Gallery: Patriotic finale for Long Melford’s fireworks display

A SHOWER of patriotic red, white and blue comets lit up the sky over Long Melford last night and brought the village’s 44th annual fireworks display to a spectacular close.

Set against a musical backdrop of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, the finale of around 175 large-calibre aerial shells signalled the end of a ‘Rock Diamond’ themed Big Night Out, which paid tribute to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.

A crowd of more than 5,500 packed into the grounds of Long Melford Hall to watch the 20-minute, �12,500 pyrotechnic display unfold, choreographed and synchronised to a musical soundtrack of rock classics such as Diamonds are Forever, Rock DJ, and Pink Floyd’s Shine on You Crazy Diamond.

Lit at the earlier time of 7.30pm this year, the enormous bonfire built by local volunteers and co-ordinated by organising committee Project 7, was finished off with seven guys all made by pupils from Long Melford Primary School.

The firework show kicked off at 8.15pm with classic golden waves and red candles before progressing through exotically named twinkling falling leaves, time rain chrysanthemums, tailed bombettes, purple palms and strobe shells.

This year’s programme was the brainchild of pyrotechnics wizard David Alvis, who will also be involved in London’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display in December.

Big Night Out co-organiser Andrew Hagger said they had aimed to take the event, which is supported by the East Anglian Daily Times, back to its ‘family-orientated’ roots this year, with fewer fair rides and ‘prettier’ fireworks.

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He said: “The Big Night Out has remained a really important part of the local community for almost 45 years. It started out as a village event and we wanted to try to get it back to a more traditional format this year. We still provided a few smaller fair rides for the younger children but the ground has been too wet to enable us to use the heavier rides.”

He added: “I would like to thank all of the volunteers from local groups who have lent a hand with things like building the bonfire, manning the gates and making everything run smoothly.”

Mr Hagger anticipates around �10,000 will be raised for local groups, including many that helped out at the event such as Sudbury Scouts, Long Melford cricket and football clubs, and St John Ambulance.

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