Volunteers get all fired up making Tunbridge Wells sparkle

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More than 12,000 people are expected to attend the ‘biggest annual event in Tunbridge Wells’ – and it’s all organised by volunteers.

The Dunorlan Park fireworks, which are set to explode over the town on Guy Fawkes Night, has been organised every year since 1957 by the Tunbridge Wells Round Table.

Made up of 20 members, aged 18-45, the team volunteer ‘hundreds of man hours’ to create the annual event, which raised £25,000 for local charities last year.

A member of the Round Table, Andrew Mockford, told the Times his motivation for dedicating his time year in, year out:

“My father was in Round Table, I first got involved in the fireworks when I was seven years old; that was 25 years ago. I was right there in the shopping precinct, encouraging people to buy their tickets.”

Attracting over 12,000 visitors last year, the show has come a long way from its early years.

Recounting the fireworks of 1967, ex-Round Table member, Tony Passmore said:

“That year I think for the firework display some lunatic had come up with the idea of firing a homemade rocket across the lake. Fortunately it was attached to a wire.

“There was a great song and dance as the grand happening was announced. When lit, there were huge flames and smoke and then it moved about one inch.

“You’ve got to remember that in those days it was very much a DIY affair.”

No longer so ‘DIY’, this year’s event will see over 4000 rockets being fired – a record number for the town.

As well as the main spectacle, there will also be a funfair plus a selection of different street food and bars.

Mr Mockford said: “It is now a mammoth event and the largest in the town. We are hoping for a record year and would urge people to purchase their tickets early and come along to enjoy a fantastic evening of fireworks, food and fun.”


On Saturday November 5 Gates will open at 5.30pm, with the display at 7pm, lasting for approximately 25 minutes.

Tickets are on sale in Calverley Precinct on Sat 22/29 October and on the day of the event or can be bought online at: http://www.rtwrt.org

Adult/Child tickets are: £6/£4 in advance, £8/£5 on the day.

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