Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Please Don't Stop Our Fireworks Fun; Safety Fears Put a Dampener on Bonfire Celebrations

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Please Don't Stop Our Fireworks Fun; Safety Fears Put a Dampener on Bonfire Celebrations

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW GLOVER

A POPULAR fireworks display has been cancelled after police and council bosses ruled it was unsafe.

The bonfire in years gone by attracted hundreds of people to a small field in Chilton Gardens, Lobley Hill, Gateshead, with organisers spending thousands of pounds on fireworks.

The long-running event has been held by the Hall family who are well-known in the Gateshead area with an incredible 70 of them living on the same street in Lobley Hill.

Bobby Hall has been involved in organising the event for the last 25 years but he was told this week that he didn't have permission to go-ahead with tomorrow's display.

The 49-year-old dad of four saves up throughout the year to pay for the fireworks and has spent around pounds 2,500 on this year's display.

He said: "It's been going on for around 25 years now. The whole of Lobley Hill goes to it. Not just Lobley Hill either. People from Dunston and Teams come to us as well.

"This is the first year people have complained properly to us. We put bollards and cones up so the kids can't get near it, it's all taped off. The fireworks are set off 60 metres from where people are watching. There has never been any trouble."

Gateshead Council bosses and police have given Mr Hall advice how to properly organise the event in future and urged people to attend professionally managed events.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "We can confirm we've spoken to Mr Bobby Hall about a Bonfire Night event he's planning to organise after receiving complaints from residents and dangerous incidents over recent years.

"We've also provided him with guidance about the steps he needs to take to ensure his event is licensed and fully insured.

"He also needs to participate in training to become fully qualified in lighting fireworks at a public event. …

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