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Thread: Remember?

  1. #1
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    Default Remember?

    Remember remember the 5th of November?
    I was in New Zealand two years ago at this time of year and everyone bought their fireworks.
    It was a great night with plenty of anticipation because it didnt get dark until 9.30pm.

  2. #2
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    Nope, fireworks was well and truly banned before I was around.

    You can still buy quasi fireworks in Australia, 12gauge shot shells with fireworks installed, very $$$ though.

    Personally I think the low powered fireworks should be able to be purchased by people with firearm licences.
    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

  3. #3
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    I went to a fireworks night (in May) while in Tasmania. A permit is needed but they still have them there.

    Michael

  4. #4
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    When i was up at the Finke desert race in the NT earlier in the year, the 3-400 other campers at the Finke end all had fireworks (we forgot to buy some in Alice), pretty good show. I even think someone blew up a gas bottle.

  5. #5
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    I remember, a kid at school lost a eye and one lost a thumb, and launching tin cans and home made rockets onto neighbours roofs. One of the tin cans landed on one of my brothers head and he bled like a stuck pig and we told mum he hit his head while crawling around under the house. The year we moved into a uncleared 1/4 acre block covered with dense oily scrub Dad had us all chopping and piling the cut scrub up all year so by early Nov we had by far the tallest bonfire pile in the neighbourhood. The pile went up like it had petrol on it and it was all over in in about 15 minutes. The heat from the fire scorched the side of dads new/second hand black FJ and for years afterwards the cracked enamel flaked off. Our neighbours kids started a bushfire in the swamp across the road and heaps of snakes and other critters came out of the swamp and took up residence under houses and in sheds. The next day we found a massive Dugite wrapped around another neighbours toilet pedestal. On the positive side the numerous bonfires kept the streets and backyards relatively free of rubbish.

  6. #6
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    I miss November the fifth.
    At least then it was only once per year. These days the thinking is we will put on fireworks' for any activity that that needs to attract the general public.

    There should be a limit on how many times a year this is permitted. I swear, it is in excess of twenty times p/annum here in Mackay. It is exacerbated by the fact that the venues are all within a few clicks of me, so we get the full effect wether wanted or not.

    My blue cattle dog normally fearless is reduced to a quivering jelly from the noise of fireworks or thunder for that matter.

    The lab, however, is dumb as a bag of hammers and nothing short of a full-scale war would upset him.

    As Kingswood Country's Ted Bullpit would term it, fireworks should be blown up.

    Grahame

  7. #7
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    Default

    Another casualty of our much "safer society"

  8. #8
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    Hi Guys,

    I'm a bit late to this thread, I didn't know that this group existed !

    Many many years ago when I was just a schoolboy, the topic of fireworks came up in class. One of the teachers, the chemistry and physics master decided to teach us all about the chemistry of gun powder and how the Chinese made it and used it to make mortars and cannon.

    Anyway he mixed various chemicals sulphur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate, on a large steel plate, and had made a quite large pile of it. We all thought that he was going to distribute some around the class. Well he did demonstrate by scraping a little to one side and hitting it with a pin hammer. A loud bang and lots of black smoke. He did this several times, then there was an almighty bang and the lab was filled with acrid black smoke.

    We all scattered not understanding quite what had happened. It seems that whilst talking he become distracted and hit the pile of gunpowder that he had made setting it off. We also found out later that the hammer head was no longer attached to the hammer. It became the topic of the school for ages after.
    Best Regards:
    BaronJ.

  9. #9
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    Hi BaronJ,

    As a Muzzleloading Black Powder Shooter, I would love to make my own Black Powder. Some of my muzzleloading companions have to pay pay up to $90 per lb for the American made Goex powder.

    Unfortunately, our Aussie laws and regulations say it is very naughty and I could well end up behind bars.

    I would point out that making it oneself it can be fraught with danger. The Yanks have blown up powder mills in the past.

