Round Table fireworks raise record sum
Crowds enjoy the Downend display Photo: Sean Young
DOWNEND'S fireworks display raised a record £45,000 as the event celebrated its 50th anniversary.
But thieves have put a dent in the amount which will be available for good causes by stealing a generator which was hired to light the display site on King George V playing fields.
Organisers Downend Round Table said around 12,000 people attended the event on King George V playing fields on November 5 - more than in any of the previous five years.
Numbers were limited to ensure some distancing could take place on the site - and for the first time ever the event sold out in advance, with no tickets available on the gate.
Downend Round Table Fireworks chairman Paul Wells said the event had gone well overall.
He said: "We've had some very positive comments - the display was really well-received."
Display technicians added extra fireworks to mark the 50th anniversary and thank the crowd for their support.
Paul said: "It was almost like a third display at the end, and went down really well."
Fundraising efforts were hit by the theft of a generator, one of several hired to power the lights.
The white Stephill 6Kva diesel generator, which was about the size of a washing machine and had wheels and handles like a wheelbarrow, is believed to have been stolen sometime between 9pm and 10.30pm from the narrow area between the two main fields, near to Mangotsfield Cemetery and Farm Court.
Paul said it would have taken two people to take the generator and lift it onto a vehicle. The Round Table has yet to be billed by the owner but replacing it could cost the volunteers up to £4,000.
Police are appealing for anyone with information about the theft to call 101 and quote the crime reference number 5221 262 518.
Organisers stopped some people trying to get onto the site without tickets and there were also reports of scammers trying to sell fake tickets online after the event sold out.
A team of 11 volunteers organised, set up and cleared the display, spending two and a half days on the site, with planning having started in January.
On the night they were supported by stewards from the Downend 41 Club and Fishponds & Downend Rotary, by Fishponds Baptist 55th Guides, who sold glow-in-the-dark toys, and the 78th Kingswood Scouts, who helped pick up litter after the event, as well as Mama Bears nursery who provided a lost children service and sponsors Great Western Brewery.
Local charities, groups and causes who would like to apply for a grant from the money raised should contact the Round Table via Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get involved with round Table email email@example.com.