Just back home from Stevenage Borough Council’s annual extravaganza where they set fire to a hefty chunk of our council tax money for entertainment.
I’ve lived here all my life. 42 years, if anyone’s counting. And there can’t have been many years that I’ve not made it along on the fifth November for what’s always a pretty fine display. Well, I say “pretty fine”; it’s okay. But I’ve been spoilt over the last couple of years to have seen some really good fireworks at Legoland and now realise that the Stevenage display, impressive though it is, could be so much better.
Anyone else seen the Legoland fireworks? Or, I guess, any really great displays in recent years? Where the fireworks actually detonate in time with the music? Which, incidentally, is played over a hefty sound system so everyone can hear it? Co-ordinated, organised, displays that actually ‘flow’ and ‘tell a story’. Yeah, those.
I’m not sure Stevenage’s display has actually changed much over the years. Yes, of course some of the actual fireworks have got bigger and more impressive, but at heart it still seems to be just a case of “let’s set off a load of fireworks”. No real structure to it that I could detect. And still the same tinny music played really quietly. I reckon they still fish out a mix-tape that someone at the council made up about twenty years ago.
And this year it was quite foggy, so the highest – and presumably the most impressive – fireworks sadly got a bit lost. You’d hear the tantalising ‘whoosh’ of another big one going up, and the almighty bang. But all you’d really see was the fog change colour for a bit. Shame. But not a lot they could have done about that.
But even so, it’s always a joy to be there. Feels like the whole of Stevenage turns out . (Clearly not, I think there are over 80,000 of us living here these days.) And it was a delight this year to be able to take my son who’s just old enough to stay up for them now.
I remember going when I was his age. It’s lovely to have that in common.