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Bonfire and Fireworks
West Mid Showground
4/11/12

It was a chilly but thankfully dry Sunday afternoon as families huddled into the West Mid Show ground for an afternoon and evening of enjoyment. Brought to us by the West Mid Showground Organisers. Firstly, as the people poured in rather like Scott of the Antarctic they were oblivious to the cold. Luckily it didn’t rain but it felt sub-zero.

On entry one was met by a large car boot sale offering bargains galore for giveaway prices. Every body on the show ground was seen at one time or another looking out for bargains. Some of the sellers employing market seller’s skills and shouting their prices and wares. Having decided I had enough VHS tapes and more than enough books and plastic toys I had a look around the Farmer's Market with its cheeses and honey's then onto the fair ground. With it being not yet in action I was able to see what was there. Characteristically a fair comes to life when the rides are spinning, the brilliant artwork on the rides can be seen under the halogen lights and the air is filled with screams. Ah well that will come later.

And so it did, the darkness fell and the fair, like a dragon, awoke. There it was, the lights, the screams and the daring riders pushing their nerves to the extreme. By now the Car Boot had finished. Some sellers delighted at how much they shifted some disappointedly packing their unsold goods back into their car boots to prepare for the main thrust of the day; the Bonfire and Fireworks.

The Bonfire and Fireworks had drawn in masses of folk. One was unable to count but the number was certainly amongst the thousands. Suddenly the air crackled alive with the sound of my old colleague  Eric Smith. Star of BBC Radio Shropshire and star of this year’s pantomime at Theatre Severn. Eric was to be our guide for the night informing us when things might occur.

The Bonfire was a stunner it was a huge pile of wood that was certainly going to throw light and heat right up to the first safety line. People faces were seen glowing with the fire and the children’s were glowing with expectation.

Then bang the first firework was liberated. The sky was full of exploding sparks, whizzing their way around in the dark. Bang after bang the crowd got their money’s worth. The sky was torn open with stars, explosions, cascading sparks and orbs of colures strands would reach across the night to the usual oohs and ahs that such sights bring. With a huge firework that one would have imagined might have shattered every window pane in town the fireworks were over. Guy Fawkes’ dirty deeds had been remembered one more time.

The fair, the stalls, the food concessions were all still serving. Men and women were making for the bars children to the fair.  And the bands played on. This event had everything for a great traditional family day out and the organisers are to be congratulated for getting it just so right.

Organised events are a sure one fire way of keeping safe this bonfire night. I know there will be home  firework events but I will say that I hope you all stay safe and that maybe next year you will all be ready to celebrate again. That’ll teach the papist plotters never to try and blow up our beloved Houses Of Parliament ever again. Well done to all

This is a four star review.

Owen Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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