Lewes 2005 Bonfire Night
Lewes in Sussex has had a reputation for many years of being THE place to be on November 5th. This year
2005 was no exception. Our header page banner is taken from a previous Lewes festival and the following link
provides what are some of the best celebratory pictures I have ever seen.
Lewes Bonfire Night 2005
BBC2 Television - 14/21 March, 2004
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot is a Box TV production for BBC Northern Ireland directed by Gillies MacKinnon,
whose credits include such films as Pure, Regeneration, Hideous Kinky and Small Faces. He also directed Jimmy
McGovern's 1990 BBC TWO drama Needle.
Filmed entirely on location in Romania with key Scottish crew, McGovern's script concentrates on Mary's
short-lived reign and the battles she has to fight with both her Protestant subjects and the English Queen,
Elizabeth 1st (Catherine McCormack).
The story continues with her son James VI of Scotland (who, on Elizabeth's death, became James I of England),
and the plot against his reign masterminded by the influential Catholic Robert Catesby (Coyle) - a plot planned
by Guy Fawkes, (played by newcomer Michael Fassbender), to blow up the Houses of Parliament in order to rid the
nation of an oppressive Protestant monarch.
The drama reunites McGovern with producer Gub Neal. The pair created Cracker together and were also
responsible for the award-winning drama-documentary, Hillsborough.
You can visit the official Web Page at http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/drama/gunpowder/.
BBC News Online - 5 November, 2003
Explosives experts at the University of Wales and the Institute of Physics have estimated that the amount
of powder used by Guy Fawkes was in excess of 25 times that required to bring down the Parliament buildings.
Although the study did not apparently take into account the fact that some of that had decayed into its individual
components, it certainly throws up some interesting questions. Being familiar with explosives, Fawkes would
certainly have known the capability of the powder keg he had constructed. Was overkill the intention? Were they just
being safe in knowing the job would be well and truly done? Was that much of the original powder so badly
decayed that in actual fact only a small amount was still useable by November 5th?
BBC News Desk - Thursday, 21 March, 2002
Gunpowder that may have been used by Guy Fawkes in his attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament has been
discovered. The explosives are in remarkably good condition according to officials at the British Library,
where it was discovered in the basement.
It came to light in an old stationery box - with a photograph of the Houses of Parliament on the top - which
was given to the library in 1995 as part of the John Evelyn Collection. Evelyn was a wealthy seventeenth-century
diarist whose family had made its money in gunpowder manufacture.
His papers were given to the Library in 1995 and curators found the gunpowder as they were cataloguing the
collection. The box contains a solid bar of gunpowder and some more in granular form, wrapped in twists of
paper. Also in the box is a note in John Evelyn's handwriting suggesting the gunpowder belonged to Guy Fawkes,
and a 19th century envelope with a handwritten message to the same effect.
Unfortunately the envelope also carries another sentence, dated 1952, which says: "But there was none left!",
leaving open the question of whether the British Library's gunpowder really was owned by Guy Fawkes.