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Celebrating bonfire night

Image by Roy Costello

Bonfire night 2020 will not be the same. Due to COVID19 restrictions, many firework displays across the UK have been cancelled. That does not mean that you have to miss out on the firework fun. 

  • What is bonfire night?
  • How to stay safe on bonfire night
  • Light a bonfire 
  • Play bonfire games
  • Throw a firework display 
  • Light some sparklers 
  • Make marshmallow rockets

What is bonfire night? 

Every year, on the 5th of November, people across the UK celebrate bonfire night by lighting fireworks, sparklers, and, of course, bonfires. This is done to remember The Gunpowder Plot, a plan by Guy Fawks to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Many towns and cities in the UK host mass firework displays and light big bonfires to remember the occasion, whereas others decide to host smaller, more private, firework displays. 

How to stay safe on bonfire night 

Bonfire night is a lot of fun, however, there are a lot of dangers. Some general bonfire night safety tips are:

  • Children should be supervised at all times.
  • If you are setting off fireworks, assign one person to set them off to limit the number of potential injuries.
  • If there are several people attending the firework display, make sure that they are a safe distance away from where the fireworks are being set off. 
  • Keep pets indoors to avoid them becoming scared.
  • Do not set off fireworks after midnight. 

Light a bonfire 

Light a bonfire, gather, up to 6, of your friends and family, and warm yourself by the fire. It is the best way to celebrate the occasion. 

It is important to remember that you can only light a bonfire in a clear and safe space, away from fences, sheds, bushes, trees, and roads. You should also check with your local fire department whether it is legal to light a bonfire in your area. If it is safe to light a bonfire in your area, make your neighbours aware that you will be lighting it.  

To build your bonfire begin by creating a circle from bricks or stones, this will help contain the fire. Next, stand your tinder in a tepee shape in the centre of your circle. Place a couple of fuel logs parallel to each other on two sides of your tepee structure. Repeat this process up to five times to build up your bonfire. When you’re happy with your structure, drop a match in the centre of your tepee to start the fire. 

If you are lighting a bonfire, make sure that you have plenty of water at hand to put it out before it gets too large.

Play bonfire games 

Once your bonfire is lit, it’s time to play some games. Gather around your guests, play some music, and start by playing Hot Potato. Stand in a circle, a safe distance away from the bonfire, and throw a potato from one person to the next. Whoever is left with the potato when the music stops is holding the ‘hot potato’ and is therefore out. Keep going until there is one victorious player remaining. 

After you’ve warmed everyone up with Hot Potato, next is In the Bonfire. There are four phrases to learn for In the Bonfire-

1. In the Bonfire- everyone put their hands out to warm on a bonfire,

2. Out of the Bonfire- everyone puts their hands high in the air,

3. On the Logs- everyone put their hands on their knees,

4. Sparklers- everyone put their hands in the air and shake them around.

Nominate one person to shout out the phrases in any order. If anyone does the wrong movement they are out, as is the slowest person to complete the movement. 

To end your night of games, why not indulge in a singalong. Choose your favourite songs, gather everyone around the bonfire and sing the night to a close. 

If you haven’t got the space to light a bonfire, don’t worry, you can have just as much fun playing these games indoors.

Throw a firework display 

There is no better way to bring the night to an end then by throwing a personal firework display. Stock up on your fireworks, and stand in awe as a kaleidoscope of colourful flames light up the nights sky. 

If you are hosting your own firework display, make sure that you only buy your fireworks from a reputable shop. To ensure that your fireworks are legal, make sure that they have CE and BS 7114 on the lid of the box. 

Before setting your fireworks off, make sure that you read the instructions of each firework and fully understand them. When you are ready to set your firework off, aim it away from any buildings or stand buyers, light the firework at arms length, and stand well back from it as it explodes in the sky. 

It’s important to stay safe around fireworks and when setting fireworks off. Make sure that you have read up on your local areas firework safety guidance prior to setting any off. 

Light some sparklers 

Sparklers are a magical bonfire night treat for all. Unlike with bonfires and firework displays, you do not need to have a large open space to light a sparkler, however, you do need to light them outside and a good distance away from others. 

Light your sparklers outside, and observe the way they sparkle at arms length. Once the sparkler has burnt out, or if you want to put it out, put it in a bucket of water and leave the flames to completely extinguish. 

Make marshmallow rockets 

Marshmallow rockets are a simple, yet delicious, bonfire night treat. 

All you need for your marshmallow rockets is 

  • Wooden skewers
  • Marshmallows 
  • Chocoalte of your choice 
  • Sprinkles 

To make your marshmallow rockets, begin by piercing your marshmallows on the end of your wooden skewers. Next, melt down the chocolate of your choice either by microwaving or melting it on the hob. Once your chocolate is melted, dip your marshmallows into the chocolate until they are three quarters covered. After your marshmallows are covered, sprinkle a handful of sprinkles on the top of each marshmallow, and leave them to stand until they are set. As soon as they are set, share them amongst your friends and family, and enjoy your bonfire night. 

