Spectators watched the council fireworks display, but unfortunately the spectacular display was spoilt by the lack of people watching.

For that real magic you do want a crowd around to share the atmosphere.

Editor's note:

What was your experience of Bonfire night in York?

Let us know using the form below.

Your comments:

Hugh Bayley/Tony Blair take note - The people of York have no confidence in this council. Something needs to be done NOW. I suggest we attach this administration to some of the lousy rockets used on the 5th November and then they'll be gone for good. Well they'll be stuck on top of the treeline just like the rockets let off on Saturday.

Chris Bailey, Haxby

I decided to go to the minster for the fireworks display as having watched the news earlier in the day they had described the display as viewable from anywhere in the city. 5.30 came about and we stood and waited, all 10,000 of us. At first it sounded like the little drummer boy but oh no, it was a faint echo of what was the fireworks display our tax payers money had paid for, Thousands of people ran and pushed their way down streets and blocking traffic, how there were no injurys I'll never know? only to watch half a display. Could the council not atleast let us know which direction to look in? except the obvious (up) and then the next day the council call it a success, what a cheek !!! I think next year I'll climb the overwhelming pile of uncollected bin bags to get a decent view.

Damian Hodgson, York

All I want to say is that in the past the Clifford's Tower (organised ) firework display and the Knavesmire (organised ) display have been events we have visited and enjoyed, but the 'secret' event this year was a complete farce. To think someone was paid to organise that shambles which in our case resulted in a mass crowd exodus from the Minster (which was the spectacle of the evening) to try and see the display on Lendal and resulted in traffic chaos was unprecedented. Ask the council to have a fixed display where we can all make our own arrangements to congregate at and wait for a display. They managed the traffic control for Ascot, why not the ever-popular bonfire celebration?

Andy Ward, York

Maybe a vote of no confidence is in order!

Robert France, Upper Poppleton

I love fireworks and was one of the voices that expressed extreme disappointment when the City of York Council announced they were no longer doing a formal display in the 1990s. Given the links the city has with Guy Fawkes, I have always considered this to be a shortsighted decision as tourists visiting the city expect there to be a display. (On a side note, I seem to recall that when the City of York Council ditched the formal display, they said they would concentrate on Christmas lights - that never materialised either!) I live on Bootham Terrace and as a result had a bird's eye view of the display on Saturday - it was excellent. However, I can't understand why the Council had said the display would be visible from all parts of the city centre - it doesn't take a genius to work out that because of the buildings, this was never going to happen. I, like a lot of people I have spoken to, assumed that fireworks would be let off from multiple locations in the city. The fact that an estimated 80000 people turned out for the display clearly shows that there is a demand for a formal display, so why can't the Council get organised and have a display every year? Even Wilberfoss has a yearly event. I appreciate that there are safety concerns over holding the display at Clifford's Tower, but there are other locations - the racecourse, etc. They could even use the Museum Gardens - the backdrop could be the Abbey and the Museum itself with the crowds in the bottom half of the Gardens, other side of the river, Exhibition Square etc. If the Council can fund inappropriate testing of the traffic light system on a member's daughter's wedding, why can't they do something for the whole city? Most people I have spoken to would quite happily contribute £1 per household to fund a proper, well-organised display. Please help the residents, and in particular the 80000 people who took time to come into the city centre on Saturday, to persuade the Council to organise a proper annual event that all can see. How many people does it take to flock to the city centre before the Council accept that there is a genuine desire to have an annual firework display?

Emma Walker, York

We had a wonderful view of the firework display from the upstairs window at the back of our house. As residents of Hambleton D. C. we would like to ask the good City of York Council to provide us with a similar display next year. Our enjoyment was heightened by the fact that the cost (£25,000 I believe)wasn't met by contributions from our council tax!!

Lain Frankland, Shipton by Beningbrough

I invited my brother and his young family to view the well-publicised 'spectacular firework display' on Saturday evening. We congregated outside the Minster, along with thousands of other families at the appointed time - only to find that someone hadn't done their homework and checked that the display would be visible over the tall buildings ringing the city centre. After a fruitless search for a good spot to view the fireworks, we eventually managed to partially view the last few minutes of the finale. What a waste! Quite frankly, my relatives would have enjoyed themselves more if they had stayed at home in Lincoln and stuck to their original plans. As an event for local people and visitors this only succeeded in clogging the city with the heavily disapointed, not to mention irate drivers!

