Thousands enjoy fireworks, despite wet weather
CROWD numbers were well down due to poor weather, but organisers of Cheltenham's biggest fireworks event were still happy with the turnout.
Saturday's display at the racecourse was hit by wet and windy conditions which may have explained why the attendance was about 50 per cent down on last year's record of 15,000. But Cheltenham Round Table officials were still pleased with the fact they managed to raise more than £30,000 for local charities.
Spokesman Paul Kemple said: "It went off really well. Despite the rain, it was a really cracking night."
Former racecourse managing director Edward Gillespie pushed down a plunger to start the 20-minute display.
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Among the many people who watched it and enjoyed the fairground attractions and food stalls at the site were Mike and Sarah Winter and their two-year-old son, Freddie.
Mike, from St Paul's, Cheltenham, said: "It was Freddie's first fireworks and he enjoyed it until the end."
Sarah said: "I thought the fireworks were good.
"I didn't know they were going to be accompanied by music."
The Round Table narrowly missed its bid to break the world record for the number of cups of tea made in an hour by a team of 12.
The number to beat, 725, was set by Devonshire Tea Ltd in Plymouth on August 19 last year. A team including Army and air cadets from the county ended up being only 50 cups of tea short. And Round Table member Phil Mitchell said that was only because two tea urns stopped working.
Addressing the cadets after their bid, he said: "I think you did amazingly well."
It is now possible, Round Tablers say, that another bid to break the record will be made at the racecourse in March, or at next year's fireworks event.
Meanwhile, Tewkesbury's Vineyards held another fireworks display at the weekend.
About 2,500 people watched a 15-minute display staged by the town's Rotary Club.