Friday, 24 September 2021

Fireworks rescue bid

A BID has been launched to save Henley’s annual summer fireworks

A BID has been launched to save Henley’s annual summer fireworks.

Last week, Billy Pinches, who has staged the event on his land at Meadows Farm since 2010, announced the display would not take place on the Saturday of this year’s Henley Royal Regatta as usual because he is selling the land and moving away. Now his brother Richard Pinches, who also owns a riverside plot off Marlow Road, is hoping to organise a smaller display this summer with a view to doing something bigger next year.

Speaking at a meeting of Henley Town Council on Tuesday, he said: “I would like to make it known that although my brother is leaving, part of Meadows Farm is in my ownership and I would like to think the fireworks can continue. They may be smaller this year and then greater next year.

“I have spoken with the people who provide the fireworks and they said they could do it at a reduced cost. This might make it more affordable.”

Councillor Will Hamilton said he Deputy Mayor Julian Brookes were also investigating ways to keep the display going and they had asked regatta chairman Sir Steve Redgrave for help.

He said: “A plan is in place to have them this year and I will come back with more information in due course.”

There has been a fireworks display on the Saturday night of the regatta for at least a century. It used to be held on the regatta’s land but was moved off after the summer of 2008.

It didn’t happen in 2009 but Mr Pinches revived it on his field the following year with help from Lady McAlpine, of Fawley Hill. The event was registered as a charity and proceeds were given to good causes in the area.

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