Charity firework bonanza

THOUSANDS of people are expected to enjoy organised bonfires across Chorley and Leyland this weekend.

Chorley Lions hold their 29th annual bonfire and fireworks display in Chorley's Astley Park on Saturday, November 4.

Silcock's Fair will put on rides, sideshows and refreshments will be available.

The gates open at 5.30pm with the torchlight procession from the park gates at 6.45pm. The bonfire will be lit at 7pm by the Mayor of Chorley Coun Mary Wilson and the firework display is planned for 7.30pm.

Lions member Tony Ratcliffe said: "This is our 29th event and we want people to come along and enjoy it. No private fireworks or sparklers will be permitted. All money raised will go to local charities."

The event is sponsored by Chorley Building Society and admission is 3 for adults and 1 for children and senior citizens.

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The other organised bonfire to be held in Chorley is in Duxbury Park.

The annual bonfire and firework display - set to music - is organised by the Red Bank Scout Group.

It will also be held on Saturday, November 4, with gates opening at 6pm and the fire lit at 6.30pm, admission is free.

Colin Beesley, acting assistant group scout leader, said: "Any donations towards costs are welcome. Because we do not charge an entry fee, we operate purely on donations from the visiting public and the support of local businesses.

"On the night, we provide a professional size bonfire and fireworks display fired by skilled and trained volunteers. All profits are put towards Scout Group funds for the benefit of young people aged six to 14 years."

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On Sunday, November 5, Worden Park, Leyland, will be the scene of the annual Leyland Round table bonfire with the Stanley Cubbins Family Funfair.

Billed as the biggest bonfire and fireworks display in the North West, the event raises money for local charities and good causes.

The bonfire will be lit by the Mayor of South Ribble Coun David Watts at 6.30pm with the countdown to the fireworks starting at 7.30pm.

Admission is 3 for adults and 2 for chldren.

Fire services, the police and Chorley Council have joined forces to urge people to 'Be Bright Sparx' and attend an organised bonfire and firework displays this weekend.

The major bonfire and firework safety campaign is aimed at reducing injuries, anti-social behaviour and damage to property and also to educate people about the dangers.

Chorley Council staff have been dismantling and removing large piles of rubbish across the borough which could prove hazardous if set alight. They have also been working closely with local police and Police Community Support Officers to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Coun Eric Bell, executive member for streetscene, neighbourhoods and environment, said: "There are too many young people injured each year through irresponsible use of fireworks or because they build bonfires in inappropriate places.

"Fireworks are safe if used properly and the message is simple - Be a Bright Sparx, enjoy Bonfire Night but please be responsible."

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle has tabled an Early Day Motion calling for a ban on the sale of private fireworks following complaints from constituents of anti-social behaviour, and distressed pets, in the run up to Bonfire Night.

He would like to see only organised displays under licence from the local authority.