Village's annual fireworks display is saved from the axe
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It was looking like this year’s Guy Fawkes night was going to be a damp squib for the Red Lion Hotel at Newburgh near Wigan after the organisation that had co-ordinated a spectacular display there every year since the early 1980s bowed out, citing rising costs and ageing volunteers.
But just when all seemed lost, a company has stepped in to restore the event in the local calendar.
The pub's general manager Nichola Scott said: “After the very sad and difficult decision from The Douglas Valley Lions to no longer continue with their annual display, after 40 very successful years, we felt compelled to step in and try to rescue this annual event, which has become a yearly tradition for so many within the local community.
"Alone, this task appeared daunting and, quite frankly, impossible, as we found ourselves facing the same issues as TDVL did. We knew it would take a miracle to bring the event back this year, due to how late in the year it is and the date fast approaching, but then along came Chris!
"Just as all hope was lost and defeat almost accepted, Chris Bampton, owner of Lakeside Fireworks (in Southport) reached out to see if we could keep the dream alive.
"We both agreed that this is an important community event, which has been a long-standing tradition within the local community, and it would be a real shame to not see its return. We also agree that a large, well-organised, insured event, is much safer and less of an nuisance to the local area then leaving people to have their own individual displays at home.
"Chris has been incredibly generous with his offering of putting on this year's display, meaning a 40-year-old tradition can hopefully live on long into the future. So those of you who remember coming here with your parents and now come along with your own children, can one day attend with your grandchildren and keep the memories alive.”
This year’s display will be held on Sunday November 5, with fireworks setting off at 6.30pm for around 30 minutes. Tickets will be £5 per person on the gate with under-threes free.