J Isherwood, York

I got lucky on Saturday, with my mates outside the Minster at 5:20 we decided to head for the river, seems to be the nearest 'open' area since no one knew where the fireworks were coming from. I ran ahead and got over Lendal Bridge just as they started, got on the steps down to the water beside the bridge and enjoyed the display on my own, apart from the 8648 people on the bank above me! Also got a few really good photos with reflections in the water. I feel sorry for all those still outside the Minster or Clifford's Tower; didn't realise the council were into practical jokes.

Ken Pitcher, York

My daughter and I watched the fantastic fireworks from home (Boroughbridge Road). We had a great view from the bedroom window. I admit York's Bonfire Night celebrations have never been the same since they were stopped at Clifford's Tower, but the Council are never going to be able to please all of the people all of the time. Personally I would rather see the thousands of pounds spent on the fireworks put to better use...

Julia King, York

First of all, the Minster light display was really wonderful. That was an unqualified, stunning success. Second, whoever purchased the fireworks seemed to buy a magnificent selection of varied effect fireworks; hopefully good value for money. (What a pity so many people never got to see them!) Thirdly, the people of York turned out in commendable force to join in what was advertised as a very special firework display, visible from anywhere in the city centre. Then it all went wrong, and dangerously so. My family visited the Minster, then retreated to Bootham Bar at 5:20. Already the streets were dangerously full of people competing with heavy traffic on the roads. Like everyone else, we were expecting the display to be launched from somewhere within the walled city; so we waited on the opposite side of the road from the Theatre Royal. As the first firework went off, all those around us shot off down Bootham; we did likewise, and fortunately managed to obtain a reasonable view from behind the buildings in Marygate, to enjoy what was left of the display by that time. But what a stupendous disappointment! I have lived in York for over 20 years, and have taken my family many times to enjoy well-organised York City firework displays. For organisation, this was the worst one I have ever experienced. Also, there was a dangerous conflict of traffic and vast crowds of pedestrians that have not happened in the past. I'm afraid that the Council's firework display was a very damp squib. For York Council to make such a mess of the firework display to remember the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot is yet another spectacular own goal.

David Copeland, Acomb

I was one of the many people who chose to wait for the fireworks outside the Minster. The atmosphere before 5:30 was great, but come 5:30 we were all left bemused by the fireworks - or lack of. Were more going to come from another angle, or was that it? Occasionally one would go high enough that it could be seen above the Dean Court Hotel, but mostly not. Very disappointing.

Tim Ensor, York

I really was looking forward to seeing the fireworks in york and I thought that they would be at Clifford's Tower. When I went I couldn't see a thing; it was not organized properly. If they are going to do anything like this then it should be organized better. Please do it better next year.

Steph Kidd, New Earswick

This is a copy of the letter that I sent to York Council Events Department

I am just writing on behalf of our household and some neighbours regarding the firework display that we couldn't see. It was a secret where this display was taking place therefore although we were led to believe that we would be able to see it "from any garden in York" we could only see the glare from the fireworks in the night sky. Assuming council rates would have paid some part towards this display "for the chosen few", why were most of the residents of Woodthorpe unable to see it?

Roy Hicks, Woodthorpe

I thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks display on saturday, as did many other people. I was on Lendal Bridge and had a superb view: was it not a bit of common sense to stand in an open space in order to get the best view possible? I hope that the negative comments from people will not put the council off organising another display next year!

Elizabeth Olek, Clifton

I have absolutely no idea what the fireworks in York looked like even though I was on Clifford Street between 5.30 and 5.50 in my car.. at a complete standstill! Where on earth were the police to supervise the crowds who apparently were all over Ouse Bridge, thus bringing traffic to a grinding halt ? Why was the city centre not closed off, diversions put in place, barriers put up or people told the correct places to stand? Once again York City Council has not put enough planning and thought into such an event. I am sure I am not alone in my views.

Diana Outing, York

The fireworks were great. Credit to those that organised the event. Hope to see them again next year.

Martene Wilson, York

We stood on Ouse Bridge and most of the display was blocked by the Moat House Hotel. So much for it being visible all over the York skyline. People were very annoyed, having waited for 1/2 hour.

P Beckwith, York

I don't know where Councillor King was. I was at the Minster, where there were hundreds of people. The only problem was, the firework display which was supposed to be visible from anywhere in York was not visible from the Minster, nor from many other places in the city centre. My family and I ran down Petergate to Exhibition Square where we managed to get quite a good view, and I gather that you could see them quite well from the Museum Gardens.

There were loads of people there; it was quite ironic that the council was concerned about people congregating in one place because of health and safety, and Bootham Bar became more or less impassable because of the press of bodies. Fortunately there were no problems, and when we walked back through the city centre it was crowded with people, with a really good communal atmosphere, despite the comments about the problems seeing the display. Very unlike the usual city-centre Saturday night. We were all there, Councillor King. The only thing is, for real magic, you have to be able to see the display.