Don’t let laundry ruin your bonfire night, let us pick up your laundry, dry clean it, and redeliver it back to you, completely contactless. To book your Laundryheap service head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 

Laundryheap is operational across the UK in London, Birmingham, Coventry, and Manchester.


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Coventry: 9 Reasons To Visit The West Midlands City

Coventry often gets overlooked on the tourist trail in the United Kingdom. Rich with history, hidden gems, and a host of incredible tourist attractions to see, the West Midlands town is certainly worth a visit.

Recently named the UK City of Culture for 2021. The city is home to four major sporting teams, a plethora of music venues and its cultural influence on the UK is evident throughout history. So, whether you are thinking of visiting from another part of the UK or further afar, this list will give all the reasons you need to visit Coventry.

  • See whats left of one of England’s most famous cathedrals 
  • Take in Coventry’s version of the Sistine Chapel
  •  Watch one of Coventry’s four major sports teams
  • Visit the Lady Godiva 
  • Coventry is the birthplace of Two Tone music
  • Go to the Transport Museum 
  • Check out the unsung art and culture 
  • It’s easily accessible 
  • We operate there! 

See whats left of one of England’s most famous cathedrals

During the Blitz of World War II, Coventry was on the the cities most affected by the shelling. The bombing in November 1940 is what saw the devastating destruction of the Coventry Cathedral. 

The ruins of the medieval structure remain today in the form of a visitor site. Afterwards, Sir Basil Spence designed a second cathedral which features a grand but modest tapestry by the renowned English artist Graham Sutherland. This second cathedral now lays adjacent to the site of the original. Coventry is the only city in the UK to have had a total of three cathedrals in the past millennia.

Watch one of Coventry’s four sports teams

Coventry has several professional sports teams that play their home games in the city. In terms of professional football, Coventry City FC has represented the city since 1883 and currently play in the Football League One. City are the only professional football team representing Coventry. 

Rugby Premiership side Wasps RFC is the newest professional team to play their home games in the city. They left London for the Ricoh Arena in 2014 and haven’t looked back since. As well as Wasps, Coventry R.F.C. and Coventry Bears represent the city in Rugby Union and Rugby League respectively. 

Visit the Lady Godiva 

Coventry legend narrates that Lady Godiva, an English noblewoman, rode naked on a horse through the city’s street in protest to a tax her own husband had imposed on his tenants. Some even claim the phrase ‘Peeping Tom’ came from this legend because in later versions of the story a man named Thomas was struck blind for looking at the naked Godiva riding. 

Coventry City pays homage to this story in various forms, including a clock and a statue of Lady Godiva riding her horse in the city centre. As well as these more traditional nods to the legend, the city hosts the Coventry Godiva Festival. This is Britain’s largest free family festival. The event hosts up to 189,00 people and has had artists like Kasabian and Biffy Clyro headline over the years. 

Coventry is the birthplace of Two Tone music 

The Specials was formed in Coventry in 1977 and are arguably Coventry’s most successful exports. They are known as the originators of Two Tone music (which fuses ska with punk rock) and took Britain by storm in the late 70s. 

Two Tone music is credited with spreading a message of racial unity. As a result of this, Coventry City FC has released a limited edition shirt to commemorate the band and the influence they had on English culture. The kit features aspects of the label’s black and white branding, and the anti-racism Kick It Out logo. One framed shirt has been donated to the Coventry Music Museum by the club to celebrate Two Tones 40th anniversary. 

Go to the Transport Museum 

Coventry was once one of the car manufacturing capitals of the world. Despite this no longer being the case, the museum still has an impressive collection of cars, motorcycles and bicycles.

Not many people know Coventry was actually the birthplace of the bicycle. You can learn more about this and loads of other interesting facts at the Transport museum. Most importantly, the museum is located in the City Centre, so it is easily accessible for those visiting without a car. 

Check out the unsung art and culture 

Coventry certainly has its fair share of art and culture to take in. Warwick Arts Centre sits on the outskirts of the city and has an incredible programme of films, plays and performances. Despite the name, the centre is much closer to Coventry than Warwick. It is also one of the biggest centres of art outside of London. 

Within the city of Coventry itself, be sure to visit the Herbert Art Gallery which hosts various exhibitions from local artists old and new. After that, why not take a trip to the Belgrade Theatre, a long-standing provincial theatre. Similarly, you can visit the more modern Tin Music and Arts Centre in the Canal Basin. This centre hosts a mix of music, film and classes, providing something for all tastes. 

It’s easily accessible 

Coventry is only about an hour by train from London, located around 95 miles to the north-west of the capital. The city’s convenient midlands location means it is also easy to get to from cities in the North of England. 

For overseas travellers, Coventry does have its own airport that goes to a few locations within Europe. Alternatively, Birmingham City airport is only a 30-minute drive or 20-minute train journey away.

We operate there! 

If all the reasons on this list are not enough to entice you into visiting Coventry, then you should probably know that we also operate in the city. If you do find yourself in Coventry with laundry that needs to get done, Laundryheap are here to help! You can book a same-day laundry & dry cleaning collection with free next-day delivery.