Bonfire Night on the Forest

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bonfire-night-3e-midWhen we think of festivals celebrated in Nottingham’s parks and green spaces Goose Fair is the annual event we most commonly associate with the Forest. But we shouldn’t forget Bonfire Night which has been attracting larger and larger crowds over the past decade or so and this year’s 5th of November was no exception. Rain could have kept the crowds away in droves but fortunately the evening passed without a deluge.

The evening’s entertainments – bonfire, fairground and fireworks – seemed to be enjoyed merrily by all. However, I did discover – as part of my research for this project! – the limits of the merriment permitted. When an acquaintance of mine, who’d had the foresight to bring along a flask containing a beverage with ‘winter warming’ properties (fruit-flavoured vodka, I think) the local police warned him, courteously but firmly, that brandishing a brandy flask in such manner was not permitted.

bonfire-night-6e-midCertainly, the police could not have been more charming. Nevertheless policing transgressions and merriments continues to be an occasionally problematic and sometimes intriguing aspect of the social life of Nottingham’s green spaces – just as it always has been since these spaces were set aside in the Enclosure Act of 1845.

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