire! No surprise those folks don't commemorate the event.
It is easier to remember him by fire rather than hang, draw & quarter him again I suppose.

Mo, There are several million with you on that one lass.

soubriquet said...

When interrogated as to why there were so many barrels of gunpowder, Fawkes replied "To blow you Scotch beggars back to your native mountains"

It sounds something like the reverse of the rhetoric we hear from north of the border now.

The Fifth of November

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England's overthrow.
But, by God's providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James's sake!
If you won't give me one,
I'll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn'orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

Adullamite said...

Soub, Did Fawkes work for the Daily Mail by any chance...?

the fly in the web said...

Gracious, Soubriquet's post brought it mother's mother used to chant
a length of rope to hang the pope down to the jolly good fire bit...

Adullamite said...

Fly, I suspect that coming from Ayrshire many still chant that down Stewarton way....

carol said...

We don't celebrate Guy Fawkes night in Australia anymore, because the sale of fireworks has been made illegal.
My Mum tells stories about their Guy Fawkes nights as kids.
Mind you there were fireworks last night over the city ~ who knows what for???

Adullamite said...

Carol, They really ought to ban thenm here also and restric it to public organisatons only.