Southill fireworks display in Weymouth scrap 2012 event

Dorset Echo: BANG: The fireworks in full flow BANG: The fireworks in full flow

A POPULAR fireworks fund-raiser has been axed this year.

Jon Gabb, organiser of the Southill Fireworks display in Weymouth, has scrapped the event for 2012 after last year saw an increase in the number of traders illegally hawking goods on the site.

He plans to bring the event back in November 2013 in a new location that will give organisers more control over unlicensed traders.

Last year the 15th Southill Fireworks broke records for crowd attendance and fundraising.

The event, which has always been held outside the John Gregory pub in Radipole Lane, has traditionally been the biggest Guy Fawkes celebration in the area after Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s beach display.

Local charities and no-profit organisations have run their own stalls on the evening.

Mr Gabb, 40, said: “There has been an increase of trouble during and after the event.

“Last year I had pedlars selling novelties at £5 an item, with no permission granted.

“They were making quite large profits and there was no contribution towards the charities we were raising money for.”

Mr Gabb held the event in memory of his father Maurice, who died last year and was the original organiser of the fireworks.

A collection on the evening raised £2,025 for the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, despite a record turn-out of 4,000 people. Just £31 was made through online and text donations.

Mr Gabb is coming up with a new plan for 2013 to give organisers better control of the site.

More entertainment will be introduced such as live bands, a light or laser show and a special-effects fireworks show.

Mr Gabb, who grew up in Weymouth and now lives in Ringwood, said he wished to thank all the event’s sponsors and supporters who had made the event happen.

“I’m concentrating on developing a quality new event for 2013,” he said.

What’s On And Where For This Year’s Bonfire Displays

  • Weymouth Beach: November 5: Pavilion funfair: 2pm-10pm. Judging the children’s Guy competition at Weymouth Pavilion: 5.45pm. Lighting the Great Beach Bonfire: 7pm. Fireworks display: 7.20pm. Admission free
  • Dorchester Rugby Club, Coburg Road, Dorchester: November 5: Gates open: 6pm. Fireworks: 7.30pm. Hog Roast, barbecue, bar. Adults £4, children £2. 
  • Beaminster Big Bang: November 3. Gates open: 6pm. Firework display: 6.30pm. Adults: £2, children: £1. The St Mary’s School Association (SMSA) will again be organising the firework display which takes place within the school grounds n
  • The Cobb, Lyme Regis: November 3. Bonfire lit: 6pm. Firework display: 6.30pm. Admission free
  • Sherborne Castle: November 3, 5pm-8.15pm. Live music, refreshments and food from 5pm. Bonfire lit at 7pm. Fireworks will start at 7.30pm. Adults £5, Children/OAPs £3, Car £3. Proceeds to Rotary Club funds
  • Bovington Tank Museum: November 3. Gates open: 5pm. Bonfire lit: 6.30pm. Vehicle display from ATDU and tank museum: 7pm. Fireworks: 8pm. Site closes: 10pm. Entertainment, trade stalls, refreshments, free parking. Adults/seniors: £4, children 5-16: £3, Under-5s: Free. Discounts for Bovington and Lulworth military families

Comments (1)

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3:00am Thu 1 Nov 12

Peter6 says...

Sorry to hear that John, best wishes for the future, you are the best show in Weymouth by far.
Looking forward to next year.
Sorry to hear that John, best wishes for the future, you are the best show in Weymouth by far. Looking forward to next year. Peter6

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