Saturday, November 07, 2009

Newham Fireworks Display and Wanstead Flats 2009 & 1940: Now and Then

This picture is not the best but it was very (repeat very) wet and a little windy last night at the Newham Council Free Firework display on Wanstead Flats.

The weather was pretty appalling but it did not stop many people from all over East London turning out to watch and enjoy the fireworks.

While I enjoyed the spectacle with everyone else the firework explosions and light flashes did make me think of this spot 64 years ago during the London Blitz. For then the “bangs” would have been very much for real.

In the first and 2nd World Wars Wanstead Flats was used to site heavy anti-aircraft guns to protect London and especially the docks from German aerial attack. Gun batteries on this site were even credited with helping bring down a Zeppelin. The Flats were also hit itself by enemy bombs and rockets.

However there is a time and place for everything and last night was about families having (soggy) fun together and enjoying the spectacle. Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday and this will be the time we remember more serious and sombre matters.


Anonymous said...

John - hardly a free show as someone had to pay for the event and I suspect it came out of our council tax. I'm not sure this trend for bigger and bigger displays is right, and those of us with pets simply don't look forward to the period from September through to January when we have fireworks going off at all hours. Has anyone asked Newham residents whether they want to pay for these displays?

John Gray said...

Hi Anon

If you are concerned about your pets then surely you will support such managed events rather than ad hoc private displays?

These "free" events are established Newham Council events which is run by an elected Labour Councillors and Mayor.

Nuff said?

Anonymous said...

John - I'm glad you are now putting free in inverted comments.

Unfortunately these large organised displays do not stop the ad hoc private displays.

The council tax spent on these organised displays could be better used elsewhere, and although the mayor and councillors are elected I cannot recall the spending of council tax on these so called free events ever being in the manifesto. They have no mandate.