Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Summer fireworks saved

THIS year’s Henley summer fireworks have been saved.

Organisers have raised almost all the £12,000 required to stage the display tomorrow (Saturday) evening.

They had warned it may not go ahead due to a lack of funds and launched an appeal to raise half of the money through the Henley Standard.

The display dates back 125 years and is traditionally held on the eve of finals day at Henley Royal Regatta.

Richard Reed, one of the fund-raisers, said: “There has been an awful lot more in donations so thanks to the people of the town and the readers of the Standard whose generosity has helped us achieve almost all the £12,000.

“We have got a couple of pledges still to come in and if there are any issues we’ll cover the shortfall. Whatever happens, the fireworks will go ahead.

“Any more donations that come in over that amount will go towards next year’s display.

“I’m delighted — it has been a hell of a slog, it really has, but in the end it has all for the good. The display is a tradition that goes back more than 120 years and I think all the effort to save it was worth it.”

Mr Reed and town councillor Will Hamilton, who has also helped raise funds, each received a donation of £1,000 as well as £500 from Peter Adams, from Petersfield in Hampshire, who lived with his family in Albert Road in the Fifties.

Connie Butt, of River Terrace, Henley, raised £150 with bucket collections around the town.

Councillor Hamilton said: “I’m absolutely delighted because the good people of Henley have been very generous. Richard and I have worked very hard to make it happen and we’re delighted. We have now raised £12,000 three years running.

“We have come across some very generous people in the town who have decided that the fireworks are for everyone and have supported them.”

He became involved in the fund-raising effort when he was deputy mayor in 2016/17.

Cllr Hamilton said: “Having done it one year, I did it the next and I’ve carried on doing what I know is good for the town.”

Fantastic Fireworks will give the display on land owned by the Crockett family at Sham Hill, near Remenham, at about10.15pm. There will be a series of pink fireworks in the finale over Leander Club to celebrate its bicentenary this year.

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