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.   hunkin



The theatre company Welfare State first asked me to work on one of their Guy Fawkes bonfire shows in 1979. There was a sort of performance, but the audience seemed more interested in watching the huge set burn down with accomanying fireworks. I found that I really enjoyed building something big and then watching it burn - much more satisfying than letting off fireworks that had been manufactured in China. 

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(in Colabation with Bob Pendred)
It's amazing just how fast two people, working for a week, can build with pallets. The interior of the hotel had a variety of rooms and the local kids did a sort of performance inside while the audience filed through - before we set it alight.

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Bob's sawdust 'bomb' going off.

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(in collaboration with John Wassall)
This was built for Emergency Exit Arts. It was my one and only attempt at a mobile bonfire. It ran on a steel frame welded to four car axles (see above). It worked fine until the day of the show when we loaded it up with firewood. The extra weight almost prevented it moving and we never got enough timber on it to make a good blaze.

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This was Welfare State theatre company's biggest ever bonfire show - note the size of the car (bottom right). Big Ben was nearly 90ft tall. It took a team of about 20 people three weeks to build. It burnt particularly well because it was largely built of wooden beer crates (breweries were changing to plastic at the time). My own role was modest - I built the Stork (see Theatre props) with Andy Plant.

  Architecture bonfire



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