Penny for the guy project

Granada Guy Fawkes Competion 1969
CHAD 34358
Granada Guy Fawkes Competion 1969
CHAD 34357
Granada Guy Fawkes -1971
CHAD 604-26
Granada Guy Fawkes - 1971
CHAD 604 -27
Granada Guy Fawkes - 1971
CHAD 604 23

In the weeks before Bonfire or Guy Fawkes’ Night children could be seen on street corners, outside shops, schools, parks and basically everywhere with a crude effigy crying “Penny For the Guy”….then they appeared to disappear or have they?

Is it a dying or dead tradition everywhere? This project aims to catalogue sightings.

You can help. Visit   The intention of the blog is for people to add sightings so that the present survival can be assessed. Are guys still seen in Mansfield and around? What do the Guys look like? How old are the children and so on? That’s why if you see one please make comment on the website. The website will also have analysis and has a survey on views too.

As I am researching customs of Nottinghamshire I am particularly interested in sightings locally. If you see one please make an entry. I am happy for historical sightings too but please ensure you give a date – approximate will do eg 1980s.

Mansfield Guy’s

We searched the Museums Chad Negative Collection and discovered the pictures below. – Editors

Comments about this page

  • I think penny for the guy died out after Trick or Treat came over from America. It is so easy to buy a mask from say Wilco’s and away you go, no real effort required My favourite spot was outside Pickerings news agent on Ladybrook Place.

    By Stephen Walker (06/11/2013)
  • As a young lad I absolutely loved making a Guy Fawkes and using it to bump up a couple of pounds around bonfire night for some fireworks, all my mates did. You dont see this happen any more, I can not remember the last time I saw a kid out with his Guy Fawkes asking for a penny around Mansfield, it has seemed to die out. I was lucky as a lad that my mum was very creative with this kind of thing and I reckon I had the best made one one the street. Using a pair of her old tights stuffed with newspaper for the legs , and old pair of corderoy trousers and my annorak from the the previous years that no longer fitted me. The face was usually hand made and hand painted.And a pair of my old scruffy school plimsoles stitched to the legs The best place for me to sit it, was outside the Brown cow pub in the evenings when back in the early 70’s it was a thriving and very popular pub close to my home. People went in happy and came out even happier so this reflected in the donation that we would receive. Another great place was outside the Bingo hall on Midworth street. The donations were usually a penny or tuppence. If you got a sixpence even better. But on rare occasions a top winner would come out of the Bingo so elated that they would hand us a 50p peice and this in the 70’s was a huge amount!! If we had gone home with a pound each after sharing it out between us then we had, had a fantastic night. Some folk used to think it as begging and did not like to see it, but if I saw kids in the street with their guys nowdays then I would be generous to them. On bonfire night we would take our stuffed Guys and toss them onto the fire and watch all our hard work disappear in seconds in the raging flames and laugh as they melted away to nothing. And then do the same thing the following year and so on.

    By Simon Leivers (05/11/2013)

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