Bonfire rights [UPDATED]

A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.
- The Bonfire of the Vanities

BC regular Lou Baker is well known for his sensitivity towards others' feelings and has posed this ethical question for us all:

Having had my home smoked out by a moron who decided to burn their crap on a day when everyone had their windows open, I'd like the chance to raise the case for banning this anti-social activity and name and shame the people who do it.

As it happens, BC has been wondering what the neighbourly etiquette is for bonfires, as we've spent hours uprooting bamboo and lopping branches and now have a lot of garden waste to deal with.

So, please help us - what are the terms under which it is OK to light bonfires?

UPDATE: In the comments, Ian has pointed out the Lewisham Council garden refuse collection service as an alternative. Ten bags for ten quid. Click here for details.

UPDATE: We've found an alternative to burning or bagging our waste - one that's sure to infuriate readers who think that "sustainably caught fish" are only eaten by ponces. An amazing Goldsmiths student is going to paint the bamboo and reuse it in an art installation with Homemade London.

77 comments:

Fong said...

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/InYourHome/Escapingandrecoveringfromafire/DG_180786

I think a bonfire during the day is pretty inconsiderate, but more acceptable in the evening, when it's cooled down a bit and people can close their windows without sweltering too much.

Brockley Nick said...

Useful link, thanks Fong. Was thinking about waiting until autumn to do it.

Monkeyboy said...

Piles of combustuble material are always a handy community standby for assembling an angry mob.

On a slightly less glib line, im not sure there is ever a totally acceptable time to build a fire that produces smoke in a crowded town area? I wouldn't dream of building one in my small terraced house garden. The dump (sorry, recycling center) is a bit of a faff unless you have a car and can get a bit uppity if they see you too often. The council are unlikley to provide anything other than a basic collection service without payement

Brockley Nick said...

Is that how people feel? I've never lit one before, so I didn't realise they were deemed so anti-social. I wouldn't want one in the middle of a hot day, but don't really mind the occasional bonfire.

Anonymous said...

First port of call:

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/Environment/Pollution/AirPollution/ResidentsInfo/Bonfires.htm

Ian said...

If you don't mind bagging the waste, we've found the garden waste collection service to be pretty handy. £10 for 10 large (but flimsy) refuse sacks.

http://tinyurl.com/5ugarx9

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks Ian, happy to do that. Will update the article with that link.

Anonymous said...

I know the Council do green bags for garden waste,there £10 for 10 bags, and it includes collection.

missing the sea said...

I love the smell of garden bonfires, but not during the day when I have my washing out! In Norfolk there was a time of day you were allowed to light them, 6 I think, but haven't seen anything on Lewisham's website about it.

Anonymous said...

are you from Norfolk then?

Tamsin said...

Interesting links. I had thought that any bonfire in a Smoke Control Zone (basically all of built-up London) was illegal and so when I used to have them for our garden rubbish I was quite wary.

It's a matter of extreme courtesy - check the wind direction, check the neighbourhood for open windows or washing hanging out, have buckets of water on hand for rapid dowsing when asked to do so (which is a basic safety precaution anyway) and never, ever, under any circumstances burn plastics or anything that smells.

Garden rubbish can now be disposed of at one of LBL's collection lorries that parks itself in Kitto Road between the Church and Park on Saturdays and Sundays 8am to 12noon throughout the summer. A really great service and when I need to I now take a wheelie binful up there (repeated journeys when I have had real garden blitz). I am lucky enough to live within trundling distance - but plenty of others drive. I feel that having them there on both days of the weekend is an undeserved luxury - it would be better if they spread the serivce thinner, with them going to another site as well.

D said...

I thought most of London was in a Smoke Control Area, or doesn't that make it as far south as Brockley?

mb said...

Trouble is, the time of year that you produce les smoke is probably the damp/wet time of year when the refuse would produce the most smoke?

I'm told that those garden incinerators produce less smok because they get to a higher temperature??

pip said...

