REMEMBER, remember the fifth of November.

It’s Gunpowder Plot, we never forgot, put your hand in your pocket and pull out your purse, a half penny or a penny will do you no worse.

When Guy Fawkes was caught guarding a hoard of explosives destined to blow up London’s Houses of Parliament and assassinate the king of November 5, 1605, little did he realise that his arrest and subsequent execution would be celebrated across England 400 years later.

However, today a lot of fun has been lost due to Health and Safety legislation – any kid growing up around Keighley 40 years ago would have had big street bonfires parties and let off their own fireworks under parental supervision.

I suppose it all began in early October when we used to save copies of the Keighley News and store them at the bottom of the garden in the damp greenhouse, which helped light the bonfire.

Then our gang, The Worth Avenue Gang from Stockbridge, would start to go around the houses in the neighbourhood hunting and scavenging for wood or anything else would burn – this was called proggin’.

Dad’s blunt axe was always put to good use, chopping down tree branches and nicking the odd garden gate.

We made a Guy using our kids’ cast-offs, and he was dragged around the back streets in a wheelbarrow as we asked passers-by for a ‘’penny for the guy’’.

Any coppers we got were shared out among us, and this went towards buying fireworks.

A few days before Plot Night we would start to build our bonfire: it was a stressful time around Mischief Night, standing guard over our pile of timber in case rival gangs set fire to our bonfire.

When the big day finally arrived we waited patiently for it to become dark. It was always dad’s job to light the bonfire with his two-gallon petrol drum in-hand.

Once the fire got a hold a big cheer went out. We let off our fireworks, which had been stored in a Foxes biscuit tin, like penny bangers, snow pyramids, Catherine wheels and Roman candles, and the occasional rocket pointing upright from a milk bottle.

I loved the sparklers best of all, waving them freehand trying to spell my name in mid-air before they burned out.

Once the bonfire started to die down we chucked jacket potatoes into the warming embers, poking them with a big stick.

Mum’s steaming pie and peas were to-die-for, followed by gran’s sticking parkin, as well as parkin pigs, toffee apples and plot toffee to munch on while being warned about our fillings.

The next morning we were up at the crack of dawn, rushing outside without breakfast to kick start a fire from the smoking ashes. Then we hunted for burned-out firework shells.

Sadly this is now a lost tradition which will never return to Keighley town!