Three pounds, seven & six for the guy?


These days, fireworks are in evidence seemingly every weekend from the middle of July until actual Bonfire Night. This was never the case when I was growing up in the Sixties. Were Paines or Standard fireworks so expensive back then that buying them was so prohibitive?

In the Economist newspaper they show inflation by way of what a McDonald’s Big Mac costs across the globe. Perhaps they could introduce the cost of a Brocks’ Roman Candle?

I do recall writing my name with a sparkler for (seemingly for an hour) for sixpence. The massive battery with a flame on the end my Nan used to light the gas with was my sparkler replacement during the non-firework season.  Sadly, not as spectacular as a sparkler, except the time my Nan inadvertently left the gas on and I nearly set Balham alight causing a fire reminiscent to that of the Crystal Palace one in 1936.

In our flats families would club together to contribute a few fireworks for us kids to enjoy round the back of the garages in my Balham block of flats. My overriding memory was not that of the firework display or a rogue Katherine Wheel coming off a garage wall and heading (as if programmed) towards the Head Porter, who nobody liked, but that of home-made toffee supplied by one of the mums.  Looking back, we didn’t have the selection or an ostensibly endless supply of fireworks that seem in abundance these days.  It’s not because we couldn’t afford it, it’s just that all our savings were used up paying dentist’s bills!

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