"A Penny for the Guy!": Customs/Traditions & Memories of Bonfire Night

11/03/2023 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM ET


History Society Event


  • $40.00


Allegheny HYP Club
619 William Penn Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1855
United States of America
Room Number: Dining Room


 Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot!


Join us on Friday, November 3 at the Allegheny HYP Club as we commemorate the 418th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, a failed attempt to assassinate the Protestant King James I during the Opening of Parliament in 1605. The conspirators' plan was to kill the king along with many of the nobility by blowing up the Houses of Parliament, with the ultimate goal of re-establishing Catholic rule in England. Commemorated in the UK each year as Guy Fawkes Night (Fawkes was tasked with lighting the fuses that would blow up the Houses of Parliament) or Bonfire Night (since Fawkes is burned in effigy), this annual event has become an iconic fall holiday for British families and communities.
Traditionally, British children would collect funds ("A Penny for the Guy!") to buy fireworks for Bonfire Night. Remembrances of community gatherings, the bonfire, roasting potatoes, the fireworks and other communal events fill the collective memory of Bonfire Night for many in the UK. Our event will include a presentation by Britsburgh Board member Steve Shandor regarding the history, customs and traditions of Bonfire Night as well as a panel of British expats who will share their fond memories of the holiday.
The beautiful and distinguished HYP Club is preparing a traditional British dinner of Bangers and Mash.


BRITSBURGH MEMBERS LOGIN FOR $25 REGISTRATION. To become a member, visit the Britsburgh membership page


For more information, contact Britsburgh Vice President for Events Kim Szczypinski at kimberly2859@msn.com



Bangers and Mash (vegetarian option available)


HYP Club Chef Steven Kightlinger's Famous Brussels Sprouts


Dessert (Gingerbread)


Soft Drinks


Beer (Boddington and Youngs, Boddingtons Pub Ale, Chocolate Stout) or Wine (Choice of 1 Drink)





  • 6:00PM - 6:30 PM     Join HYP Club Members as we gather.  Cash Bar available during HYP Happy Hour

  • 6:30 PM - 7:15 PM    Bangers and Mash Dinner

  • 7:15 PM - 7:45 PM    Talk:  History, Customs and Traditions of Bonfire Night (Steve Shandor)

  • 7:45 PM - 8:15 PM    UK Expat Panelists' Memories of Bonfire Night (Robert Charlesworth, Roger Cranville,                                   Suella Pipal and Jonathan Spatz)

  • 8:15 PM                    Q & A/Audience Discussion

  • 8:30 PM                    Conclusion



Off-street parking is available nearby free of charge after 6:00 P.M. Nearest parking garage is the Mellon Square garage across from the William Penn Hotel and encompassed by Smithfield Street, Oliver Avenue, William Penn Place, and Sixth Avenue with entrances/exits on both Oliver Avenue and Sixth Avenue. Flat rate in the evenings is $8.00.


Tickets: Members $25; Non-members $40





Steve Shandor is a retired educator and Britsburgh Board Member who has presented often for Britsburgh, frequently on the topic of the Royal Family.


Robert Charlesworth has lived in Pittsburgh for over a decade and is a Director at KPMG.  Robert was born in Leeds and grew up in Yorkshire, UK. He is a co-founder, past Chair and past President of Britsburgh.


Roger Cranville, OBE, is originally from Little Hormead, UK,Cambridgshire, with a business development background here in Western Pennsylvania,  He is a co-founder, past President and the current Chair of Britsburgh's Board of Directors.


Suella Pipal is a Foreign Service Officer with a cosmopolitan background - so naturally she chose Pittsburgh for her retirement.  She grew up in Kent, the product of a Scottish mother and an American journalist father based in London after World War II.  She was fully socialized as a Brit and experiences her (only) country of nationality somewhat as an immigrant.  She is a Britsburgh member.


Jonathan Spatz grew up in Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire.  His first degree was Mechanical Engineering, then a Master's in Electrical Engineering.  Later, with an MBA, he morphed to business in finance, the steel industry and technology development.  A Pittsburgh-area gentleman farmer for 40-plus years, his knowledgeable Italian friend says he makes the best goat cheese ever!  He is a member of Britsburgh.



Explore fascinating British-themed topics with the guidance of experts and enjoy the company and conversation of fellow enthusiasts as a member of the Britsburgh Society. Society members enjoy our  programs in the Arts, Beer, History, Mystery Lovers and Literary,Tea and other areas.of interest.   If you are not already a member, we would like to invite you to consider becoming a Britsburgh Society member. To become a member, visit the Britsburgh membership page.





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