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A penny for your thoughts

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Posital
863297.  Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:38 pm Reply with quote

Whatever happened to "penny for the guy".

I kinda miss this public begging.

Thoughts?

What can we do to turn back the tide - and get rid of those yankee ghosties and ghoulies...

 
'yorz
863352.  Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:39 pm Reply with quote

Ah - "the only man ever to enter Parliament with honest intentions".

 
nitwit02
863358.  Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:33 pm Reply with quote

Posital has a good point. I'd heard the custom has whithered somewhat. Does anyone know why?

 
'yorz
863361.  Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:33 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
At one time, in the days leading up to Bonfire Night, children could be seen on street corners asking anyone who passed to give a ‘penny for the Guy’. The children made a stuffed dummy using old clothes, newspaper and sometimes straw. The dummy often wore a mask and was sat in a wheelbarrow. The dummy represented Guy Fawkes. It would be burnt on the bonfire on November 5th.

Begging for a penny for the guy was a way in which children could collect money to buy fireworks
Children under 18 are no longer allowed to buy fireworks so the custom of penny for the guy has started to die out. Sometimes, Guys are made to collect money for charity.

 
Zebra57
863414.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:42 am Reply with quote

A Euro for the Guy?

Both seemed to go up in smoke for November 5th.

 
Sylvia
863418.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:45 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
A Euro for the Guy?

The Penny dropped?

 
exnihilo
863423.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:57 am Reply with quote

There were children collecting a penny for the Guy outside my underground station, I was sufficiently taken aback/pleased to give them money. No doubt, this being Glasgow, they spent it on Buckfast.

 
dr.bob
863477.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:31 am Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Quote:
Begging for a penny for the guy was a way in which children could collect money to buy fireworks
Children under 18 are no longer allowed to buy fireworks so the custom of penny for the guy has started to die out.


Judging by all the fireworks being let off in the run up to November 5th, I'd have to say that the evidence points to children under 18 having absolutely no problem getting their hands on fireworks.

Perhaps they simply have enough disposable income these days that they don't need to go 'round begging for the money to spend on 'em.

 
suze
863481.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:48 am Reply with quote

I think there are several reasons why the Penny for the Guy tradition has largely disappeared.

That children are not allowed to buy fireworks may be part of it - but does this imply that there was a time when children were allowed to buy fireworks? If so, that scares me.

I'm sure dr.bob has another part of the answer - kids get more pocket money from their parents than once, so don't need to go out begging. And probably can't actually be bothered to make guys in any case.

And then there are the usual suspects for answers. Parents won't let their kids go out Penny-for-Guy-ing for fear that they will be abducted by those "peedos" of whom there are 10,000 in every town, get themselves ASBOs, or whatever else. Scoff if you will, but I meet parents who really do think in this sort of way.

And where would kids park themselves with their Guys? Until a couple of years back, the front porch of the Co-op not far from our home used to be a common haunt - but the Co-op no longer allows them to sit there. ("Company policy", I expect.)

If they parked themselves on the pavement, there's always someone who would consider that they were begging / causing a nuisance / causing an obstruction and would call the police.

 
RLDavies
863483.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:58 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
That children are not allowed to buy fireworks may be part of it - but does this imply that there was a time when children were allowed to buy fireworks? If so, that scares me.

Children could buy fireworks up to some time in the early 20th century, but I can't find exactly when the law changed.

 
cornixt
863510.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:18 pm Reply with quote

I've never seen anyone doing the penny for the guy thing. My mum told me about it when I was growing up in the 80s, so I assumed it had died out long before then. Or maybe I just assumed that some kids were sitting next to a homeless person when I passed by.

 
Strawberry
863512.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:31 pm Reply with quote

i didn't see anyone doing penny for the guy this year; i think the last time i saw it was a couple of years ago.

 
suze
863535.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:47 pm Reply with quote

RLDavies wrote:
Children could buy fireworks up to some time in the early 20th century, but I can't find exactly when the law changed.


The earliest reference I can find for this is to the Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997. The law on fireworks seems to change almost every year, and the 1997 regulations replaced a very similar 1996 set. But the 1997 set states that fireworks must not be sold to children, and the 1996 set does not.

If this means that children were allowed to buy fireworks until 1997, well I'm amazed. But right now I can't find any evidence to suggest otherwise.

I also discover that the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2010 also make it an offence for a child to buy Christmas crackers. There can't have been any news this time last year, because the Daily Telegraph (8 Nov 2010) had nothing better to do than to complain about this.

 
Bondee
863540.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:01 pm Reply with quote

I was certainly buying them in the mid-late 80s when I was in my early-mid teens. We used to buy mini rockets and fire them out of bazookas that we'd made using the big cardboard tubes from the middle of a roll of carpet/lino.

 
Spud McLaren
863542.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:07 pm Reply with quote

I seem to remember in the late 1960s/early 1970s being able to buy bangers, jumping jacks and catherine wheels, but not being allowed to buy rockets and Roman candles due to them being able to be used as projectile weapons. My memory isn't clear on that, though, as all pocket money payment was suspended by my parents as soon as the fireworks appeared in the shops until they were withdrawn from sale.

 

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