Town bonfire and fireworks hailed a great success

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Clitheroe Bonfire Committee is celebrating this week after selling out all 5,000 tickets, raising proceeds of around £10,000 for local charities and delivering a safe, community event.

“We are very, very proud of how Saturday night went – and we couldn’t have asked for better weather conditions and crowd atmosphere on the castle field. Although cold, we had no rain or wind,” said committee chairman Andy Belcham. “We’ve had great feedback on the event and we do take it all on board. This year we’d added more food concessions and appreciate the queues were still too long. And we apologise for a technical hitch with the music during the fireworks – it won’t happen again!”

Crowds gather around the bonfire

Crowds gather around the bonfire

He added: “It’s no mean feat to deliver a well-planned and safe event, bringing thousands of people onto to a field and off again in the space of just a few hours.

“What many people don’t realise is that, along with unpredictable weather which affects how the bonfire burns, we also have the challenge of a level crossing at Eshton Terrace which means that safe exits and fireworks have to be meticulously timed.

“We will communicate this much better in the future, rather than just on the night.”

The evening started out with 10-year-old Robert Threlfall, of Grindleton CE Primary School, who had luckily been given the Golden Ticket from his grandmother just a few weeks ago. Equally as excited were eight-year-olds Keifer d’Souza and Ben Lees who only days before learnt that they were going to count the crowd down to the spectacular fireworks display.

“There are so many people to thank who are behind the scenes on events like these and we will be writing to them all over the coming weeks, but a special mention is due to both Banana News and Dawsons for their outstanding ticket selling,” continued Andy. “We run a professional event, and everyone involved gives their valuable time and resource to ensure a well-organised, fun, and safe event for all the family to enjoy. It’s not all about what we do on the day, there is a lot of work to do in the months running up to November 5th to pull this off and each year we fine-tune things to make it even better than the last.

“More importantly, every single penny of the Community Bonfire proceeds go to our nominated charities which this year are East Lancs Hospice and the Ribble Valley Foodbank.”

There was a large number of entries for this year’s Guy Fawkes competition and the winning Guy adorning the top of the fire belonged to St Michael and St John’s RC Primary School, with Brookside School’s guy in second place.

Clitheroe Mayor Coun. Mark French, who judged the entries, said: “These are outstanding guys and I’m awarding the winning guy based on the sheer effort and work that has gone into it, but I do have to give a special mention to the 3D model of the Houses of Parliament creatively put together by 7th Clitheroe (St Paul’s) Rainbows and Brownies.”

The Clitheroe Bonfire and organised fireworks display is a large-scale community event that draws thousands of people together from across the town and the Ribble Valley. Each year, thousands of pounds of proceeds are shared between two local charities – East Lancs Hospice and Ribble Valley Foodbank will receive donations each year - and the event is widely supported by members of Clitheroe’s many service club organisations including Pendle View Rotary Club, Clitheroe Lions, Clitheroe Rotary, Ribblesdale Rotary and Clitheroe Round Table.