Searching for Penny for the Guy

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Searching for Penny for the Guy' page

The Penny for the Guy Sightings project

By R B Parish

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. Is the tradition healthier in the North or the South? 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.

This page was added by R B Parish on 23/10/2013.
Comments about this page

It's a nil return from me, I'm afraid. I didn't spot any this year. Looks like another tradition that is dying out.

By Edna Welthorpe
On 07/11/2013

I've rebooted this. Apparently there was Notts siting, see one of the pages. I've given it a new web address but old one does still exist.

Please contribute!

By ross
On 16/10/2014

Not present day, I'm afraid, but I did come across this reference in a "Mansfield Non-conformist's diary" from the 1840s, transcribed in the Mansfield Advertiser newspaper in 1911: "5th November 1840:  The youths of the town are very busy making preparations for keeping up the remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot. The Scholars belong to the Royal Grammar School have been collecting money of their friends for the purpose of purchasing fireworks, and they are anticipating a high treat"

By James Ballance
On 16/02/2018

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