Boss apologises after '˜dangerous firework display' at Chesterfield pub

A pub boss has apologised after angry customers slammed its firework display as '˜extremely dangerous'.

Wednesday, 9th November 2016, 3:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:21 pm
Harry Ramsden's at the Wingerworth, Derby Road, Wingerworth.

The customers - including many parents with young children - said the display at Harry Ramsden’s Wingerworth pub and restaurant on Derby Road took place too close to the crowd - with one firework nearly hitting a four-year-old girl in the face.

Others complained the display took place far earlier than planned leaving people disappointed.

On Facebook, Natalie Lawless-Laughton, said: “Absolutely disgusted - how can you think it’s safe to let fireworks off so close to the crowd?

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“The firework that fell over and shot into the crowd nearly got my four-year-old daughter straight in the face as well as a few other small children.”

Amy Lockwood added: “It was awful, extremely dangerous.

Fireworks were set off on an old wonky picnic table right next to the crowd. Me and my kids had to run to safety as a firework fell over and started going off into the crowd missed me and several small children by inches.”

Chel Vardy added: “Was shocking. We took my little nephew and moved a lot further back as the fireworks were already coming too close and then one nearly set a tree on fire and hit people at the front.”

Following complaints Joe Teixeira, CEO of Harry Ramsden’s said it was highly unlikely that they will arrange any future firework displays.

He added when a stray firework hit a tree, the decision was taken to stop the display immediately.

He said: “Guy Fawkes celebrations at the Wingerworth have become part of the local community calendar and we believed it was our duty to continue the tradition.

“We consulted with the local Fire Department and it was following their on-site inspection on October 27 and same day approval that we decided to go ahead with the event.

“Our team, which included a member of staff who has been actively involved in previous Firework displays at the Wingerworth, planned the event in the week leading up to the display, following the same procedures and keeping exactly the same format as previous years’ events.

“On the evening, one of our event team was located in the exposed field where the Bonfire was set up. When he noted that a slight wind was changing the direction of the flames, the decision was made to start the event immediately – earlier than advertised.

“The plan had been to extend the 30 minute display to 45 minutes in order that anyone who arrived at the advertised time could at least enjoy the latter part of the display. However, when a stray firework hit a tree, the decision was taken to stop the display immediately because crowd safety was our overriding priority.”

He added: “Over the course of the past few days, as well as speaking with all of our team who were in attendance on Saturday evening, we have reviewed all comments which have been posted about the event. Via our own Facebook page, we have also afforded anyone who wishes to offer any additional information, the opportunity to do so.

“Our entire team is shattered that what started, and should have ended, as a great fun family night out at a free, non-ticketed event, resulted in such disappointment for many in the local community and as a family brand, we are particularly devastated that young children were upset on the evening. We would ask everyone to please accept our sincerest apologies for that.

Taking fully on board the comments we have received over the past few days from both family members and animal lovers, it is highly unlikely that we will arrange any future Firework Displays. We will continue to work our hardest to be an active and accepted member of the local community and hope this goes some small way to building bridges.”