THEY lit up an inky black sky, filling it with bright and dazzling colours.
Thousands of people turned out to the annual fireworks show and bonfire at the King George V Playing Fields in Cosham, Portsmouth, last night.
Families, friends and couples packed out the field and enjoyed entertainment and food, before the main event.
A funfair was on the field and there were many food stalls for people to enjoy.
Gareth Colley, 31, of Curlew Path, Southsea, went along with his wife Dee, 29, and three children Abbi, six, Lotti, five, and Sienna, four.
He said: ‘It’s the first year we have been to this event as the girls are older now.
‘It was really fun and there was plenty to do for the children.
‘They enjoyed going on the different rides and it was a great family evening.’
The 20-minute display was launched by Portsmouth Lord Mayor Councillor Steve Wylie.
He said: ‘It was great to see so many people attend. Portsmouth is always very good at supporting community events and that was really demonstrated last night.’
And the evening was not complete until the bonfire was lit. As reported, the bonfire had initially been axed by the previous Lib Dem council to save £4,600 while ensuring the fireworks went ahead and a funfair was brought back for the first time in years.
But Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, persuaded a business to contribute all the wood and clean-up equipment needed afterwards so the bonfire went ahead.
L&S Waste Management Ltd, which has offices in Portsmouth and Fareham, has agreed to provide firewood, as well as lorries and skips to help clear up afterwards, for coming years.
Cllr Jones said: ‘I was really chuffed to see the number of people turn out and see the brilliant fireworks display, and to see the bonfire.
‘The bonfire has been here for many years and it’s something hardworking people in Portsmouth should enjoy. I am very grateful to L&S Waste Management for helping us out.
‘Because of the costs they are covering, the council is only spending £200 to plant grass seeds on the field – that’s brilliant.’
And families flocked to see the bright bonfire.
Amy Whiteaway, of Martin Road, Baffins, said: ‘I come here with my family because it’s a great event, and the bonfire is a big part of that.
‘We also enjoyed the funfair and the kids had lots of fun.’
Last night also saw a Havant display at Stockheath Common, which was attened by hundreds of people.
- A specialist team set up to put out unauthorised bonfires were called out at least 13 times yesterday evening in Portsmouth.
The Bonfire Assessment Unit includes Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, and Southsea fire station said it was called out 13 times.
Calls were to areas across the city and crews put out potentially dangerous fires and damped down bonfires that had ended.