By Connor Steel
LOCAL RESIDENTS came together to enjoy the annual ‘Bonfire Night and Fireworks Spectacular’ held at HMS Sultan on Thursday evening (October 26); with thousands of visitors believed to have attended this popular and ever growing event for all generations at the Gosport training establishment despite unpromising weather forecasts for the occasion.
This event started at 5:30pm with crowds enjoying the large range of funfair rides including a ‘ghost train’ and ‘dodgem’ bumper cars; whilst the food area was lively throughout the evening selling a variety of hot and cold snacks. There was also the chance to purchase glow sticks and small strobe lights that only added to the ‘colourful air’ under fading skies.
A single firework was released at 7:30pm before the bonfire was lit to loud cheers fifteen minutes later; its bright orange flames illumining the skies and surrounding area. The proceedings were marshalled brilliantly by the popular Wave 105 presenter Tony Shepherd, who gave multiple countdowns before the key fireworks finale started promptly from 8:30pm.
Crowds watched the skies as an almost constant eighteen minute display brought colour above them; many gasping at the rockets, bangs, crackles and catherine wheels flying brightly. The display was accompanied by a huge backtrack of themed and popular music including a rendition of Katy Perry’s “Firework”, with many taking videos and dancing along.
One reader told the Globe: “As usual at Sultan the fireworks were lovely to watch and gave us something to look ahead to during the Half Term holiday. It was lovely to see families of all ages come together and enjoy the night together; lots of photographs were taken with laughter and fun. Definitely attending this display as an annual occasion from now on.”
This occasion helped to raise valuable funding towards the “HMS Sultan Service Charity”, which supports the wellbeing of those working / training within the training base and their families. Credit must further be given to the establishment’s staff and volunteers who ensured safety throughout the night, as well as being well organised for a ‘majority’ of guests.
HMS Sultan’s Commanding Officer, Captain Jo Deakin OBE, thanked the local community for attending and all the staff involved despite “challenging conditions” in the build-up. Recent days have seen wet weather batter this local area with further downpours earlier in the day, which left some of the grounds waterlogged and in places further muddy / slippery.