50,000 watch Darlington fireworks display facing axe in austerity cuts

The Northern Echo: SUPER SHOW: The Darlington fireworks display in its full glory SUPER SHOW: The Darlington fireworks display in its full glory

A POPULAR fireworks display enjoyed one of its biggest ever turnouts this weekend – but may be axed next year due to council budget cuts.

South Park was full to capacity on Saturday after 50,000 people turned out to watch Darlington Borough Council’s free annual fireworks display.

This year, the theme was Saturday Night at the Movies, with displays set to music eliciting cheers from the crowd.

However, the event may not go ahead next year as councillors have proposed to scrap the bonfire and fireworks spectacular in a bid to save a total of £22m of its budget over the next four years.

The news comes as fire brigades across the North- East announced a fairly uneventful Bonfire Night weekend, with no serious incidents reported by any of the forces.

The forces have attributed this to a campaign of education getting through – a cornerstone of which is advising people to attend organised displays, such as the one in South Park.

In County Durham and Darlington, fire crews attended six bonfire-related incidents, compared with 48 incidents last year.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said the 87.5 per cent decrease was largely a result of their bonfire campaign.

Crews were kept busy with the aftermath of a major factory fire in Newton Aycliffe, which started shortly before 1pm and involved 12 appliances and two aerial ladder platforms.

Paul Reay, director of community safety, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to continue the reduction in the number of bonfirerelated incidents requiring our attendance over the past four years. To achieve a reduction shows the dedication of all our staff to work towards the service’s vision of Safest People, Safest Places.”

In the Northumbria Police force area, no major incidents were reported, although officers attended a total of 505 bonfire and firework-related incidents between 4pm on Friday and 1am on Saturday.

Four arrests were made.

Chief Inspector Bob Ryan, of Northumbria Police’s harm reduction department, said: “We are pleased to report that Bonfire Night passed without any major police incidents.

“Most people appear to have listened to advice given by ourselves and the fire service to attend pre-organised bonfire and firework displays, which are monitored by the emergency services and are managed with safety in mind.

“It also indicates that key safety messages and advice given out in this year’s safety campaign – which aimed to reduce injuries and deaths caused by bonfires and fireworks – have registered.”

In Teesside, it was also a fairly quiet Bonfire Night, with no major incidents.

A Cleveland Fire Brigade spokeswoman said: “There were a high number of callouts due to the time of year, but no major incidents.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire Service also reported no serious incidents.

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:09am Mon 8 Nov 10

merryn says...

fireworks were great however i was dissapointed by the lack of entertainment on offer. not even so much as a count down to the start of the fireworks or the bombfire. considering what we have had on offer in previous years it was a let down.
fireworks were great however i was dissapointed by the lack of entertainment on offer. not even so much as a count down to the start of the fireworks or the bombfire. considering what we have had on offer in previous years it was a let down. merryn
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Mon 8 Nov 10

Colcat says...

If you wanted a countdown you should have gone to the Redcar and Cleveland display:
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, whizz, 2, bang, pop, whistle, wow!
If you wanted a countdown you should have gone to the Redcar and Cleveland display: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, whizz, 2, bang, pop, whistle, wow! Colcat
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Mon 8 Nov 10

ted1 says...

There is no need to axe the fireworks, if everyone there paid £1 or even 50p, coupled with the rent charged to the fairground ride owners, the show could go on again next year.

Another great display this year! I've been going every year for the last 5 years and have never been disappointed.
There is no need to axe the fireworks, if everyone there paid £1 or even 50p, coupled with the rent charged to the fairground ride owners, the show could go on again next year. Another great display this year! I've been going every year for the last 5 years and have never been disappointed. ted1
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Mon 8 Nov 10

harry2 says...

i loved the fireworks as i always do, but it does amaze me how they know there were 50,000 people there.

it would be a great shame if it is axed

but if its a choice of the fireworks or a few pwoplw losing there jobs a would go for the jobs .
i loved the fireworks as i always do, but it does amaze me how they know there were 50,000 people there. it would be a great shame if it is axed but if its a choice of the fireworks or a few pwoplw losing there jobs a would go for the jobs . harry2
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Mon 8 Nov 10

seedee81 says...

I enjoyed the fireworks, but thought it was a disgrace at the violence around young children, a fight broke out and not a single steward or police officer even came anywhere near the incident. It ruined the night for myself and my children and would make me think twice at going again to such an event which has poor security in place.
I enjoyed the fireworks, but thought it was a disgrace at the violence around young children, a fight broke out and not a single steward or police officer even came anywhere near the incident. It ruined the night for myself and my children and would make me think twice at going again to such an event which has poor security in place. seedee81
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Mon 8 Nov 10

KellyDton says...

I stopped going to the south park years ago due to the kids drinking and fighting down there. Not somewhere i want to take my kids to see. We do however watch them from a distance. After speaking to people this weekend in relation to the fireworks at the south park, I was suprised at how many people do not go for the same reason. Shame really as it had the potential to make a lot of money for the council if marketed well and be a fantastic family evening!
I stopped going to the south park years ago due to the kids drinking and fighting down there. Not somewhere i want to take my kids to see. We do however watch them from a distance. After speaking to people this weekend in relation to the fireworks at the south park, I was suprised at how many people do not go for the same reason. Shame really as it had the potential to make a lot of money for the council if marketed well and be a fantastic family evening! KellyDton
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Mon 8 Nov 10

Axziz68 says...

As you said maybee a small charge of £1 for adults and 50p per child would keep this going.. even if 20,000 people payed at the gates for a one time a year event . If they can drink and smoke all week whats a pound to them..
As you said maybee a small charge of £1 for adults and 50p per child would keep this going.. even if 20,000 people payed at the gates for a one time a year event . If they can drink and smoke all week whats a pound to them.. Axziz68
  • Score: 0

3:03pm Tue 9 Nov 10

john a. barr says...

The smoke and fumes from the fireworks have now gone,so I only have the traffic fumes to make my breathing,more arduous
The smoke and fumes from the fireworks have now gone,so I only have the traffic fumes to make my breathing,more arduous john a. barr
  • Score: 0

9:44pm Tue 9 Nov 10

Darlo Mother says...

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the event, we didn't witness any trouble, fighting or alcohol, but sorry for anyone who did. The fireworks were excellent as was the music, was a shame the event wasn't supported by our local radio station, just some recorded announcements by Real Radio's Gary and Lisa. Would not hesitate to pay a few pounds admission next year if the event was to go ahead again.
My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the event, we didn't witness any trouble, fighting or alcohol, but sorry for anyone who did. The fireworks were excellent as was the music, was a shame the event wasn't supported by our local radio station, just some recorded announcements by Real Radio's Gary and Lisa. Would not hesitate to pay a few pounds admission next year if the event was to go ahead again. Darlo Mother
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree