I couldn’t believe I got the wrong night for fireworks

A Guildhall vigil for victims of the Manchester bombing. Picture: Keith Woodland

BLAISE TAPP: Finding some light in the darkest of times for Britain

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I was determined this week that I wasn’t going to spend the best part of my evenings sat in front of the TV.

We tend to do that during the week – sit in front of the screen and watch endless programme after programme.

But with the fireworks festivities going on, I decided that for one night at least we were going to get out and about.

So on Tuesday I announced to my partner Matt that we were going to get up off the couch and drive to Portsdown Hill to watch the big city fireworks display at King George V playing fields, Cosham.

He claimed the traffic would ‘be a nightmare’ and that it would be ‘too cold’.

But I’d made the decision, so we were going. I checked online the time the fireworks would be going off – it was 7.30pm, so at 6.30pm we set off in the car.

As we approached Hilsea I started feeling a bit smug. As we were an hour early, the roads were relatively clear.

But as soon as we hit Cosham I did start wondering what on earth was going on. Where was everyone?

I’ve gone to the Cosham fireworks display for years and years, so I know that there are usually people and cars everywhere.

Matt looked at me and asked: ‘Are you sure it’s tonight Cheryl, because it’s usually always held on a Wednesday.’

I said: ‘Yes of course, I’m not that stupid. I looked online and it’s the 5th.’

But by this point I was starting to doubt myself – where was everyone?

But as we approached Portsdown Hill my concerns faded as I saw cars all the way along the hill trying to find a parking space so they too could watch the fireworks. I’ve never been so relieved to see a traffic jam.

Parking on the verge near Mick’s Monster Burgers van, we stayed in the car until it was about 7.25pm and then joined the throngs of people waiting for the fireworks to begin.

By 7.35pm I assumed there was the usual delay you get at a huge public fireworks display. But by 7.45pm I was feeling cold to the bone and by 8pm we went back to the car to listen to the radio to see if there was any reason for the delay.

At 8.15pm one of the presenters on the radio was saying how much he was looking forward to the fireworks – the next day. I couldn’t believe it!

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