'Remember, remember, the fifth of November… gunpowder, treason and plot'
This is a bit of an epic timelapse: it plays for about 10minutes, but was shot over about 4.5hours, with the camera constantly firing (as were the fireworks). In this you're looking over the historic Trinity area of Salford - that's the Catholic cathedral in the mid left of the shot - and behind and to the right is Manchester.
I first experienced the somewhat anarchic nature of Bonfire night from these towerblocks in Salford back in 1998 when I visited some friends living there: we had a birdesye view from the tenth floor, but it felt a little like being in the middle of an air raid. One firework landed on the balcony just outside. It's probably fair to say folk round here like their fireworks, and they tend to have the biggest, baddest and most banging selection I've seen outside of the Millennium celebrations in 1999/2000.
Fast forward to 2006 and I'd been living here for over five years, always fascinated by the sheer quantities of explosive produced every year for Bonfire Night (never mind the amount of furniture and wood used to stoke the mammoth bonfire). Perhaps because when I was growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, bonfires were largely sectarian and the public weren't allowed fireworks without a police licence, so there's a thrill of illicit excitement every time I see home-grown displays like this. It wasn't just this estate though… if you're ever in a lofty vantage point on Nov 5th anywhere in England you'll see myriad flames, streaks and explosions as far as the eye can see. It's quite extraordinary.
I'd shot a partial timelapse from my window in 2005, but decided it was worth capturing my last Salfordian experience properly as I was due to leave the city the following week for a quieter life living out in the sticks. Shooting this required a lot of running on and off the balcony, swapping and emptying compact flash cards, and frantically hoping my spare batteries would charge in time. The final result is a bit shaky and a little flakey… but it certainly sums up the experience of November 5th in Salford.