DO you remember the Herefordshire Halloweens and bonfire nights of days gone by?

Members of We Grew Up in Hereford have been reminiscing about the Autumn festivities of the past after John Price sparked the conversation when he shared his memories and observations about the two holidays.


He said: “The kids are all getting excited about Halloween, the shops are full of costumes, masks, pumpkins and sweets. There wasn't really a Halloween when I was a kid in the 1950s, it was just the night the witches came out. We had lots of witches at Burton Wood so it didn't bother us.

“If there had been trick or treating, I don't think we would have got a good reception, probably get a thick ear. Our priority was bonfire night, all the kids used to collect anything that would burn and we built a huge bonfire.

“We stuffed an old pair of trousers and a jacket with straw to make a guy, turnip for a head, put him in a barrow and wheeled him around trying to get a few pennies for the guy, before putting him on top of the bonfire.

“Dad used to buy a small box of fireworks and let them off in the garden then someone would light our bonfire. The fireworks were tame compared to today.

“We didn't have any technology to amuse us, so things like bonfire night and the May fair were the highlights of our year.”


Plenty of locals had nostalgic memories of bonfire night, but the general consensus was that Halloween, in its current form, didn’t take off in Herefordshire until recent years.

“Mum wasn't a fan of penny for the guy or begging as she called it,” said Chrissie Judd.

 “There was definitely no Halloween as a kid, it was just the witch’s night before all saints day.

“We had a small box ought by dad and our terraced block used to have a dustbin for the fire with a homemade guy on the top.

“It was always bangers and mash for tea and maybe a jacket potato later if we were lucky. We were never allowed near the fireworks and had to watch out when rockets were lit as they often didn't go up in the air.”