Blackheath Fireworks

I’ve been going to the Blackheath fireworks for years, usually with a large group of friends and family. It’s one of the highlights of the Phantom Year, but I have a horrid feeling this one may be the last for some time.

If memory serves, about 80,000 people make the trip up the hill to see the show, and one of the reasons why it has to be free is that there are just so many entrances to a public heath that, unlike many boroughs, it’s impossible to fence-off a paid-for area for people to stand in.

That’s Greenwich residents as well as Lewisham people, but you wouldn’t know it from the way Greenwich Council dumped on Lewisham a few weeks ago, pulling out of their part of the shared-costs agreement and leaving Lewisham to foot the bill.

I know things are tight and they’re frankly getting tighter, but this, to me was downright shabby of Greenwich. I could understand if, with proper notice,  they pulled out of next year’s extravaganza (though I hope against hope the fireworks can still happen) but this year? With just weeks to go and, presumably contracts all signed?

I don’t normally have the time of day for Lewisham Council, but I feel for a bunch of people left holding the sparkly baby, to honour, presumably, committments already made.

I’m sure you’ve come across the cyber-begging bowl already, but I’m mentioning it again. I enjoy those fireworks hugely and I am happy to help out on this occasion. If you feel the same, you can easily make a Paypal or similar donation here.

I truly hope this won’t be the end of the Blackheath fireworks; that local firms, like the ones who have already stepped in to help this year at short notice, will make a more long-term comitiment. I name – and thank - them here:

Glendale

The Clarendon Hotel

Chapters

Bella Vista

Everest Inn.

No thanks to Greenwich Council.


13 Comments to “Blackheath Fireworks”

  1. IanVisits says:

    Considering that the fireworks apparently cost £1 per person to put on, I don’t know why they didn’t just go for the “voluntary donation” option and have people with buckets at the main locations collecting funds.

    Some people will choose not to pay, but most will, and probably put in more than a quid each as people tend to feel more generous to “donations” than they do towards a formal ticket price.

    You never know, the council could even turn a tidy profit.

  2. John says:

    There’s a bit more information on the facebook site – hope this link http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=159433837401638 works.

  3. Sam says:

    That is disgusting of Greenwich council !!
    Donation buckets are a realy good idea.

  4. Steve says:

    £10 donated.

    Why do people continue to vote for this council?

  5. scared of chives says:

    …at least we don’t have to pay for* a load of ponces to gallop around Greenwich Park for a few days…oh..

    *£ est.42million..?

  6. Mike says:

    I must say that I really enjoy watching the fireworks, but I do find it a bit strange that the local Councils do fund this type of ‘Public Good’ at all.
    Having said that, they have done in the past, and I really can’t see why Greenwich Council have pulled their funding at this late stage. Surely their budgets were set ages ago, and Central Govt haven’t cut their funding yet. Did they give a (valid) reason?

  7. Brenda says:

    Mike you will find more of the story on Darryl’s blog. If im able to post a link?

    http://853blog.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/greenwich-time-behind-times-with-blackheath-fireworks/

  8. William says:

    I think some perspective is needed. This is a fireworks display and a very extravagent one at that, if 80,000 attend and all pay a pound surely that will cover the costs. If the event has to be scaled down then so be it. People have become accustomed to everything being provided for them. Now is the time for people to stand up and be counted if they really want the event to continue year upon year.

  9. Mark says:

    The Eltham November fireworks have been cancelled as well. Shame really.

  10. Simon says:

    Hi mark

    Sorry to hear that but like others have said we are in dark times financially and why should the council be EXPECTED to pick up the tab when funding cuts mean that they will have to cut frontline service of which fireworks is not one. Give me street sweepers instead of gunpowder anyday!

    From your profile I can see you run a local publishing business. Have you offered to sponsor the event – or chipped in like businesses in Blackheath?

  11. Jane says:

    I am lucky I can see the hill from my Window at Royal Victoria Dock so I dont have to leave the house.

    Fabulous fireworks always…

  12. darryl says:

    This isn’t a “street sweepers versus gunpowder” argument – especially when Greenwich is happy to spend £30k on private piss-ups whenever it gets a new mayor.

    http://853blog.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/greenwich-council-cut-fireworks-but-kept-mayors-party/

  13. James says:

    Wow.

    That’s staggering that Greenwich Council would spend that much on a private bash.

    A private bash for a NEW MAYOR of all things.

    I’ll continue to read your blog. ^^