We are in a smoke control area but that seems to be applicable only to businesses. This is what Lewisham council says about bonfires, in full:

Bonfires
Although bonfires are not illegal, they can be a source of considerable annoyance and are an unpleasant and potentially dangerous source of pollution. Bonfires can produce smoke at low level, especially if furniture or other man made articles are being burnt.

This borough is designated as a Smoke Control Area so it is an offence to produce smoke from any bonfire on business property or sites used for trade.


Report air pollution problems
If you are concerned about air pollution coming from a home, garden, business or building site in your area, please call the Environmental Health Enforcement team on 020 8314 2170.

Alternatives to bonfires
The Council strongly urges all residents not to dispose of their waste by burning but instead take some or all of the following steps:

•household waste can be placed in your refuse wheelie bin for collection.
•residents can arrange for their garden waste to be collected.
•excess waste and garden waste can be taken to the Landmann Way re-use and recycling centre where it can be disposed of, free of charge.
•garden waste can be composted. Only dry twigs should ever be incinerated.
How we deal with complaints about bonfires
Complaints about bonfires are investigated by our Environmental Health Enforcement Team.

If it is established that a Statutory Nuisance is being caused then we will serve a Notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

If the terms of the Notice are not complied with, the matter is likely to be referred for formal legal proceedings through the Magistrates Court. A magistrate may fine a defendant up to £5000 if he or she is found guilty of the offence.

Blistered Fingers said...

I had a large amount of garden waste to get rid of and was quoted £120.I just got 40 of those green bags and took some time to fill them up,hey presto saved £80.

Anonymous said...

...Or rather than pay a ridiculous amount to Lewisham Council for their refuse bags (why is it not included in council tax?!), you could chop up your refuse and pile it bit by bit under your usual rubbish in your wheelie bin for free.
I should add that when we contacted Lewisham council about refuse, as well as being told about the price of the bags we were also told that every item had to be chopped into pieces no longer than 30cm. What a joke!

Percy, the sexist gardener. said...

"why is it not included in council tax"

Tht is the nub of any public service. For what service and at what point is it reasonable to spread the cost to all council tax payers? What poportion of residents have a garden? of those that do are they more or less likley to be a higher earner?

£10 for ten bags sounds like a bargain, I'd like to see the private sector match that. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if it isnt already subsidised. Not cutting up the waste may well push the price up?

We're all in it together, etc....

Tamsin said...

And the collection from Kitto Road (and some other points around the Borough) is free. All you have to do is get it there in any sort of receptacle which they then empty into their own giant wheelie bins and hand back to you.

Anonymous said...

You think £10 for 10 bags is reasonable? I beg to differ I'm afraid.
I believe other councils provide these refuse bags for free.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid it was perfectly acceptable to have a bonfire in your garden all year round.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, but you could also chain smoke on the London Underground. Time moves on and despite what the Mail says, society has become more civilised in many ways.

Burning with disbelief said...

We dispose of our garden refuse through the 10 bags for £10 scheme. There is a limit on size of branches they will accept though - we simply got a small machine that ground the large branches up into chipped bark, that handly we could then use most of for mulching beds. I have a nightmare neighbour though, loves having a good fire all year round and douses them with a variety of chemical fluids (petrol? too scared to go near to take a look!) to make them burn more. Impressively I have seen him burn a set of original wooden shutters from his home, and best of all he had a fire right next to our old brick wall, which promptly fell down that night as I believe the fire heat may have affected the old lime/mortar between the bricks!

Monkeyboy said...

I think you're missing the point. The £10 is for removing ten bags of waste, not a tenner for ten plastic bags. Now I'm all for a bit of public provision of services, I give Lou indigestion by everytime I touch in with my staff Oyster, but £10 for 10 sacks of waste seems OK for me. There is a limit to what we can expect from a waste collection service, especially when they are being pressurised into fortnightly collections. You can see the £10 as a very modest fee to encourage you to compost. Or you can take it to a garden waste collection point, drive to the recycling place, or, as you say, slip it in to your rubbish bit by bit.

