Bonfire celebrations cancelled due to lack of funds

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A bonfire and fireworks celebration at Thornes Park will not go-ahead despite the fundraising efforts of a community group.

The Friends of Clarence, Holmfield and Thornes parks (CHaTs) launched a campaign, backed by The Express, to put on the event in November.

The long-standing celebration, which attracts thousands of people, was axed in a cost-cutting move by Wakefield Council last year.

CHaTs, supported by Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, local councillors and Melvyn Eddy Funfairs, wanted to put it back at the heart of the city’s calendar.

But a lack of monetary donations means it will not go-ahead again this year.

Chairman Ian Deighton said: “Sadly, we aren’t going to be able to run it this year.

“We are all incredibly disappointed that it is not going to go ahead.

“An event of that size costs quite a lot of money to get everything together to cater for that number of people.

“We had lots of offers of equipment and support but unfortunately needed a bit more cash.”

He said the group needed to get the money together by the end of last month, so that arrangements could be made with suppliers.

But despite the best efforts of members, not enough was raised to cover the costs.

Mr Deighton said: “It is so popular in Wakefield, it’s unbelievable, but we need to think about how we can get the resources to deliver it.

“We are open to trying again in future years.”