Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Fireworks on the Thames

On Saturday 5th November, I did something which I very rarely do – I watched a fireworks display.

5th November is, of course, Guy Fawkes Day. This year happened to be the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the plot to blow up Parliament, assassinating not only all the M.P.s but also King James I.

England’s Catholics had assumed that James, whose mother Mary Queen of Scots had long been a focus for possible revolution, would give more power to the non-Protestants.

James, however, who was sometimes very clever and sometimes very foolish, saw that it was more important to him to cultivate the Protestants, and the Gunpowder Plot was born out of the resulting frustration.

The hugely impressive fireworks display to mark the 400th anniversary took place on the Thames in front of the Tate Modern, and I watched from beside the Millennium Bridge.

I was in London anyway, having that day led two new Guided Walks – “Southwark and Bankside”, a very historic area usually ignored by tourists and guides, and “The Haunted Capital”, a ghostly walk around the Smithfield and Clerkenwell area.