Memories of a Mancunian paintings by Denis Taylor

Tubes Artists Gallery - enis Taylor Curator


Bonfire Night and Fireworks Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in the England. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605 when Guy Fawkes (one member of the Gun Powder Plot to blow up the House of Lords and in the process kill the Catholic hating King- James 1st) was caught guarding the Gun Powder in the cellars of the Lords building (it was eventually burnt down in 1834  when the ‘Tax-Counting Sticks caught fire) Google J.M.W. Turner’s paintings  from that night). So every year (when I was kid) in Manchester we ‘logged’ (gathered wood from the district) piled up into a ‘pre-bonfire’ ready to burn the Guy – whom we had made from old clothes and stuffed with paper – This we pulled around on a ‘Bogey’ a small wheeled cart and the kids stopped everyone on the street and knocked on street doors asking…

“…got a Penny for the Guy mister ?” 
Bonfire Night Versions one and two by artist and writer Denis Taylor - Memories of a Mancunian Series

This was a part and parcel of English Cultural inheritance, because in 1606 the Government officially allowed the poor working class kids in the North, (of which I was one of)  to ‘Beg for Money in the Street’.  Bonfire Night itself was a really great time (for poor kids) and our poor parents – Fireworks, home made toffee apples, baked spuds (potatoes) cooked in the embers of the fire – was a real treat – as the ‘celebrations’ lasted throughout the night – much drinking was done – And into the next morning, where it was Baked Spuds for Breakfast was a delicacy – (can you see me smiling?) 

So – in 2016 as a part of my 65th Birthday I mounted an exhibition at the Manchester Buy Art Fair (Granda TV studios) where I exhibited the 20 works on canvas – 300mm x 400mm acrylic ‘naive’ styled works – They all sold within the first day – here are two of them – Bonfire Night #1 and Bonfire Night #2  – I painted two versions because I believed then (1958) as I do now that  “Bonfire Night was Better than Christmas:”

all the best.

taken from ‘Memories of a Mancunian’ soon to be published on the painters TUBES magazine UK platform as a series of stories.

©2016-2021 Denis Taylor – artist and writer

(apologies for the poor reproduction of these paintings – ©DenisTaylor)