Letter to the editor… Fireworks funds good cause
John Burdon, Director of Windowbox writes…
“Six years ago, our company organised a commercial fireworks display in aid of our local cancer charity, UCAN Aberdeen with the express aim of raising money towards the much needed robotic surgery machine for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. At the time, although England had 5 machines, Scotland had none. We are pleased to report Scotland now has that Davinci machine and funds are now being raised to secure a second by ourselves and others, whilst at the same time keeping the valuable work of the UCAN centre running, much used by patients and their families dealing with cancer.
At the time, we were very much taken aback by the editorial in ETN that those associated with the equestrian industry should even think of holding a fireworks display. Although no checks by the editorial staff were made before making this statement as to how the event was put together, the trouble taken to make sure any pets were safe and no horses were in the vicinity that would be troubled by the show, it went ahead and an enjoyable and successful evening was had by all, whilst at the same time all pets and horses in the greater vicinity remained safe and untroubled. The nearest horse, a friendly Clydesdale, was a mile or so away and whose owner reported that he remained untroubled with any distant bangs, being used to the daily barrage of game shooting in the area.
The reason we write to mention this again is for one specific reason that may be of help to other horse owners who, like us, do not like the indiscriminate use of fireworks at all times of the day or night and which should be restricted to organised displays on or around November 5th and at no other time, maybe other than Hogmanay.
Local reports anecdotally and via the authorities tell us, that with the firework display now in it’s sixth year, when previously there wasn’t one in our county town, the number of residential and indiscriminate firework use has declined substantially in the immediate area, as more and more people choose to attend the event rather than hold their own. We would therefore recommend to other groups worried about pets and horses, that rather than calling for a complete ban on fireworks which is unlikely to happen, organised responsible displays should be encouraged to help remove the problem of general indiscriminate firework use and at the same time help raise a few pounds for charity. We would also, ongoing, agree to lobbying Parliament to end the sale of fireworks over the counter for unlicensed indiscriminate use.
Our own sixth successful event has to date raised the total collected to over £20,000, and with local pet and horse owners agreement and approval, will continue to entertain and raise funds for the foreseeable future. If anyone wishes to make a donation to our cause they can do so by visiting fireworksagainstcancer.org and following the links.”