I'd stepped outside the door at around 12.15 to perform a first footing- a quaint northern English custom where you ensure your luck for the year by making sure the first person to enter the house is a friend- in this case myself- when I noticed a very bright orange light coming towards me from the north. It didn't look like the lights of an airplane, it wasn't on any recognised flightpath and it was entirely silent. Then I noticed there were others. They kept coming up over the northern horizon- not in any obvious formation but all on the same trajectory, north to south. Our house faces north so some of them seemed to be making directly towards me. Others were following the same straight course across a wide stretch of sky to the east. There were none visible to the west. As they passed the zenith they disappeared- I looked out the back window and there was nothing to see- which suggests they were craft with a light at the front- which became invisible as soon as their backs were turned. I watched them for about 20 minutes- and during that time there was always one in view and sometimes there were as many as four. I should have counted them but I was too excited to do anything quite so methodical- so I can only estimate their number. Twenty perhaps- maybe thirty- and of course there could well have been others that flew over before I started to take notice. They travelled fast. I estimate they covered the mistance between horizon and zenith in about a minute. I have no way of estimating their height .
They weren't fireworks- there were plenty of fireworks going off at the time to compare them with- I'm pretty certain they weren't meteors or anything like that- and they weren't like any kind of plane I've ever seen.