Jane Roberts, York

You ask 'Where where all the crowds?' A great number of people gathered at prominent locations around the city; York Minster, Clifford's Tower, Musuem Gardens, etc. Those at Museum Gardens were fortunate enough to be able to see the majority of the pyrotechnics, but even there, the views were obscured. Why were we all left second-guessing the Council's choice of venue for this year's display?

I feel hugely disappointed that the decision was taken not to inform the tax-paying public as to the 'better' locations to view the display were. Had this informtion been released, the council could have avoided the city-centre gridlock, the rushing/crushing crowds, the bitterly disappointed children and their parents. Though then, the Council wouldn't have been able to line its pockets with excessive car-parking charges. Yet another flawed decision and badly managed event from York's Council.

R Wood, Acomb

I watched Saturday night's display from New Earswick and I, along with my partner, thought the show was superb. The imagination, colour and use of shapes was a credit to the display designers. It's certainly the first time I've seen 'square' shaped displays, and the love hearts with the shooting arrows through the middle were superb. It was good to have a proper display back in York !!

Andrew Spink, Strensall

Me, my partner and our two kids were driving around for ages trying to find a place to watch York's so-called spectacular firework display. The only thing was, we didn't have a clue where the fireworks were going to be. We ended up parked on a grass verge next to the road. We could only see so much and you didn't get the Bonfire Night atmosphere because we couldn't even hear the fireworks. It should have been better organised and not kept such a big secret. The fireworks looked good, I just wish we could have stood and watched them in a big group of people. It would have been an amazing atmosphere.

Faye Laskey, Acomb

What a cock-up! Hundreds of people were out to see the fireworks and the last night of the Minster illuminations. We were told that the fireworks would be so spectacular that we'd be able to see them from across the city centre. We were also told that the venue would be kept secret to avoid crowds getting too close. At 5.30pm all the crowds by the Minster heard the first fireworks go off but could see nothing and then it was a general stampede back down to the Museum Gardens and Lendal Bridge. Not great for the traffic or for the crowds..... Where were the traffic police? Where was someone controlling the crowd? We had one run-in with an irate taxi passenger who was no doubt very frustrated at being stuck in the middle of everyone.... Verdict: disaster. Have seen far better displays than this and I can't write what I think of the council's organisation of the whole evening.

Jo Ditcham, Acomb

I don't know who counted the number of spectators, but they must have missed the hundreds who gathered in the wrong places and saw nothing, as myself and family did. This was a thoroughly disappointing fifteen-minute end to a four-hundred-year build-up. Thanks York City Council!

John Yeomans, Strensall

I am sure that York City Council will take the easy way out and cite 'health and safety reasons' as to why they apparently could not organise a proper fireworks display for the city. As a health and safety manager, who has in the past risk assessed large firework displays, I can categorically state that fireworks displays can be organised safely. What it does require, however, is a deal of forethought, commitment and finance. What happened in the city on Saturday (and I was there) was far worse than a badly organised display.

Thousands of people, who had believed the statement that this display could be seen from within the city walls, began rushing throughout the city to get a better view, once the bangs could be heard. I was near the Minster at this stage, and witnessed people rushing down Petergate and onto the Bootham/Gillygate junction, which was not closed to traffic. People were therefore standing in the streets and competing with buses, lorries and cars, etc. A public event of this nature requires careful planning and stewarding. If the City of York Council cannot invest to do this safely, they should do nothing.

Andrew Love, Rawcliffe

I don't know where Councillor Ken King was standing but from between the Ouse Bridge and Lendal Bridge the traffic was stationary due to the number of people trying to see the fireworks. The biggest disappointment was the fact that we had been promised a display which would be between 300 and 600 ft in the air and visible from anywhere in York. Sadly, this, from my experience, was not the case. From Ouse Bridge the Marriot Hotel obscured most of the display and if the council had given a more clear idea as to where the display was to be staged, people would have been able to have gained a better sight, and show their appreciation of the display.

Sean Wright, York

Not exactly knowing where the fireworks display was to be, I along with several hundred (possibly into the thousand) people waited near the Minster at 5.10pm (a well-publicised time, the only thing that was!!). As the display was able to be seen 'wherever you are in the city' (right!) this seemed like the ideal location, what with the wonderful lit-up Minster as a backdrop. Well 5.10pm went and no sign of the fireworks. Still we waited, several hundreds of us. Then at around 5.30pm the sound of thunder filled the air and everyone looked around and said ......'Where are they?'.

