Because Fireworks always used to be a once a year family celebration as the day loomed ever closer the excitement for us small children really increased. My childhood fireworks celebrations always started with a trip, with my Father, to buy fireworks. Very few shops sold fireworks in those days and the trip to buy them was made all the more special because we had to go to the local department store. Barkers & Johns was very posh! They had carpet on the floor and a lift with a sliding brass grill that creaked as the lift struggled to reach the third floor where the cabinets of fireworks were stored.
Big Thick Sticks and Sharp Pointy Bits
Why did fireworks sound so much more entertaining in those days? The cabinets seemed so huge to me as a five year old when we went to buy fireworks and they were crammed to the gunwales with brightly coloured rockets with huge great sticks that looked thick enough for a five year old to hitch a ride on and with scarily named tubes with sharp pointy bits called Mine of Serpents. I never have the nerve to get Dad to buy that one.
Sadly, in the run up to my 6th fireworks night Barkers & Johns had a very posh fire, in the third floor just where they kept all of that year’s firework stock. From that day forth you’ve never been able to buy fireworks in Barkers & Johns. These days it’s off to Sainsbugs with my kids – just don’t seem the same.