NOVEMBER 5 is one hardworking day. It’s the date that Vietnam enthroned a two-year-old Emperor, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death and Google unveiled its Android operating system - amongst various other things.
But of course what the evening is best known for is Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords, assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne in 1605. It turned out to be an eventful evening but not in the way he’d hoped, as Fawkes was found guarding the deadly explosives in Westminster Palace after the authorities received an anonymous tip-off. So began a period of torture before his ultimate confession led to a hanging sentence and consequent death on January 31.
Britain has never forgotten his gunpowder treason - commemorating the occasion with bonfires, effigies and fireworks ever since - but did you know the plot has local roots? Fawkes and his fellow schemers apparently drew up their fateful plan in none other than Ordsall Hall, leading to its namesake adjacent street - Guy Fawkes Street.
All the more reason to make your 5 November one to remember with our top five bonfire bonanzas:
HORSE & JOCKEY | Chorlton
The Horse & Jockey pub will be hosting its popular local shindig on Chortlon Green, with the usual kids’ and adults’ displays (both fun for all ages, let’s face it), all-night BBQ and seasonal treacle stout courtesy of the Bootleg Brewing Company. Just no going near the sparklers when you’ve had a few...
Horse & Jockey, 9 The Green, Chorlton, M21 9HS (kids’ display 7pm, adults’ display 9pm; free entry).
HEATON PARK | Prestwich
Manchester’s most famous firecracker bursts back onto the scene with its winning mix of funfair rides and whizzpopping firework displays - joining its Platt Fields and Wythenshawe cousins as the city council’s most popular Bonfire Night celebrations.
Heaton Park, Middleton Road, Higher Blackley M25 2SW (various times; free entry).
BUILE HILL PARK | Salford
The Salford sky will be alight for Bonfire Night with its annual 5 November spectacular, preceded by a party on Thursday 3 in Irlam’s Princes Park and a community lantern parade and firework show in Ordsall on Friday 4. Named ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’, Friday’s event celebrates the 150th anniversary of Salford Trade Council’s first ever meeting at the Three Crowns Pub in November 1866 and their continuing community activism today. Meanwhile, over the border in Trafford, Urmston Lions claim to have ‘probably the best display’ in the area. Nothing like a bit of conviction.
Buile Hill Park, Eccles Old Road, Salford M6 8GL (5-9pm; free entry).
CHEADLE COLLEGE | Cheadle Hulme
Sharing its name with the Oldham event on November 3, Manchester Round Table - behind similar events throughout Gr. Manchester - promises one of the UK’s best firework displays with its Cheadle Big Bang; alongside fairground attractions, local food and drink vendors and music from Imagine FM. Ticket proceeds from the event - now 30 years in the running - are donated to a range of local charities.
Cheadle College, Cheadle Hulme, SK6 5HA (various times; tickets from £7 at cheadlesbigbang.com).
HEATON NORRIS RECREATION GROUND | Stockport
Apparently, if you ask anyone in Stockport where the best fireworks around are, they’ll say ‘the rec’. That’s because, the Bridgeway Church and local charity partners have hosted Light in the Night for almost ten years and even the Mayor’s a fan. Expect a ‘message of hope’ from the sponsors plus all the traditional bonfire ingredients.
Heaton Norris Park, Stockport, SK1 1RY (5.45-9pm; tickets from £5.90 at eventbrite.com).
Or use the council's handy local bonfire locater to find your nearest event