By Jack Goodman
VILLAGERS IN North Yorkshire are preparing for a large community bonfire event – a week after everyone else.
The 23rd Annual South Milford Bonfire and Firework Display is taking place on Saturday (November 12) – and organisers took to Facebook to explain why it is being held seven days after Bonfire night.
The post said: “The busiest night of the year is clearly the 5th – when this date fell on a Saturday we either had to find a new fireworks team (which faced the same problem) or wait. There are a limited number of teams and equipment in the UK.
“The advantage this year is that everyone was free to have a few fireworks at home, or visit another event, and still have South Milford to look forward to.”
The event works closely with local groups including the village primary school – and has distributed over £250,000 back to these groups since its inception in 1993.
The money is raised through a combination of pre-bought entry tickets, and locally sourced food and drink available to buy on the bonfire site during the event.
Some 250 volunteers work together to deliver the event – which distributed over £30,000 for local groups last year.
Andrew Robinson, a volunteer and sponsor of the event, said in a statement on the official website: “The bonfire enjoys a reputation as probably the best of its kind in and around the north of England.
“We are also proud that, due to a stringent health and safety policy with medical support on site, we have a good safety record which is also largely attributed to the meticulous planning by the committee and the expertise of supporters.”
A free park-and-ride shuttle bus service has also been developed to connect neighbouring villages directly to the site of the event – with the aim of avoiding congestion in South Milford.
Sherburn-in-Elmet, Monk Fryston and Hillam all benefit from the shuttle bus – with almost 2,000 people using the facility last year.
The bonfire site is located off Mill Lane, near South Milford Cricket Club.