Gradually the crowd mumbled with a sense of realisation that the fireworks display could not be seen 'where ever you are in York', in fact it could not be seen in most places of the city centre. The crowd then decided to move towards Ouse Bridge and stopped the traffic. The roads were open, health and safety went out of the window, although the two stewards I did see were dealing with a man who had just had his toe run over by a taxi we doing a great job. So in answer to question 'where were the crowds?' the answer is that they were trying to find the display. York city council fireworks display a question of organising a drinking session in a brewery if you ask me.

Andrew Fravigar, York

I can assure you that there were masses of people watching the fireworks display, all along the river banks, crammed along the Lendal Bridge pathways, crowded around the Museum Gardens, all around the Minster etc etc. The reason that it appears that there were not so many spectators is that the council didn't inform people where they were supposed to stand and so people were watching from every location around the city.

Matthew Wilson,York

What THE?!?!?! The council didn't say where the fireworks were going to be! We were told the display would be visible from anywhere in York. Well, they weren't visible from the Minster. I was one of the thousands of people who tried to get from the Minster onto Lendal Bridge or up the river to see the display. Hopeless incompetence by the council.

Steve Carter, York

Nobody knew where to go - everyone was asking where the city fireworks were! Lots of people gathered at Clifford's Tower but could see nothing - we hardly knew the fireworks had started. Lots of flashes in the sky, but could only see a handful of big fireworks. Have never seen a place empty so fast! What a disappointment. Next time, give us a clue where to stand and we'll be there!

Jennifer Bexley, Heslington

We were in York on Saturday along with crowds of people hoping to see the the council's firework display. Unfortunately because of the council's desire to keep the location secret no one knew where to stand. My family stood on Ousegate Bridge hoping to see the fireworks, unfortunately our view was obscured by the Moat House Hotel. Listening to others who were also in York on Saturday night, this seems to be the case over most of the city.

Helen Burrell, York

I've heard that the firework display the council put on this year was fantastic; I only wish I could say the same. The problem was that I couldn't actually see them, I could hear them, and could tell where they were, but my group of friends and I couldn't actually find anywhere to view them in all their glory. The council said they could be seen from anywhere in the city. This was blatantly not so due to buildings and trees obscuring the view. Anywhere there was a good view was packed with a small proportion of onlookers luckily enough to have been in the right place at the right time. I can understand why the council didn't reveal where the fireworks would be let off, but it turned into chaos anyway because no-one could see them properly! Why couldn't the council have used the Knavesmire, where there is plenty of room and everyone could have seen them perfectly? On a more positive note, I have to congratulate the council on the Minster illumination, that was fantastic, just a pity it couldn't be on for longer.

Kate Evans, York

I write as one whose family were disappointed not to be able to attend what I'm sure must have been a spectacular event, due to other commitments. The clash could have been avoided if we had known about the event in good time, rather than our having only found out about it following a chance conversation with a friend, early on Saturday afternoon. I guess we could be criticised for not having put two and two together for ourselves: Gunpowder Plot - 400 years - Guy Fawkes - York. Dur! But that said, why wasn't the event marketed more conspicuously? I work in York and consider myself reasonably well-informed about local events but, of this, I heard nothing at all.

Chris Hoggarth, Pocklington

Distant light and noise from Ousegate Bridge - no-one knew where the display would occur but were reassured by the council's Evening Press article talking of sky-high displays visible all over the city. Not if you were behind any one of the high-rise buildings. As disappointing in its own little way as their backward-looking, single-lane outer ring road.

Alan Burn, Huby

April Fool's Day - 5th of November. What an absolute farce! The police say that they were out in force, but we didn't see a single one - not one! The only stewards we saw were at the Marygate end of the Museum Gardens, trying to close the gates at 5:30 with hundreds of people trying to get through - saying that they had to close the gates at 5:30 and nobody was allowed to be in the gardens after 5:30. We had two small children and a pushchair, and there was no way through. I think that it is unacceptable for any council members to say that it was a success. The only good news on the night was that there were no reports of traffic accidents, nor reports of people being trampled underfoot. The claim that the location was kept secret in order to make sure that people weren't affected by the fallout of the firworks doesn't have any credibility as this concern didn't extend to any of the residents or buildings in the area, and the potential for accidents was far greater because of the chaos caused. If council members are allowed to keep their jobs after such a debacle, then it will be a travisty. It was chaos and disappointment. I think the council should pay back the £12,000 it wasted to the ignored public of York, and a public forum should be called so that the council can answer the public they are supposed to serve.