Lewisham, the Council that gives YOU choice.

dude said...

When I was a kid it was perfectly acceptable to have a bonfire in your garden all year round.

Was that during the war?

Anonymous said...

Point taken Monkeyboy, but other councils still provide this service free of charge...
...and the 30cm rule just adds more hassle to the process

channelzeroprose.blogspot.com said...

We had the same issue just last week on breaksoears - washing hanging out/black smoke. But what about smoke from bbq-ing food? we've just cleared our gardent he polite way(!) by bagging etc - and now want to cook some sausages etc, and our garden is the closest to the building...

mb said...

...but back to the point. Bonfires in a dense bit of london? unless you can defo keep the smoke down I'd be reluctant to do it.

By the way, I used those Hippo bags after a spot of DIY. Worked really well. Actually a bit cheaper if you order on line rather than buy from B&Q

Anonymous said...

Sausages don't count.

Ed CPZ said...

Perhaps one reason that the pubic sector is so bloated is that we no longer take repsonsibility for things like this ourselves and require legislation to regulate our behaviour towards each other. I blame the parents.

Tamsin said...

BBQs are definitely anti-social. When in the law I quite often used to have to work late and on summer evenings around 8pm (with no prospect of going home for another hour) with the office windows open and delicious smells wafting in from the residential neighbours' barbeque when I was starving hungry - it was most unfair!

Robert Nozik said...

Don't worry ed, there is no specific legislation for domestic bonfires. You're free to do what you want, it's a libertarian paradise.

Polution legislation (I think) only kicks in if your doing something unreasonable. A fire a couple of times a year would probably not breach that, your free to negotiate with your neighbours and use your judgement.

This blog is like a little slice of Big Society dream ;-)

Henry's Cat said...

Our next door neighbours recently set fire to an enourmous pile of garden waste on a hot Sunday afternoon. Someone called the fire brigade (not me I hasten to add, possibly another neighbour who was also choking on the thick clouds of smoke billowing through their open windows)and while ear wigging/checking out the firemen I overheard them being told that they couldn't burn garden waste because their house is in a smoke control area. I've used the £10 for 10 sacks service from Lewisham Council, but it did take the council a while to pick up the sacks and we had to chase it up a couple of times.

Anonymous said...

The Council were also giving compost bins away free a while back.

Brockley Top Tips said...

I use my BBQ to smoke Tesco battery chickens - the charcoal makes them taste delicious and every bit as good as mung organic.

Anon Top Tips said...

Surprised your mum lets you near matches TBH.

Headhunter said...

People who live behind our place have occasional bonfires but the gardens in the conservation area (daaaahling) are long enough that if the bonfire is right at the back, the smoke is less of a bother.

Our garden is about 35m long (at a guess) and then there's the mews (another 4 or 5 metres) and then the next garden (another 30 odd metres). I never really notice the smoke from the people behind's fires. I probably wouldn't have a bonfire if I lived in a smaller terraced place with a short garden....

Another problem with bonfires in the autumn and winter is that small mammals and insects hibernate in piles of wood and biodegradable/combustible waste. Creatures like hedgehogs and stag beetles. If you set the whole thing alight one winter afternoon, they get burned alive... Piles of wood, especially largeish logs etc are an important habitat for some animals.

Brockley Dogging Society - Biodiversity and Environmental Protection Officer said...

If anyone requires small mammals relocated please contact our rodent officer, Richard, on the usual number.

The BDS are committed to working in partnership with indigenous wildlife, except hedgehogs and biting/stinging invertebrates. As you are no doubt aware, the Stag Beetle question is being examined by the H&S executive after an unfortunate incident involving some logs.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

The Builders who occupy the yard to the rear of No8 Tyrwhitt Road are good at starting fires either in their yard or in a skip.

