Long Wittenham’s tenth annual bonfire and fireworks display on Saturday 3rd November was a huge success. Watched by 420 people in Ward’s Field, the event raised more than £1,700 for local causes.
The attendance was slightly down on previous years which, combined with the additional spending on fireworks to celebrate the 10th anniversary, meant profits were slightly reduced, but the event still generated a healthy profit for local causes. A list of suggested beneficiaries is being considered by the organisers.
It was an emotional night for the two principal organisers Emma Newman and Sarah Bowden who stepped down after five years at the helm. The new organisers are Nick and Jenny Caw who live in the village.
Mrs Newman and Mrs Bowden were presented with bouquets of flowers as a token of appreciation from the village for their work over the last five years. In four years more than £6,000 has been raised benefitting charities and groups in the village. This year’s profits will boost donations to nearly £8,000.
What began 15 years ago as a modest event in Mike and Sally Duff’s field off Fieldside has grown into one of the leading events in the Long Wittenham social calendar. Parish council Chairman Gordon Rogers praised the work of Mrs Newman, Mrs Bowden and their team in helping create a valuable source of income for groups in the village.
He said: “Long Wittenham is deeply indebted to the bonfire night team for all their hard work over the years. Without them village organisations would be much poorer. I am sure Emma and Sarah’s successors Nick and Jenny Caw will do a grand job in taking the event forward and build on the legacy.”
Pride of place on top of the blazing bonfire was a creation of the Richardson family, Emily and Tom and their two children Eleanor aged three and her six-year-old sister Georgia. The effigies were the scarecrow wedding from the children’s book by Julia Donaldson. The family’s prize was a ticket to the Oxford Ice Rink.
The other guys created for the night came from the Mortimer family with The Creep from Minecraft and President Putin made by the Crosskey family.
The new bonfire night organisers Nick and Jenny Caw have set up a special email address for people to contact with suggestions or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Evelyn Crosskey and Peter Greenland for the photos below.