Dave Pycroft, Acomb

Where were the crowds!!!! The crowds were in York for the fireworks!!!!!!!! The question should be, where were the fireworks?!!! Promises of a display that could be seen from ANYWHERE in the city were not kept. All we saw from the Minster were the flashes in the sky from the fireworks that were going off behind the trees and buildings. Obviously not 'rising 600 feet into the sky'. After following everybody else to find the place where they could be seen we eventually saw the final fireworks just visible above some more trees. Very disappointing, as we were so looking forward to it.

Alison Waite, Birstall, West Yorkshire

I thought one reason for moving the fireworks out of Clifford's Tower was due to the large number of people crammed into a small area? Just like around the Minster on Saturday evening just before the fireworks, then! (Those lights are great!) Even better was once the fireworks started and no-one could see them, and there was a mass stampede across town with everyone trying to find the location from where they could be seen! Much safer than everyone in one place, I'm sure... I'm just glad I wasn't trying to drive across Lendal Bridge at the time, although I was tempted to get on the double-decker stuck in the traffic so that I might have seen a firework or two! When I had finally fought my way along the side of the river to where I could see them, they finished after the second rocket! Apparently, they could be seen quite well from outside York... Well, Heslington Church fireworks were good, so I hear; I was too stuck up in the crowds in town and missed them! Well done, York City Council.

Laz, Tang Hall

Well, first of all I'd like to congratulate the Council for at least getting the right day and the right time for their firework fiasco. Our party decided not to listen to the "the fireworks will be visible from most places within the city centre" advice, given that we were intelligent enough to realise most places from within the city centre (at ground level at least) have their views severely restricted by the height of the surrounding buildings. So, we did what seemed like the rest of the clever residents of York decided to do... head on to Lendal bridge. Unfortunately, the furthest we could get on to the bridge was Lucy's. Our view was initially blocked by the tower opposite, so we squeezed as far up as far as we possibly could, much to the annoyance of those already on the bridge and the drivers who were still trying to get their vehicles across it. At the point a double-decker bus came to a standstill completely blocking our view, we gave up and headed off to the Minster to try and find the Gandini jugglers who were supposed to be performing there. We eventually found them in Kennedy's... they'd come up from London to perform only to be told they weren't allowed to in their allocated spot outside the Minster on health and safety grounds and that they should go straight home. Thankfully the Gandinis were professional enough to ask for an alternative spot and managed to get one in St Sampson's Square. For me their glowing balls and clubs illuminated the evening far more impressively and skilfully than the Council fireworks.

Sam Vines, York

The secrecy of the launch site appears to have been justified on safety grounds. Did they also consider the safety of the crowds trying to squeeze through Bootham Bar to see where the booms and bangs were coming from? Or the safety of the crowds standing in the road on Lendal Bridge? The stupidity of this decision is beyond belief. Just for the record, we saw nothing from Goodramgate, Deangate, Low Petergate, Duncombe Place, and High Petergate. We finally saw the end of the display from Bootham Bar, but even then some fireworks were hidden by the art gallery.

Steve Phillips, Strensall

Well, I was standing where thousands of others were (sensibly) standing - along the riverside. There was barely standing room along there, the bridges lined with people too, and from there the view was stunning. The bells and brass reached a crescendo, the crazed drummer on his raft in the river sent up a couple of small rockets, and suddenly the display began - huge, glittering, surprising and wonderful. Rather than complaints and grumbles, all I heard were the gasps of the crowds, the excited whoops of pleasure from children, and a huge round of applause when it was all finally over. It was the finest Guy Fawkes night I've ever spent in York (and I've lived here many years) - spectacular and thrilling. As a side note - why would anyone at the Minster expect to be able to see the display - when you're entirely surrounded by very tall buildings!

Roger Gibson, York

I thought it was coming from Clifford's Tower, but have since found out that it was up near St Peter's School, anyway, saw most of it from our house in the Rawcliffe area.

Mark Turner, Rawcliffe

I took my mum and dad for their 40th wedding anniversary to the bonfire display. No one knew where it was going to be, there were crowds of people because we were on Lendal Bridge and you could not move. Traffic came to a standstill. I thought the display on the River Ouse was a bit of a disappointment, but my mum and dad enjoyed the fireworks and it made their anniversary. There were people everywhere so I don't know where the lady above was standing. We walked across to the Minster to see it lit up for Renaissance, which was lovely. I think there could have been fireworks in other parts of the city so everyone could see, as if you were at Clifford's Tower u would not have been able to see. York council always seems to have a very low budget when it comes to displays but it was better than no firework display...

