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Bob Bain

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1d for the guy... [Nov. 5th, 2007|11:04 am]
Bob Bain
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Penny for the guy (1d for the guy) BBC...

Children make life-sized effigies of Guy Fawkes which are called Guys, to put onto the bonfires. The English have been burning effigies to mark Guy Fawkes' treason for almost 400 years. The tradition started in 1606, the year after the Gunpowder plot failed. In these first bonfires, called 'bone fires' at the time, it wasn't an effigy of Guy Fawkes that was burned, but one of the Pope. It was not until 1806, two centuries later, that the people started burning effigies of Guy Fawkes instead.

Children make a Guy by stuffing some old clothes with newspapers, craft a head out of material, and either draw a face on it or buy a special cardboard Guy Fawkes mask. For a few days beforehand children are pushing guys around in prams, push chairs and go-carts, saying 'A penny for the guy'. Adults then give them money - how much depends on how good the guy is. The money is then spent on sparklers, or at least it would be, if children were still allowed to buy fireworks in the UK, so it is probably spent on sweets instead.


1d = one old penny 2d = tuppence (two pence) 3d = thruppence - until the new currency when the "d" became a "p" (pronounced "pee")

1/2 d = ha'penny (halfpenny) 1/4d = farthing 3/4d = three farthings


"Oranges and lemons", say the bells of St. Clement's
"You owe me five farthings", say the bells of St. Martin's
"When will you pay me?" say the bells of Old Bailey
"When I grow rich", say the bells of Shoreditch
"When will that be?" say the bells of Stepney
"I do not know", says the great bell of Bow
Here comes a candle to light you to bed
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
Chip chop chip chop - The last man's dead.

I remember farthings. I'm off to get a haircut !