They are however not very good at keeping them under control and set fire to their container (like the one outside Meze Mangel) not so long ago.

The amount of water the Fire Brigade pumped in left a proper mess.

Serve them right for breaking the rules

Anonymous said...

let neighbours know...and ask if the chosen day is inconvenient to them i.e. hanginng washing out etc.

mormon fundamentalist said...

if I lived near to Lou I'm sure I'd be burning old tyres at the bottom of my garden on a regular basis

Ed CPZ said...

WRT to antisocial behaviour I yelled at the driver of a silver golf that a) parked on the pavement outside the tea factory at midnight and b) blasted out very loud heavy bass music (two of my pets hates) and got the driver to turn the music off. I did wonder whether I might bnring some form of retribution on myself but I did yell 'thank you' once the music had stopped.

Only someone who had not been brought up properly would have a bonfire without due consideration for their neighbours. I blame the parents.

Ratbag said...

We always save our large garden waste for bonfire night. Small clippings go into a Council garden waste bag if the compost bin is full up.

Lou Baker said...

@Mormon

Don't worry - if you lived near me I'd probably burn myself. Now that would be toxic.

Seriously, there are alternatives. You may be too lazy, or too anti-social, or too cheap to consider them but they exist.

You can compost. You can take it to the dump or green collection point at Telegraph Hill or you could pay for bags.

But if you burn your garden waste you are filthy, inconsiderate and, quite possibly, a child killer. After all they all have asthma nowadays because of people like you.

Ed CPZ said...

Lou, have you given any thought to politics? I'd gladly volunteer strategic/funding advice...

WoodSmokeSmell said...

personally, I think if someone is having an evening garden party, and have a small fire or BBQ to toast marshmallows and have a drink over - it's perfectly acceptable.
You live in the city, surrounded by people and noise and smells.
If you are constantly moaning about those three things, you should move somewhere more remote.

Anonymous said...

They all have asthma because of people like you

What a ridiculous statement.

WoodSmokeSmell said...

ok Anon. Everyone has asthma because of me is a perfectly sane statement.

WoodSmokeSmell said...

oh wait - were you addressing Lou? Sorry.
Don't bother.

dib dib dob dob said...

My property backs on to the Boys Scouts land on Breakspears. They are constantly haiving bonfires and it doesn't bother me. I think comments re children's asthma are slightly hysterical. In fact I like the smell of wood burning.

The only thing I'd agree with is that the fires should be in the evening to allow people to close windows, get washing in etc.

Ed CPZ said...

Surely the simple principle is that one should avoid burning anything in a way that disadvantages another without reasonable justification? Legal method anyone?

Lou Baker said...

Why should anyone have the right to stink out my home with their foul odour?

I do not put my foul smelling crap through your letterbox. Do not put yours through my windows.

Bonfires are nasty, they're anti-social and if you ever have one you should be ashamed.

Oh - and if you are a bonfire fan - be aware that your neighbours despise you and talk about you in derogatory terms behind your back.

So if that was you burning your filth on Bousfield Road last night my message is simple: you're an anti-social moron.

Headhunter said...

Increases in asthma are down to high levels of airborne pollutants and PM10s from the huge numbers of cars and other motor vehicles ploughing through London everyday rather than the odd back garden bonfire...

Chill the f**k out said...

Life must be a constant blizzard of disappointment, rage and anger. Like watching Tim Henman FOREVER!

Agree about domestic bonfires in London, really no need for it.

mormon fundamentalist said...

Oh - and if you are Lou Baker - be aware that your neighbours despise you and talk about you in derogatory terms behind your back.


;)

Legal eagle said...

From a random website...

"It is a common misconception that there are specific byelaws prohibiting garden bonfires or specifying times they can be lit –there aren't. However, this is not a licence for indiscriminate burning! Occasionally a bonfire is the best practicable way to dispose of woody or diseased waste that cannot be composted. And bonfires are used to mark traditional celebrations – especially November 5th.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended) it is an offence for people to dispose of their domestic waste in a way likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. In practice you should not burn waste that is likely to create excessive smoke or noxious fumes. If only dry garden waste is burnt, your bonfire should not cause a problem.

