The West End version of Cracker Night
By Barry Larkin
When we were Kids, that is the Larkin clan of 9 children living with our parents at 27 Cambridge Street West End Brisbane, cracker night was the must loved night of the year other than Christmas eve when we knew Santa was on his way.
We used to prepare for Cracker night by getting our Tools, a hammer, nails and kerosene tins and knocking holes in the kerosene tins of various shapes, for example ships, boats, birds etc.
So on Guy Fawkes night we would blacken our faces, put candles in the tins, light them and get out into the neighboured scrounging for money to be thrown in our tins.
We would walk around the streets, get trams and go into town, and my Brother who pretended he was Al Jolson would sing “Mammy.” When we had finished collecting our ‘Next years Ekka Money,” we would go home and set off our crackers in front of our House in Cambridge Street. Next morning was clean up the street exercise.
Our most famous Cracker night came when we were all Adults and our Mum and Dad were then living in a house on Gladstone road, we all congregated with our children to light our Fire works (Crackers.) in their back yard.
I was the lighter and my 2 brothers were the throwers or setter uppers.
I had a bottle, lit the sky rocket and was about to hand it to my brother, when the bottle fell over and the rocket dislodged and went screaming across the yard and actually went between my other brother’s legs and landed in the bucket of fireworks.
It was spectacular, crackers going off, jumpin pins bouncing around, my brothers running around trying to avoid the mayhem, and all the grandkids laughing and cheering.
When everything settled down and my Brothers had finished their running around we had to go down to West End to restock our fireworks to set them off normally.
Yes this was our family’s most famous cracker night, but my famous cracker night was when my Son Gary was born.