Thousands flock to Guy Fawkes Night fireworks

Thousands flocked to fireworks displays across the Lothians last night.

Honey Mitchell, four, and Izzy Holland, five, were among the crowd of 5000 packed into Meadowbank. Picture: Ian Georgeson

And the chilly weather and crisp, clear skies proved the perfect conditions to watch the spectacle.

Fire control chiefs said they had a “busy night”, mainly dealing with bonfires, but reported no major incidents.

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Across the country fire chiefs said they had responded to over 1000 call-outs – half of which were bonfire related.

Honey Mitchell, four, and Izzy Holland, five, were among the crowd of 5000 packed into Meadowbank. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Spectators were treated to an array of spectacular displays across Edinburgh – both organised and amateur – during which thousands of pounds worth of explosives were ignited and fired off into the sky, sparks showering the black night in splatters of vibrant colour.

Organisers at Meadowbank Stadium’s annual event reported it had completely sold out yesterday evening, with more than 5000 spectators packing the stands to watch fireworks set off in time to classic movie theme music.

Elsewhere, Currie’s fireworks display saw thousands gather at George IV Park to gape and gasp as £3500 worth of explosives were launched into the sky.

Yesterday, fire chiefs pledged extra wardens would be out in streets around the Capital to make this year’s Bonfire Night the “safest ever”.

Six community action teams – made up of one police officer and one firefighter – were set to patrol areas hit by trouble in the past and make sure dangerous bonfires were cleared.

Police and Historic Scotland rangers also carried out joint patrols in Holyrood Park in a bid to stop wildfires sparked by stray fireworks, with the park closed to cars from 6pm until midnight.

Fire crews were using shared intelligence from Police ­Scotland, the city council and the fire service to direct resources to areas where they were needed most.

Steve Cardownie, the council’s festivals and events champion, hailed the event at Meadowbank as a “great success”.

He said: “It was a great show, you could not have asked for better conditions.

“The weather was beautiful – nice and crisp. The music was good and the fireworks were synchronised with it – they were really spectacular.

“Everybody is coming out and saying it was great. We are delighted to be associated with it.”

Forth councillor Vicki Redpath, who was also at the display, added: “It was the first time I’ve been, and I have to say it was marvellous – everybody seemed to enjoy it. It was absolutely superb.

“It’s quite encouraging that people do want to go and watch a good, well put-together display – and it was so worth it.”

Bonfire Night is traditionally the busiest night of the year for firefighters, with staff expected to deal with around 40 per cent more calls than usual.

Early yesterday, council staff were called out to two bonfires at Fernieside and Gracemount Road, over fears the over-sized pyres might be unsafe.

Environment workers – accompanied by police as a precaution – cleared up excess material around the bonfire at Fernieside Crescent that might have been thrown on to the flames, but did not take any action at the other site.

Adam McVey, the council’s deputy environment leader, said after the event: “We worked closely with the emergency services to make sure that everyone was able to enjoy Bonfire Night safely and responsibly.”