Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Guy Fawkes Day - 5 November 1993

The fifth of November is Guy Fawkes Day (see link above photo).

In 1993 Richard, Sara and I were standing on Westminster Bridge in the evening watching the fireworks on the horizon. It was an eerie feeling, standing so close to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and I commented that it would be good night to blow something up (just joking, of course!) Almost immediately several carloads of police arrived and began quietly, but urgently, shepherding people off the bridge, telling them to move well down the street.

The reason? A stationary car on the bridge had its bonnet up and the police suspected there may have been a bomb on board. Only a week earlier the IRA had killed about 30 people in a pub in Northern Ireland.

We didn't hang about to see if the police were right - it was a genuine breakdown, no bomb - but took the train back to our B&B as this was our last night in England after almost 11 months. The next day we flew to Boston, USA, to begin our six-week trip home.


Krissie said...

any talk of UK makes me sooo homesick! I used to live in London too, and enjoyed guy fawkes night very much when grwoing up there.

Alice said...

Krissie - I can understand you being homesick for England. Australia's our home and always has been but we loved England so much that we still miss it.

jellyhead said...

Gosh, Alice - what a story! It gave me the creeps, thinking of you being shepherded to safety in such a hurry.

So, did you win any money on the Melbourne Cup?! (I still haven't even found out who won - forgot all about it and didn't watch it!)

Kerri said...

Happy Bonfire night Alice, a little belated. I imagine they probably don't allow bonfires these days. When I was a teenager in Australia we would sometimes build a small fire on the beach on Guy Fawkes night and enjoy a little camaraderie around it.
That must've been an unnerving experience, especially after your thought of it being a good night to blow something up. I'm glad it was a false alarm.
How wonderful though to be in England on Guy Fawkes night. I wish I'd known you back then. You could've visited us!

Polly said...

Another point of view: Guy Fawkes Day