AT the risk of being a kill-joy, Bonfire Night, I must admit, is one of my least favourite nights of the year, despite November 5 being my brother’s birthday (sorry Simon).

My daughter has never liked fireworks either and I think this goes back to the time for us both, when she was four years old and someone put a lit firework through our letterbox.

It screamed around the hall, ending up in the Wendy House, burning a hole in the carpet and, of course, the Wendy House was ruined.

When I was a child November 5 was the only night that fireworks were permitted, the only exception was when Guy Fawkes night fell on a Sunday and then a Saturday night celebration was allowed.

Nowadays, as I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, it goes on for weeks and then a few months

later we have it all again at New Year.

On the field in front of our house there has always been a huge private bonfire that is well attended and well supervised by local families.

I have always been lucky in the past, in that this has never unduly bothered any of my animals, in fact one home-bred Persian cat used to sit on the bedroom windowsill to watch, mesmerised by the fireworks lighting up the night sky.

At one time this bonfire used to be built up to a week in advance but these days it is not put together until teatime on the day itself, and it is then lit immediately, which I understand is in deference to the local hedgehog population who, at this time of year, are on the look out for possible hibernation sites.

But afterwards, when it is all over and folk have drifted back to their homes, no-one seems to be concerned about the remaining debris, which is now a bit of an eye sore.

Not to mention the remnants of spent fireworks which, for reasons best known to himself, my dog finds extremely tasty.

Thankfully Brigadier never seemed to get upset by fireworks when he was younger and now, as he is completely deaf he is oblivious to the whole thing. The present cats, however, have a very different outlook.

This year, Teddi disappeared upstairs and stayed in the wardrobe until the following morning. Pandora, however, decided that the safest place to hang out was with me, and therefore she had best sit as close as possible at all times, even while I was making the tea, when she sat on my foot.

But my heart really did go out to the elderly lurcher belonging to one of my dog walkers.

Over the last few weeks, he has spent hours just lying, trembling and panting on his kitchen floor, as the bangs went off all around the house.

Another friend with a Lhasa Apso told me how her boy was so upset with all the pops and bangs that he stopped eating and it took him a couple of days to get back to normal. I also worry about the small furries that live outside in hutches.

But it’s not just animals that suffer, what about people who have lived, or served in the armed forces in war-torn areas of the world?

I can’t begin to imagine what the noise must sound like to them; or to the ex-servicemen and women suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder?

If only we could have silent fireworks. Something that looked pretty as it lit up the sky but something that didn’t make a noise. As for “bangers” well, I never saw the point of them even as a child.

So, hats off to Sainsbury’s for not selling fireworks to the public this year and I sincerely hope that next year more supermarkets will follow suit and that eventually, fireworks will be limited to organised displays only.