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Newbury Racecourse fireworks display officially BACK ON

With a little help from the NWN, the popular event will be back with a bang this year

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

Newbury Racecourse fireworks display officially BACK ON

Newbury’s largest fireworks display is officially back on, with the help of the Newbury Weekly News.

Six weeks ago the NWN revealed that the popular display would have to be called off for the first time in 35 years, after organisers said they couldn’t afford to pay for enhanced traffic measures, while there were also other issues.

But after weeks of discussion, the Lions Club of Newbury, which puts on the event, and Newbury Racecourse, which hosts it, have managed to reach an agreement.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, November 12.

The NWN has contributed £500 towards the additional costs the Lions Club of Newbury will incur and has also facilitated meetings between the Lions and Newbury Racecourse.

Organisers admit they have ‘taken a risk’, but say they have listened and responded to the public’s concerns.

Events co-ordinator Judith Colby said: “We have a big task ahead of us, trying to do in less than six weeks what normally takes months of planning.

“I am appealing to everyone in the community to support our efforts so we can produce a display that is up to our usual high standards.”

Newbury Weekly News editor Andy Murrill said: “We are delighted to have played a part in getting this popular event up and running again.

“I hope the people of Newbury now rally behind the Lions by offering support for the event and, of course, turning out in their thousands on Saturday, November 12.”

However, with less than six weeks to go until the big event, organisers are appealing for people to help in any way they can – be it volunteering or providing financial assistance.

Lions Club of Newbury president Drew Watson said: “We had a magnificent response from the public when we announced that we would not be holding our fireworks event this year.

“Although not ideal due to some additional costs, we have decided to take the risk and hope that the public will support us at the fireworks event.”

Over the years, the fireworks display has raised in excess of £250,000 for charity and last year there was a record attendance.

However, a series of traffic problems for people leaving the site, with some vehicles left abandoned and queues of cars taking hours to leave, put this year’s event in jeopardy.

This year, the single point of access to the racecourse for the fireworks display will be via the new bridge from Hambridge Road. Extra car parking spaces will also be available.

Newbury Weekly News chief executive James Gurney said: “The annual fireworks display is a wonderful event that is much-loved by families in West Berkshire.

“We were very disappointed to hear that it had been cancelled, so we made a few phone calls to see if we could help get it back on.

“As a committed community newspaper, we are delighted to have played a part in saving the fireworks display and we hope the Lions raise a lot of money for charity on November 12. “

NWN chairman Jeremy Willis added: “We are delighted that the Lions’ fireworks display at the racecourse is back on track again.

“So many charities benefit from the money raised at this event owing to the hard work of the Lions and the great support from the racecourse.

“This is one of the highlights in the Newbury calendar and it benefits the community in which we all serve.”

Over the next few weeks the Newbury Weekly News will be publishing more information about ticket sales and the best way of accessing the racecourse by car.

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Article comments

  • AngryAl

    31/10/2017 - 10:10

    Sorry - i would have prefered it if had been cancelled - the firework display is a nuisance to local residents - the magnitude of fireworks used is totally unnecessary and to that person below who comented about it being for kids - neither of my kids like it, and my niece will only watch them if she has ear defenders on Hardly???? It's a nightmare night that is to be endured and survived .......... and don't even get me started on the distress to animals caused. Please cancel it next year and put the money into local services !!!!


  • PeterMarshall

    10/10/2016 - 08:08

    Now the red tape has been stepped up it takes the rest of us more time, effort and money to stage the same event! Another pyrrhic victory for Newbury


  • NewburyDenizen

    07/10/2016 - 13:01

    I don't see the appeal in shooting money into the sky for the sake of a simple light show.. simple entertainment for simple folks I guess.


    • Streetbloke

      07/10/2016 - 16:04

      Well, it's mainly for children. You miserable shit.


      • gumby

        08/10/2016 - 17:05

        Well put


  • NWN_reader

    07/10/2016 - 12:12

    Extract from the Lions Club website: Your Lions Club needs YOU!! For our fireworks display to go ahead, we need help with the following: •The loan (or cheap hire) of a large marquee •Sponsorship: Businesses who donate funds will be recognised by a mention in the Newbury Weekly News and on their website, Newbury Today •Transport to move equipment from our storage barn in Theale to the racecourse and return •Volunteers to hand out flyers and sell tickets from our market stall in Newbury on Saturdays Oct 29th & Nov 5th •Volunteers to help set up on the morning of Sat 12th November and take down on Sunday 13th November •Volunteers to help at the event itself on Saturday 12th between 5.30pm and 9pm


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