Mo Lightowler with mum and dad., Acomb

I would just like to thank the City of York Council for disappointing my 2 young girls. York Minster was great and we waited and waited for what was going to be a special display. Instead I was left to cling to my children as the crowd swept by to try to get a glimpse. Thanks.

Shaun Daniels, Acomb

I watched the fireworks from Lendel Bridge and had a great view. Loads of people were crowded on the bridge and along the river bank. The atmosphere was superb! I agree that the display was obviously not visible all over the city centre. But a lot of people had a good view and I think trade in the city centre will have benefited greatly!

Ben Potter, Clifton

Having travelled to York to join your celebrations and read the Councillor's comments, I wonder just where your Councillor King was? York was teeming with both locals and visitors.We mingled with the crowds outside the Minster, the people were there, the atmosphere of anticipation almost tangible; all that was lacking was the promised "magnificent" display. We were swept along in the crowd as it jostled toward Gillygate in the hope we all might see what was going on. We loved the lights at the West door of the Minster but your fireworks and other promised delights were a damp squib. Typical Council effort (guess they all go home early.. not their fault or responsibility).

Andrew Waite, Birstall, West Yorkshire

As another member of the crowd around the Minster on Sat night, I agree entirely with Dawn's comments. Sadly, York City Council failed to recognise that in trying to celebrate Guy Fawkes' attempt, they didn't recognise that the UNCOVERING of the plot was a very significant event on that day 400 years ago. If only they had let us uncover their plot then many more council tax payers would have been able to appreciate the display.

Jo Bolton, Fulford

I walked into work on Saturday evening to find the town centre packed with families. There was a really good atmosphere, "but where were the fireworks?" I heard more than a few people ask! I find it disgraceful that the council kept quiet about the display without anouncing to those who actually paid for it where they had to go to get a good view!...Typical Council, couldn't organise a drink-up in a brewery! Am I surprised...not really, Am I disappointed...of course. Not for myself, but for all those residents who actually made the effort to come into town to see the display! Let's hope if the council decide to hold another display next year, they actually tell us where to go, and last but not least, please hold it in the town centre (maybe on the Eye of York). It would be very easy for you to barricade that area off to the general public! Or is that too simple an idea for the council....

M.Allanach, Clifton

Can I just commend Dawn on her amazingly accurate description of the utter farce that was the fireworks spectacular!! I and a large number of my friends were in attendance in the centre of town awaiting the display that would be clearly visible to everyone around the city. When the display commenced we (along with thousands of other residents and visitors) motioned towards the source of the display, only to become embroiled in a heaving mass of people, able to see only a few splashes of colour through and around the trees and buildings separating the majority of the spectators from the display. What an utter waste of time and effort. Surely having let people know where they would be able to get a decent view from would have resulted in a much greater event and maybe even some moving traffic!!

Quoting Dawn: "Thank you once again from the bottom of my empty "green" bin and the top of my overflowing black one."

Neil M E Brace, York

I can tell Ken King where all the people of York were - milling round the muddy streets trying to get from behind buildings to somewhere where they could see anything. Most of us were misled into believing we would be able to enjoy the display from the city centre but ended up squelching round Museum Gardens peering through trees. Those I spoke to were firmly of the opinion that York Council "couldn't organise a fireworks party on Bonfire Night", to coin a phrase.

Andrew Leech, Fulford

My partner comes from York, so we thought what finer place to spend Guy Fawkes than her home city. We went to the Minster and, impressed by the light show, made our way to Clifford's Tower where a sizeable crowd was gathering. We thought there was the normal delayed start one comes to expect but then the crowd slowly turned round to look at tall buildings from behind which one could here what sounded like an expensive display. Trouble is, no one could see it unless they joined the push to get to the river bank - a dangerous place to be on the slippery walkway and flooded river. At least halfway through the display we saw some fireworks in the distance, but there was no atmosphere, being so far away. Indeed, I heard one chap ask whether the display was in Leeds ! I feel the council let down not only local ratepayers, but tourists that the city thrives on and most of all hundreds of expectant children. Someone should lose their job!

Dick Watson, Ware, Hertfordshire

How many more things can this council get wrong? Because of the secrecy, my daughter and I wandered around until we found the biggest crowd, which was at Clifford's Tower. When the display started the view was restricted to say the least and most people rushed over the road through Tower Gardens. The view was ok but not perfect, and one gent fell into the river as people tried to find a better viewing position.They've got 12 months to come up with a better plan. It doesn't sound like rocket science(SORRY)to me, but I won't be banking on them to get it right.