Most bonfire problems are addressed under nuisance legislation. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, a statutory nuisance includes "smoke, fumes or gases emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance." In practice a fire would have to be a recurrent persistent problem, interfering substantially with neighbours' well-being, comfort or enjoyment of their property. (In N Ireland the Public Health Act 1878 defines nuisance, however the proposed Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill includes nuisance controls similar to those in the rest of the UK.)

If a bonfire of industrial or commercial waste is emitting black smoke it is dealt with under the Clean Air Act 1993 – this includes the burning of such material in your garden! Under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 it is illegal to dispose of waste that is not from your property – for example from your workplace or from a neighbour. For example, small tradesmen must not burn waste from site at home."

Couldn't find a link between that and child killing, but I there was some data about misanthropic behaviour and haemeroids.

TrollEater said...

I really don't understand why you give Lou Baker any space at all. He'a a BC regular TROLL.
Stop feeding him.

bumbags said...

My neighbours had a REALLY LONG bonfire a couple of weeks ago, as they were clearing their jungle of a garden. It lasted for 7 hours, and I was home, and yes, my home/clothes/hair smelt of smoke blah blah... BUT it's something that would happen once in a blue moon, and they're nice folks clearing out their garden. I'm happy to hear about the council £10 for 10 bags service- that's useful.
But while much of the time I (remarkably!) agree with Lou, I don't think the odd bonfire is something to get too worked up about. If it were every week, that could get annoying...

mormon fundamentalist said...

for entertainment . . .

. . . I used to live on Bousfield Road

Lewis Boulanger said...

I think that was my fire on Bousfield road.

I was trying to smoke out misanthropic trolls...

Really Lou - come around knock on the door and explain your position - I'm very reasonable - and at least I'll know what you look like so I can say hi when I'm out in my car.

Lou Baker said...

It staggers me that people are so selfish that they don't think of this stuff.

Whether it's having a bonfire, or playing excessively loud music late at night, or sitting outside someone's house in the small hours with your engine running, or letting your dog crap on the floor and not clearing it up, or littering, or taking up three parking spaces, or cycling on the pavements, or dumping mattresses in the street ....

None of this stuff is an horrific offence but it's all anti-social. It's harder to do these things than it is not to do them. And this is all about being neighbourly.

I like my garden. It produces lots of waste. I compost some and take the rest to the collection point at Telegraph Hill. I wouldn't dream of infliciting the stench
of a bonfire on my neighbours. I like dogs. I don't like their crap at the end of my path. I like my mattress. I see no need to see other people's mattresses on street corners. I like music. But if I want to listen to loud music late at night I wear headphones.

You shouldn't need laws, regulations or even peer pressure to know this stuff is wrong. You should be able to figure it out by using nothing more than common sense and neighbourliness.

Anonymous said...

"I'd like the chance to raise the case for banning this anti-social activity and name and shame the people who do it"

or regulations and peer pressure...

Hardlianotion said...

£10 for 10 bags? Feck!

bumbags said...

Lou, I'm totally there with you on fly-tipping, not clearing up dog poo, playing loud music, littering, selfish parking etc, but bonfires wouldn't be on my list. As I said in an earlier post neighbours had one for a whole day a couple of weeks ago. They are really lovely people, and I don't think they would light the bonfire if they thought it would annoy me. I certainly don't consider them anti-social. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere you have to accept a certain amount of impact from neighbours- a bonfire once or twice a year seems ok to me. If you really hate it, maybe tell the neighbour- next time he plans one, you can liaise so it's a day that you're out.

Blimey said...

@hardlianation, I was surprised too. £10 to remove ten bags of garden waste does appear a bargain, I wonder if that's a mistake?

