Nostalgia: Bonfire Night

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THE skies above the Capital will be bursting with colour this weekend as fireworks displays go off to celebrate Bonfire Night.

While this year’s official events are set to be bigger and brighter than ever before, however, the city has always been able to make sure November 5 goes off with a bang.

Safety first at 'Redford Barracks in 1968

Safety first at 'Redford Barracks in 1968

Back in 1968 one of the big official events in the Capital was staged at Redford Barracks, and local youngsters had their faces pressed against the fence as they stole a glimpse of the impressive bonfire display. Nowadays, children are kept well away from fireworks, thanks to age restrictions designed to ensure their safety. It was very different in 1967, meaning that youngsters were able to delight in setting off whole boxfuls of pyrotechnics.

However, not everyone had access to fireworks, but that didn’t mean they missed out, and in 1954 groups of children braved the cold weather to attend a huge bonfire at Canaan Lodge for Guy Fawkes Night. And quite often the youngsters had just as much fun building their bonfires as they did watching them burn.

In 1960, a gang of eager children from Silverknowes were seen

eagerly piling everything from wicker baskets to old wooden barrels to make sure their bonfire was among the most

Children brave the cold at the Canaan Lodge bonfire in 1954

Children brave the cold at the Canaan Lodge bonfire in 1954


It wasn’t just fields and grassy areas that were the focus for celebrations. In 1965, crowds gathered to see a large bonfire, which had been set ablaze in the Pleasance courtyard.

Today, most people are

encouraged to attend official bonfires to ease the pressures on the strained fire service.

Sisters Joan and Donna Pattie with their fireworks

Sisters Joan and Donna Pattie with their fireworks

As in years gone by, there will still be plenty of smaller events set up by local residents, however – and, hopefully, they will lead to nothing but happy memories for all those involved.

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