Match, taper or torch not required

I’m taking you back to Bonfire Night this year. The Mayor was invited to light the bonfire at Mytchett Community Centre’s Bonfire Party. Apart from childhood back garden bonfires, I’ve never had the pleasure of lighting a really big bonfire, and so was delighted to have the invitation. My expectation of fun to come was high.

Firstly, I must say that the whole evening was lots of fun, great bonfire, truly excellent fireworks, and top quality burger and chips – oh, and the tea was good too.

However, there was a tinge of disappointment, when I found out that the lighting of the bonfire was not to be match, taper, or torch, but remotely by pressing a button. The photo shows the control box, and at the appointed time, I pressed the red button. This sent an electrical signal to the heart of the bonfire igniting two flares, which lit the bonfire. It also set off some fireworks to announce the bonfire lighting.

I wasn’t too disappointed, as I’d still been the one who lit the bonfire.

The fireworks were very good, and I’d thought they’d be on for half an hour or more. When I chatted to the man in charge of the fireworks he said,

“No, they didn’t last as long as 30 minutes. They lasted for 19 minutes. All of our firework displays last for 19 minutes, as any longer than that people get bored.”

How interesting. I think it must be a truism that human attention span is no longer than 19 minutes. This fact has entered my brain and will now, possibly boringly, be part of my regular conversation.