As the rhyme goes, remember remember the 5th of November… and perhaps remember remember the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of November too… and whilst you’re at it, remember remember the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th of November ‘n’all.
Not quite as catchy as the original, maybe, but a rather more accurate update to see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot in Leeds 2019. For here, the vast array of bonfire nights and firework displays across this city stretch from the weekend before to the weekend after, with a bunch still setting up on the traditional date in the middle.
For those who can’t wait to get their fire fix, there are a few choices on Friday the 1st to light up early. Glebelands Recreation Ground is taken over by Garforth and District Lion’s Club for an impressive and family friendly gathering, including bonfire from 6:30 and fireworks at 7.
In Meanwood, The Myrtle Tavern host their Family Fireworks Party from 5 till 9. There’ll be music, firebreathers, kids activities and food stalls for the small entry fee. But be prepared, there’s no rocking up on the night ticketless, as these need to be bought in advance.
A couple of cricket grounds also join in the Friday fire, with Pudsey St Lawrence offering their annual family bonfire to its members, and Leeds Modernians sparking up on Cookridge Lane at 6:15 then putting on a 7:30 firework display, with pie and peas adding to traditions.
You can stay in Pudsey and Cookridge on the Saturday too; the latter’s village scout group dib dib dib around a friendly fire at 6:15 with fireworks at 7; and the former have a selection of sparkling club events to choose from, at Troydale, Fulneck, Calverley and Congs.
Elsewhere in Leeds, Saturday remains a popular night; you’ll find warming flames to stand by at parks, sports associations, pubs, schools and even garden centres, in Thorner, Moortown, Ilkley, Wetherby, Gledhow, West Park, Horsforth, Shadwell, Morley and more, many of which provide wowing firework shows too.
Sunday is sparser but sees a few lovely local offerings, plus one giant spectacle. High Farm in Holt Park is an early evening bonfire social, with tombola, raffle, stalls and BBQ. Farsley Celtic bring in a beer tent, street food and fun fair alongside fireworks at 8. Just before, at nearby St Johns Church, there is a toddler friendly no bangs bonfire, perfect for young families.
The massive one on the 3rd is at Stockeld Park, who promise its biggest ever fireworks performance, and even go so far as to say it’ll be amongst the greatest Yorkshire has ever seen! It all goes off at 5:30, though early arrival is recommended, when you can take in entertainment from fire-eaters and a live band.
After a day off – because, let’s face it, nobody wants to do this on a Monday – we reach the actual date to remember remember. Of course, Leeds does not disappoint with the options of where to go to ooh and aah Guy Fawkes night away.
There are council organised events at parks in suburbs and villages all over the city. We’ve got Bramley, East End, Middleton, and Springhead in Rothwell. There’s Woodhouse Moor, attracting students and residents from the surrounding areas. And the biggest of all, where approximately 70000 people visit each year, is at Roundhay Park, whose epic event begins at 6:30, with bonfire at 7:30 and a dazzling firework extravaganza at 8.
For those not making it to such sizeable proportions, the boozer is always a great alternative. The Mustard Pot in Chapel Allerton has gained a reputation for their terrific bonfire night get-together, where small fireworks in the beer garden can be enjoyed with chilli, pimms and hot chocolate. The Beck & Call and The Bay Horse offer Meanwood a duo of cosy evening bonfires and mini displays, which are satisfied furher with hog roasts and toffee apples respectively.
Despite the date passing, the fiery fun is far from over. A day’s absence makes the heart grow fonder for a return on Thursday the 7thand continuation through to Sunday the 10th.Wetherby Racecourse incorporates all of these dates in their Bonfire Meet, an exclusive event for Camping and Caravanning club members, which includes all sorts, from meals and discos, to camping, and if rumours are to be believed, a £1 bar!
More inclusive, The Chemic Tavern is later than most bonfires in both date and time. Held on Friday the 8th, the fireworks fly at 9:30pm, before which you can get nicely toasted on hotdogs, spirits and beers, outside and in.
Others prolonging the good times to the Saturday include community happenings in Colton, Boston Spa and Adel, plus the Hunslet Club put on a fine display which lights up the sky from 7:30pm; a fitting finale to this year’s firework fun.