The theme was "The Olympics" and fireworks were choreographed to songs chosen to celebrate GB teams success in the summer.
New Ash Green Fireworks 2016...
what a night!!
So we knew we had to do something special as the 5th of November fell on a Saturday so popular demand saw the return of the fireworks bonfire!!. The bonfire was stopped some 10 -15 years ago due to the increased risk, (and insurance costs); so bringing it back was always going to be a challenge and more than doubled the complexity and setup time of the event, (I never want to see another risk assessment ever again). But if the feedback was anything to go by IT WAS SO WORTH IT!!
The VA Greenland’s team were brilliant, and built the bonfire throughout the day. They clearly ignored the brief for a modest pyre for our first bonfire in years… what we actually got was structure roughly the size of a small bungalow, and almost as complex in its construction. This was topped off with a 6ft Guy, whom I suspect was more concerned about falling off than he was about the bonfire being lit!
There was so much more to do this year and we are indebted to the nag social team and a band of volunteers who helped set up throughout the day to ensure it was both entertaining and safe. The VA were incredibly supportive and provided us with the Greenland’s team ……………. Who helped us for the entire day with the tractor/trailer and their bonfire building skills “Thank you guys!”
So…. It all went without a hitch then!! Erm..not quite!..... Our normal fireworks company was not able to attend this year, (disappointing, as we had been working with them for years). However the new company came highly recommended as specialists in computer fired displays, choreographed to music. Unfortunately a major computer problem meant the display on the night had to be fired manually, which I think reflected in the display. Furthermore several of the big finale fireworks misfired, so not quite the big bang ending that we have come to expect for a New Ash Green display. To be fair to the display team worked incredibly hard to recover the situation throughout the day just to provide us a display, and no one could be more frustrated than they were when it didn’t quite exceed previous years.
Oh yes… and there was “Rafa the stunt kitten”.. who decided to go wandering into the “firing zone” 3 minutes before the display started. This provided some unexpected entertainment, whilst several marshals chased the furry ball of mischief around the field. I am pleased to say I got him, (to cheer and applause from the crowd), albeit Rafa showed his disapproval, (or just how scared he was), and I can tell you my reflective jacket will never smell quite the same again!!!!
Huge thanks to Deborah Manley (a past chair of nagsocial), who “volunteered” to take Rafa home and managed to reunite him with his owners, (facebook is brilliant for that!). Apparently this chap has a reputation as an explorer and escape artist. Suspect he may have his own twitter following soon!!!
No compromise to safety.. With the extra challenges we gave ourselves, we knew safety was our highest priority. We are grateful to the fire and police authorities for their advice and review of our risk assessments. (Both organizations were in attendance and were very impressed). We invested heavily in additional lighting, and this seemed to work well. Above all we are massively indebted to all those who volunteered as marshals on the night, without our regular marshals and those that joined us for the first time this year, this event could not have happened. Thank you!!
Despite the challenges, a great night was had by all…. If the social media and survey feedback is anything to go by, a great time was had by all. Ticket sales suggests this was the biggest attended event ever!!
The bonfire was well received and the fireworks this year had an Olympics theme, celebrating our success those games and the Para-Olympics.
As ever the whole NAG social team worked incredibly hard all day setting up the event, ticket selling and marshaling on the night.
There are simply too many people to thank individually, but a few are worthy of mention due to the weeks of preparation leading up to the event, these include:- Dean Gorton- Event lead / head marshal; James Hughesdon– Sound and lighting; Trevor - Ticket sales and Sara Appleton – flashy thing sales. Our appreciation also goes out to our sponsors Pets Pantry and DA3 Magazine who are always a huge support.
A huge thanks to our volunteers and sponsors! Without the support of these local people and companies this event, and others like, it wouldn't be possible.
If you would like to Volunteer to be a marshal, or to just to help set-up and take down the event please use us using contact link at the top of this page. We are always looking for more help!