    Having said that, I can vouch for it as being safe if used in the correct manner. I have shot for well over 20 years and not witnessed anything too serious.

    Anybody noticed using blackpowder unsafely is very quickly advised / and/or removed from the range.

    Grahame

  10. #10
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    Hi Guys,

    The Chemistry / Physics master I referred to also taught the class about Fulminate of Mercury, but I don't recall him demonstrating that !
    Best Regards:
    BaronJ.

  11. #11
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    If you are into this sort of stuff I recommend a book I have just finished.
    ‘A most damnable invention.’
    Dynamites,nitrates and the making of the modern world.
    By Steven R Brown.
    A bit of history starting with Greek fire and early black powder but mainly Nobel and the kraut Fritz Haber who cracked synthetic production needed for the First World War after the brits had effectively blockaded the Germans out of Chile where the majority of the worlds nitrates came from.
    Nobels bro Ludwig karked it and the French press thinking it was Alfred published his obituary headed “merchant of death dies.”
    He wasn’t impressed and although already responsible for the deaths of thousands thru industrial accidents with his early unstable explosives decided to leave his estate to establish what became the Nobel prize.
    It also has interesting stuff on the result of the synthetic nitrates on agriculture post WW1, a bit of an eye opener for me.
    By the way it contains no formula or specific mixtures for the diy nutters.
    H.
    Jimcracks for the rich and/or wealthy. (aka GKB '88)

  12. #12
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    Hi H,

    I vaguely recall some of that about Alfred Nobel and the manufacture of gelignite. Up to being 14 or so I was a wizz kid in organic chemistry !
    However the Chemistry / Physics master I referred to earlier was also a radio ham. Well that hooked me real good and chemistry went out the window in exchange for radio valves and communications. At 15, nearly 16, I was employed repairing car radios and TV sets, by the age of 17, I was involved in manufacturing guitar amplifiers for "Me Too" pop groups. Indulging in an ill spent youth.
    Best Regards:
    BaronJ.

  13. #13
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    The removal of 5th November was not just one due to safety but had been on going push by many for political reasons prior. Along with the Republic movement Guy Faulks being a UK tradition would have been rolling in his grave over that one.

    Now days the vast number of Asian celebrations seem to have fireworks for any reason be it a birth, marriage, death or a new Chinese take away opening.

  14. #14
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    When I was quite young a loooong time go we did not celebrate Guy Fawkes Day - Cracker Night was always the 24th of May, Empire Day, which was Queen Victoria's birthday. This was a popular date, since it was also a school half holiday. I particularly remember one Empire Day, probably 1940, since the supply of fireworks had not yet dried up because of wartime priorities. I was staying with relatives on a property near Molong with several other kids the same age. We spent hours dragging fallen tree branches up to the bonfire site before Cracker Night and had enough fuel for a very respectable bonfire.

    Several other families came along, all bearing fireworks to add to the box we had, which was about the size of a milk crate. The fire was duly lit, with the box of fireworks some distance away, and the fireworks display began. After a short time somebody lit a jumping jack, which made a beeline for the fireworks box, then jumped in, still exploding every few seconds. As you would expect the whole box, maybe 2 or 3 kilograms of assorted fireworks all erupted at once. It was a very spectacular if short lived display, with skyrockets whizzing around at about knee height, catherine wheels rolling along the ground emitting showers of sparks, and large bungers which had been thrown into the air exploding all around, with a background noise of strings of tom thumbs sounding like machine gun fire to add to the sound effects.

    I can still vividly remember seeing everybody, adults and children, running for their lives in the light from the bonfire. Fortunately nobody was injured, and after all the noise and fuss had died down it was generally agreed that it had been a successful night, though shorter than expected!

    Empire Day was rechristened Commonwealth Day in 1958, since there was no longer any Empire to celebrate, and somewhere about that time restrictions on the sale of fireworks to the general public appeared, thus depriving the younger generations of the chance to experience the excitements of nights like that one in 1940.

    Frank.

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