The Forest Recreation Ground firework display.

Nottingham’s Forest Recreation Ground firework display went off with a bang this weekend, but have people forgotten the true meaning behind commemorating the 5th of November?

Over 400 years ago on the 5th of November Guy Fawkes and a small group of perpetrators plotted to blow up the Palace of Westminster during the opening of Parliament, but the plan never went through after one of the conspirators cracked and the plot was revealed.

Parliament agreed that November 5th should be a day of national thanksgiving and now annually on November 5th people celebrate the failure of what could have been the largest terror attack in Britain’s history by burning bonfires with Guy Fawkes effigies on the top.

The Bonfire at the Forest Recreation Ground.

In history lessons, 7 to 11 year-olds are educated on the story of Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot, but is this enough depth on such an event in Britain’s history?

Kenneth Doughty, 59, of Basford was at the Forest Recreation Ground event and he thinks there is less of a focus on Guy Fawkes and more on the commercial side of things.

He said: “I’ve been coming for 15 to 16 years now and it has grown bigger each year with more rides and stalls.

“It is clear that it has become a really big money maker, but I think it’s a lot safer now as it takes fireworks out of the hands of kids and families.”


A group of girls celebrating bonfire night at the Forest Recreation ground.

Imogen Arrowsmith, 19, from Nottingham said: “Do we really need a funfair to celebrate Guy Fawkes? Probably not – especially when a ride is £7. But I do enjoy the display and I’ll come back next year.”

“I think that the prices for bonfire night are extortionate.”
Ryan Sutton 

The firework display is the second major publicly orientated event to be held at the Forest Recreation Ground within a month following the Goose Fair in early October.

Merlita Bryan, a Nottingham Labour councillor, added: “It’s been going on for a number of years now – people look forward to it, especially children, and it’s always been very peaceful.”

A stall selling donuts.

Nottingham student, Ryan Sutton, 21, added: “I think that prices for bonfire night are extortionate, and I do not think that children have been educated well enough on the true meaning of the 5th of November.”