Remember, remember the fifth of November?
The Yorkshire Evening Press has a great report on York’s 400th anniversary celebrations of the Gunpowder Plot last year. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (WTF?) show that attempts by local emergency services to prepare for the event were thwarted by council leaders who wanted to keep the location of the main fireworks display (Guy Fawkes’ old school) a secret. What could go wrong?
THOUSANDS gathered in front of York Minster late in the afternoon of November 5, watching the illuminated West Front as they waited patiently for fireworks to mark the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot.Apparently the city council is still refusing to release information relating to a far from successful drinks event at a nearby brewery.
But the crowd's anticipation turned to disappointment when the first mortars and rockets exploded ...out of sight behind the Dean Court Hotel.
People then surged in the dark down Duncombe Place and High Petergate in the hope of getting a view. Huge crowds gathered on Lendal Bridge, bringing traffic to a halt. A taxi ran over a man's foot in the chaos.
Crowds who had gathered near Clifford's Tower surged down to the riverside in Tower Gardens, with one man falling in the river - although he fortunately managed to climb safely back on to the bank.
City of York Council sought initially to claim the event had been a success, but the problems generated one of the Evening Press's biggest-ever postbags, as scores of readers wrote in to castigate the "fiasco."
People complained bitterly about the disappointment they and their children had suffered and about the health and safety risks they were exposed to, and criticised the council's organisational abilities.
Later, the council's leisure boss Charlie Croft admitted to the Evening Press he had always known that people in front of the Minster would be unable to see the fireworks.