Steve Horsley, Heslington

They were wonderful. We sat in our dining room and had a glorious view while enjoying our evening meal at Rawcliffe. Our children also enjoyed them, one at Huntington, one in Leeman Road and one in Marygate.

Pat Brighton, Rawcliffe

I would just like to echo Dawn Worcester's comments. I am no doubt one of several thousand who was anticipating a "spectacular display" but instead wished I had gone elsewhere. The comments by Councillor Keith Orrell in the York Evening Press "That it went very well" are no doubt true if you were one of the committee watching from the launch site. It seems that York City Council try hard but never seem to quite get there. Is it time for a change? What could have been a fantastic opportunity for York was a flop because of poor communication and organisation. Let's hope we do not think like this after Christmas when the council pack their Christmas lights back in to the council office's loft!

David Poessl, York

Yes - another among angry onlookers. We gathered at Clifford's Tower as the best open area to view any aerial fireworks. They began and all we could see were flashes over the rooftops. Hundreds moved down into the gardens next to the river opposite the Tower and caught a distant glimpse. This move resulted in an elderly gent walking straight into the river, as it was so gloomy down there and the river was flush with the quayside. Good on you, York Council - nearly had a death on your hands as well!!

Colin Avery, Wilberfoss

The only thing fireworks did for me was cost me £48.13p in vet's bills to sort out my pet dog's stress-related colitis. The stress and terror caused from the loud bangs of fireworks going off every night for over a week before Bonfire Night brought out stress-related colitis. It is time that fireworks were banned once and for all. They are out totally out of hand. Two nights past Bonfire Night and the fireworks are still going off. When is it going to end?

Denise Fenton, Acomb

Was the display at the bottom of Cllr Anne Reid's garden?

Alan Bowgett, Holgate

My congratulations come from across town, where another large crowd waited around Clifford's Tower. The lights were off, the barriers up (why?), so obviously something was about to happen... but no... just another big disappointment. At least the new Council have found a theme!

Graham Huntington, York

I couldn't agree more with Dawn Worcester. The firework display was a 400-year-old damp squib. The York Council were so busy in their counting house, counting all their parking monies, that they obviously forgot to check the streets heaving with people eager to see the firework display 'second to none'. A poor effort on the part of the York Council (one wonders if they hitched a ride on the back of a private party function). Maybe they need to get advice from Hull, Leeds or Sheffield on how to organise such important tourism events - they certainly need it.

Sue Leadbeater, Brough

Yet another bungle by the liberal council. Whoever heard of a fireworks display which you can't attend. I live just outside the city wall. So presuambly an aerial display visible all over York would be easy to see. 5.30pm - Didn't see a thing. However well done to Heslington church for organising a diplay I can attend.

Tom Waite, York

I wanted to be as close as possible to the fireworks and surrounded by other people so I would get the full impact. I ended up on the wall by Walmgate Bar after leaving my flat once I heard the display start. I heard a lot of people asking where the display would be and when while I was in town during the day, but no one could tell me what was going on. I heard it on the news a few minutes before it started. The display looked great, but I saw it from a distance and kept finding my view obscured by trees and buildings. The best display I've ever been to was in London, on Blackheath Common - that was free and is fantastic, every year. It's a shame York couldn't do as well when Guy Fawkes was born here, etc, etc.

Rebecca Newman, York

Where were we, Cllr King? In the wrong place to see anything! So much for a firework display that was supposed to be visible all over the city centre. We couldn't even see it properly from in front of the Minster! My wife and I braved the crowds with our two small girls and stood with the hundreds of other people in front of the Minster for the last half-hour of the bell ringing. Because of the secrecy surrounding the launch site no one knew where to stand or even which direction we should be looking in.

What a disappointment then when the fireworks began! From where we were all we (and hundreds of others) could see were multicoloured reflections from the clouds above the Dean Court Hotel. Occasionally when the wind blew in the right direction we caught a glimpse of part of the explosion of a rocket! Many of the people in the crowd with no children in tow forced their way down towards the river to try to get to see at least some of the display. We had no chance to do that with our children. By the time we could have got down there the display would have been long over. Most other people obviously thought the same and began to drift away. You would have thought that the birthplace of Guy Fawkes would have been able to put on a better performance for his 400th anniversary!

Dr Geoff Seavers, Heworth

I live in Clifton and there is no doubt that the "surprise," energetic pyrotechnic bonfire night display launched nearby by York City Council offered more colour, noise and action than this area of Clifton has seen for a while. Probably since the second world war when Hitler was trying to destroy it. Indeed, the event was spectacular. Spectacularly ear-splitting, violent and dangerous, that is. The unannounced evening's proceedings were marked suddenly by a series of loud explosions so strong that the windows of my house rattled and shook as the clattering percussion of scattered fragments striking roofs, windows and walls announced fallout from the explosive device.

