December 10 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, October 27, 2013
One of Suffolk’s best-attended firework displays is set to sparkle again this year for the 45th bonfire night in a row – and organisers are hoping it won’t be the last.
The Big Night Out, set in the grounds of historic Long Melford Hall, is watched by around 10,000 people and raises up to £20,000 annually for charity.
Fundraising group Project Seven’s colourful pyrotechnic display – with a Best of British theme – is set to light up the skies over the west of the county on November 1.
The fireworks will be accompanied by a soundtrack of musical classics, including The Clash’s London’s Burning and Set Fire To The Rain, by Adele.
Every year since the firework extravaganza began, pupils at Long Melford Primary School have taken part in a competition to design the best guy to top the fire.
Taking pride of place this year will be a Guy Fawkes, complete with trademark beard, long hair and shiny boots, artfully created by seven-year-old pupil Lewis Bedwell. Lewis’ mother Karen also won the guy competition when she was a pupil at the school, so it has become something of a family tradition.
Eight-year-old Katie Lloyd’s creation took second prize, while Joshua Andrews, seven, and Jack Rogerson, four, came third and fourth.
Andrew Hagger, president of the Big Night Out organising committee, said: “It introduces children to the story of Guy Fawkes but also as the event has grown over the years, the competition has kept the village in touch with what essentially started as a community event.”
The first Big Night Out – which always takes place on the Friday closest to Guy Fawkes’ Night – was organised by the Long Melford Community Association in 1968.
But last December, Mr Hagger announced this year’s event could be the last unless new members could be found to keep the fireworks spectacular alive.
He added: “It is an extremely well-attended event that has become something of an icon in the area and it would be very hard to imagine Guy Fawkes night without there being a Big Night Out. We put out an urgent plea for volunteers and we have had two new members come forward to join the committee, but it takes a lot of hard work behind the scenes to keep it going. We will have to take a view after this year’s event and make a decision then about whether we can continue.”
Project Seven, which has raised more than £500,000 for good causes, has run the firework spectacular since 1982.