Guido Fawkes said...

I think I may be partly to blame for this bonfire nonsense Lou.
A few years ago I-along with a few acquaintances-decided to blow up the Houses of Parliament-don't ask me why-just seemed like a good idea at the time. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I was caught in the cellar underneath the Houses of Parliament moving barrels of gunpowder about.
How was I to know King James 1 was scheduled to be at the above property at the exact time we had planned for the gunpowder to explode?
Well, you can imagine the amount of fuss all of this caused and after a long and thorough interrogation it was decided that I and my fellow accomplices should stand trial. I was in some discomfort by now as the authorities had brought in the West Midlands Regional Crime Squad to do the interrogation and they had beaten me to within an inch of my life-of course the Judge put it all down to high spirits and accepted that I "must have fallen down the stairs".
Of course I made a complaint to the Police Complaints Authority but as it was basically the police investigating themselves, my complaint was dismissed. I mean, who was going to believe a catholic mercenary of Italian extraction anyway?
Now, I bet you're thinking things couldn't get any worse?
But they did?
I was placed upon a hurdle and dragged from the gaol to a place of execution where I was hung by my neck until I was almost dead (can you believe it?). Then, they cut me down and put me on this big table in front of thousands of people (I thought they'd all be at home watching X Factor and screaming at their illegitimate children but there you go). Anyway, this bloke in a mask got this big knife-you know the kind,the one's all the from the estate round our way are carrying these days-and he plunged it into my chest and then sort of ripped it straight down the centre of my body.
I thought, hang on a minute, what's he up to?
But before I could ask the question, he put his big fat fingers right inside my stomach and pulled my intestines out. He then lifted them up to my face (by this time the crowd were going crazy-it reminded me of that time when they mistook that paediatrician for a paedophile-anyway I digress). He then proceeded to throw them into a fire he had prepared earlier in a Blue Peter kinda way. The next thing he did surprised me even further, he took hold of my now-not so privates-and used a cleaver to cut them clean off-save for a bit of sinewy tissue which he managed to remove with a knife. Then he lifted them up towards my face shouting "behold, the gonads of a traitor"!.
By this time I was screaming out so loud you could have heard me all the way back in Catford "IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT LOU, IS THIS IT, IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT LOU, IS IT???
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

qbf said...

Guido, you and your remaining organs clearly have too much time on your hands, but thanks anyway, it did make me smile.

Anonymous said...

Guido - Lou
Baldrick - Blackadder

Tolerance said...

These calls for tolerance and consideration of one’s neighbours really cut both ways. Those of us with large gardens do occasionally need to burn stuff up (my last bonfire removed over 10 tonnes of waste) and despite the obvious inconvenience I expect our neighbours to be considerate of our needs as I am of theirs.

The house opposite me is being totally renovated. It’s creating anti-social noise all day and will for months. But if you live in a community you tolerate the disruption of these occasional projects. Its as true for garden ‘renovations’ as it is for houses. Bumbags has the right attitude – the occasional bonfire is nothing to be ashamed of, despite the simplistic attitudes of some contributors.

Lou Baker said...

Renovating a house can be disruptive - and should be done with consideration for the neighbours.

However, even the worst renovations are unlikely to result in mess and filth inside neighbouring homes. Not just next door. But their neighbours and their neighbours and their neighbours too.

That's what happens with bonfires. The smoke and filth gets in houses all around. My entire house stank for hours the other night - and the bonfire that caused it wasn't my neighbours. Or their neighbours. Or their neighbours. It came from the house of a random stranger two streets away.

Even if you have huge amounts of waste there is no need to burn. It is filthy, it is bad for the environment, it is foul to breathe and it is anti-social. The fact that you dismiss the alternatives because they inconvenience you is not my fault. Why should you have the right to inflict your foul anti-social pollution on me just because you're too cheap or lazy to use the alternatives?

Tolerance said...

I have the right because the law affords it. The law affords it because most rational people agree with me not you. Sounds like your neighbours must have been burning something other than garden waste from what you describe, which is a separate problem from regular garden fires. Your view seems to be that no-one has the right to inconvenience a neighbour. In my view there is such a thing as reasonable inconvenience. If some behaviour imposes a material inconvenience on neighbours and can be easily avoided it should be. Otherwise just chill out and accept the implications of living in a community.

spincat said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUCS8BvSr9s&feature=related

Stringer Bell said...

10 tons! Jesus, are you clearing a tract of virgin rain forest to plant cocca? ......if so give me a buzz.

Guido Fawkes said...

I think there is something rather quaint and quintessentially English about having a bonfire in your back garden-unless of course one happens to live in Northern Ireland where the Protestant community insist upon placing an effigy of the Pope on top their blazing timber and delight in dancing around like banshees in order to bait the Catholic community.
Now, I understand the Great British public also delight in burning an effigy of me on their bonfires but unlike Lou, I'm not going to get my pantaloons in a twist about it.
From a personal point of view, the money isn't quite what it used to be. I mean, a penny for the Guy?-I ask you,-I haven't had a sniff of an increase since 1605 AD.
Honestly, it makes you wonder what all of those public sector workers are banging on about with their ill-conceived strikes and all-you see Lou, we do share some common ground!
In my day there was no such thing as pensions-let alone sick pay, maternity pay or-bugger me-paternity pay. In fact you'd run a mile if you thought you'd sired young wench from the lower classes and got her up the duff. These days any self respecting male public sector worker is only too glad to own up to fathering a child-safe in the knowledge that the tax payer-many without children and with no intention of having any-is going to foot the bill for a few weeks paid leave. I'm with you Lou-the worlds gone mad!
Oh, and whilst I'm at it-why has the good old working class bonfire been hijacked by the middle classes and the Nanny State?
From the early 17th century right through to the 1970's people were quite happy to have bonfires in their back gardens. The smell of roast potatoes, the children eating toffee apples, the sight of the jumping jack chasing Granny into the fish pond-Oh such fond memories.
Then came the uber bonfire-you know the sort-all well organised, health and safety-big firework display put on by the profligate Local Authority. Suddenly there was no danger attached to the event.
The prospect of having your drunken Dad maimed whilst foolishly returning to a dud in your own back garden or half of your next door neighbour's face being taken off by a Catherine Wheel is now a thing of the past.
Please don't be an old grouch Lou, just think of all the fun there is to be had watching your stupid working class neighbours disfigure themselves on November 5th.
It's God's will Lou, it's God's will!

Lou Baker said...

@tolerance

The law also allows me to call you an anti-social numpty. That doesn't mean it's a nice, pleasant, neighbourly or acceptable thing for me to do. It just means I can. As a pleasant and neighbourly chap I, of course, wouldn't call you an anti-social numpty - even if you are one - even though the law allows it. Because, frankly, it's not nice.

Farting in public, picking your nose and eating it, dressing in sandals. All this stuff is legal but, frankly, decent people don't do it.

So, yes, legally you can keep your bonfire - for now at least. But that doesn't make you any less anti-social for doing so.

London said...

Lou, you are not suited to live in a city as you lack the basic attribute of tolerance required to live within 10 miles of another human being.

Please remove yourself and ensure you do not leave behind any mess on your way out.

Thank you.

Deptford cousin said...

Gosh - What an insight into the folk up the hill !! I was surfing to find out the regs re:garden bonfires from down here in SE8 and stumbled across this amazingly protracted neighbourhood bicker of epic proportions on the topic of epic .Would any Brockley Central bloggers like to spend a week living next to the Deptford SELCHEP incinerator - to get a whiff of reality from the poorer part of their borough ?? But thanks for the info and amusing distractions..Cheers - a Deptford cousin

Monkeyboy said...

You wait until there's a spat about flat roofs and buildings over three stories. It's like a bad day in Afganistan.

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