Upon going outside to investigate, more violent explosions ripped through the dark of the night sky and debris from shattered fireworks fell on me, my house and in the surrounding streets, gardens and lanes. It was like being bombarded with large grains of hot, black sand. Some of the debris was still glowing and proceeded to roll down roofs to settle in "plastic" gutters, on the ground, on window ledges and on cars. The energy transmitted outward by the shock wave could be felt on my chest as I hastily retreated for cover. Beautiful though the display was, these were less like fireworks and more like bombs. Did anyone on the council actually do a "risk assessment" and consider the effect that their fireworks might have on the homes and lives of the people directly under their flight path? I would challenge the sanity of anyone launching fireworks with so much explosive power in such circumstances.

Clearly the display was too close, too powerful and inappropriately launched in the heart of a densely populated and built up area like Clifton, particularly when there are wide open spaces like the Knavesmire available. There, people would have been given a wonderful bonfire night to remember in relative safety. What's more, they might have been able to see it! (had they been invited). As one of the privileged few to have experienced the event, I wish I hadn't. The "madness" went on for some considerable and distressing time and it really did feel like we were under attack. I was unable to appreciate the thoughtfulness of the council for so kindly putting on such a lovely display. I was too worried for my home and property.

Too late to do anything about it now, I would ask the council to come and clean up the mess. There are considerable chunks of firework lying about the streets, lanes and pavements. Or will that just be left to fester, like a lot of the rubbish in this area? Perhaps the money they spent on the fireworks (our money) could have been put to better use by paying for an effective road sweeper.

Bryan Oxley, Clifton

Firstly, I have nothing to do with City of York Council!! However, the location of this year's fireworks was indeed kept as a secret with good reason, and this was fully publicised. Following firework injuries and the logistical nightmare of having vast numbers of people swarming around York trampling each other on previous Clifford's Tower events, it was deemed appropriate that a display which could be seen by many from the surrounding area would be more appropriate. That way, risks of injury and traffic chaos would be minimised.

It was explained that this was not an event that you 'go to'. Unfortunately, this did not stop thousands of people converging on random landmarks across the York anyway and bringing the city centre to a standstill unneccesarily. If you missed the display because your view was blocked by the Minster or Clifford's Tower, which you had plucked out of thin air to stand at, then it basically serves you right. Maybe you will listen to instructions next time? I don't remember reading anything which advised 'flocking to the city centre'.

Paul Beckwith, York

What a joke. My ten-year-old daughter could've sorted something better out. We rushed all the way from just outside scarborough to see the display, struggled to find a parking space, then to top it off no-one knew where the display was to take place.We found more enjoyment on the way home. We got to see more fireworks, better organisation and the display in Malton was of a far better standard .

Martinson family, Malton

On our arrival at York we went straight to Tourist Info where we were told that we would be able to see the fireworks from anywhere within the city walls. We were among thousands of people crammed around the Minster waiting for the fireworks. Of course no-one could see a thing. Thousands of people then had to try and find somewhere where we could see the fireworks. Many people, like us opted for the Museum Gardens. Some of the fireworks were so low that there was no chance of anyone seeing them unless there was an uninterrupted view all the way to the fireworks.

Hazel Burnham, Scunthorpe

May I take this opportunity to congratulate City of York Council on yet another cock up. Yes, I'm referring to the aerial display of fireworks to be seen all over the city on Saturday, 5th November, to mark 400 years of Guy Fawkes trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The council was obviously following in his footsteps and didn't blow up A DAMN THING!

THE ONLY THING THEY MANAGED TO IGNITE WAS DISAPPOINTMENT IN THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE THAT FLOCKED TO THE CITY CENTRE. The atmosphere around York Minster was electric, the light display on the minster was astounding, mixed with the deep tones of the bells, the last bell rang at 5.30 when the streets fell silent. Eager anticipation hung over the crowd, all heads turned to the heavens, and what did we get? Echoes of boom, booms, a few changes of colour to the night sky and a lot of disappointed people. The secret location for the launch was so secret it must have been a private party for one of the greediest councils in Britain. They couldn't organise the proverbial 'party' in a brewery! Thank you once again from the bottom of my empty "green" bin and the top of my overflowing black one.

Dawn Worcester, Osbaldwick, York

Updated: 11:54 Monday, November 07, 2005