Newport fireworks display sparks criticism for second year running


Fireworks - Credit: Archant

The organisers of an annual fireworks event in Newport have defended an attack on its “inappropriate” celebration of Guy Fawkes day.

They argue the pageant is uniquely different from other displays, and honours the fallen of the First World War as well as the foiling of the gunpowder plot.

It is the second year the show has sparked questions over good taste – with a concerned resident asking whether a pyrotechnical ‘salute to the Somme’ is entirely appropriate.

“I imagine those souls who suffered the horrors of, and gave their lives in, the Somme would rather be remembered in an appropriately peaceful way on November 11 or Remembrance Sunday, than as a fireworks night gimmick,” said mother-of-two Jilly McNaughton, 36, who lives in Arkesden.

The complaint comes after last year’s organisers were accused of “inciting hatred” after burning an effigy of a housing development in Bury Water Lane, emblazoned with ‘Whiteditch Lane’.

A spokesman for the Newport Firework Committee defended this year’s display, which is held on Wednesday, November 5 on the Recreation Grounds.

“The Newport firework show is different from many others that celebrate the failure of the Guy Fawkes plotters to blow up the House of Lords,” he said.

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“The Newport event, rather, is a pageant whose theme changes every year and has become renowned for its interpretation of other historical events.

“In previous years we have marked the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the 40th anniversary of the moon landing.”

He added: “It is difficult to have a firework pageant, without it being loud, but sections of the show will also attempt to reflect the sadness and huge losses endured by families in the great conflict.

“And we hope that lots of people will come along and see for themselves and support this community event and local charities.”