Winds scupper plans for Woking’s annual fireworks display

HEALTH and Safety extinguished Woking’s hope of putting on a stunning fireworks display over the weekend.

The charges were primed and residents set for Woking Round Table’s annual big bang bonanza on Saturday, but blustery conditions meant fuses remained un-lit in Woking Park.

But the organisers’ decision to pull the plug on the event seemed a debatable one as fireworks continued to screech into the sky at neighbouring displays.

Over in Knaphill, the Scouts triumphed over nature’s tribulation with a long and colourful sequence of booms and blasts, while gardens across the borough also remembered gunpowder, treason and plot with smaller, personal demonstrations.

To make matters worse for disgruntled families who had been looking forward to going, there are no plans to reschedule the event.

Woking Round Table have also ruled out a refund, but have promised to honour tickets purchased for this year’s event at the 2014 display.

A statement posted on the organisation’s website said: “Woking Round Table are extremely disappointed that the fireworks were not able to be set off at this year’s event.

“Due to the prevailing direction and strength of the wind, and after several tests with low, medium and high altitude fireworks, the senior firer for the event determined that it was not safe to proceed with the display.

“This decision was not taken lightly, but the safety of the public is of paramount importance.”

Officials gave winds as long as possible to subside, but in the end a decision to cancel was reached.

The statement continued: “We had already tried to mitigate the weather conditions by adjusting the fallout zone and crowd area, and repositioning the firing and tube angles, but it became clear after the test firing at 6.20pm that there was a significant risk of firework fallout directly into the crowd, and over White Rose Lane and the surrounding houses.

“As soon as we were notified of the senior firer’s decision, we initiated the contingency plan by opening all gates with no entry charges to enable people to enjoy the funfair and music.

“Woking Fireworks are organised by the volunteers of Woking Round Table as a community event to raise funds that are used to help many local causes. We are a small social club and because we self-insure the event costs, we are very grateful for the continued support from all the people of Woking and we thank everyone for their understanding and patience.

“If you purchased tickets from the Pool in the Park, we have decided we will honour them at next year’s Woking Fireworks. But we are sorry that neither we, nor Freedom Leisure, are able to provide any refunds.”

Woking Borough Council confirmed they support the group’s decision not to offer a refund at this time.

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