Tonight I was invited to a bonfire and fireworks celebration at St Boniface Church, Quinton but unfortunately I was unable to go as I was at our pre-Council Group meeting. I did however go to the Council bonfire at Pype Hayes on Saturday and it was very good.
The Council used to hold a bonfire at Senneleys Park in Bartley Green which we always took our children to when they were young. However the park was prone to getting water-logged and eventually the venue was dropped from the itinary. A Council firework event was then held at the Edgbaston County Ground for a few years. Personally I never thought this worked as well as in a park and I understand the ground was getting damaged so Warwickshire Cricket club pulled out after last year. Hence my trip to Pype Hayes this year.
For safety and noise reasons, I believe public bonfires are better. Each year I receive a number of complaints about firework noise and this year is no exception. The Government brought in changes to make it illegal to release fireworks after 11.00pm (midnight on certain nights of the year and tonight is one). But this is practically impossible to police. It also does nothing to deal with the problem of people whose pets are terrorised night after night (but earlier in the evening) by extremely loud fireworks being let off in close proximity to other houses.
I believe it would be better to limit the size of fireworks which are available to the general public. Back garden displays used to consist of relatively small fireworks – but not any more.
Many now are so big and so noisy that they really ought only to be used in proper organised displays many yards away from neighbouring houses. Limits on what can be bought could be the way forward.