Return of popular bonfire a step closer thanks to donation

Thornes Park bonfire.
Thornes Park bonfire.

The popular Thornes Park bonfire and fireworks display is a step closer to being back at the heart of the city’s calendar, thanks to a donation from a long-standing property firm.

Wakefield-based Estate Agent Richard Kendall has pledged £1,000 to help celebrate this year’s bonfire night with a bang.

Richard Kendall.

Richard Kendall.

The business is backing the Friends of Clarence, Holmfield and Thornes Parks (CHaTs), who have launched a fundraising drive, supported by The Express, to bring back the event.

It was scrapped last year in a cost-cutting move by Wakefield Council.

Mr Kendall said: “After seeing articles about CHaTs and The Express trying to bring back the bonfire, we thought we would kickstart the fundraising campaign by pledging £1,000.

“The bonfire is a real family event and we are a family company, so it seemed fitting.

“People look forward to going to an event of this scale, seeing the fireworks and having a good night. It would be great to see this project get off the ground and see the return of the bonfire. If other businesses chip in, it all adds up and hopefully we can get it going again.

“This is about people coming together to do something for the people of Wakefield, giving everyone a night to go out and enjoy themselves.”

The long-standing bonfire night celebration attracts tens of thousands of people from across the district. The council said it would look at working with CHaTs and partners on the event, if enough money was raised to pay for it.

The Express is joining CHaTs in urging local businesses and the community to get behind the campaign, which is also being backed by Melvyn Eddy Funfairs and Wakefield MP Mary Creagh.

Ian Deighton, CHaTs chairman said: “It is absolutely brilliant to have a firm that really is part of Wakefield getting behind the bonfire campaign.

“It is Wakefield firms like that who we need to support us. We are incredibly grateful for Richard Kendall’s pledge and we hope that encourages more people to come forward to sponsor the event. We do need people to commit as soon as they can so we can get the fireworks ordered and get preparation underway for a fantastic night.”

Businesses interested in sponsoring the event can contact Mr Deighton on 01924 314222.