Wednesday 5 November 1986

..WHIZZ! BANG!
It’s Bonfire Night.
We saw tons and tons of fireworks going off, for free!
Every year the students [union at Loughborough University] hold a bonfire and
fireworks party on 5 November, and as we live almost next to the university
we have a free show…

I’m pretty sure the students’ union still does this, though I think nowadays you have to pay a princely sum to go and stand on the playing fields should you wish to watch the display in person. Back in 1986 and for many years after it was free, both to onlookers in nearby properties and your actual attendees.

My parents still live in the same house as they did then, which means that tonight, as on every 5 November, they will have gathered on the landing, turned off the lights, and spent half an hour or so peering out of the window to watch the neighbourhood be garlanded by cloudbursts of multi-coloured spectacle.

Then the students’ party will have begun, and they, along with everyone else in the street, will have closed the curtains and tried to block out the thunderous disco beats that will continue until 2am.

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