Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Funding sought for Bentham bonfire revival
8:00am Wednesday 15th August 2012 in News
Organisers forced to scrap a hugely popular bonfire and lantern procession have pledged to forge ahead to find more secure funding to re-launch it next year.
The event, which has run in High Bentham for 20 years, is facing a funding crisis and there was no alternative but to cancel the event this year, they said.
It is attended by around 3,000 people every October, but organisers have not been able to source enough money to stage it this year.
It involves a series of lantern workshops where families make lanterns to use in the evening procession. That is followed by a bonfire and firework display at the auction mart.
Press and marketing officer for the bonfire committee, Anna Miller said new members had been recruited to the committee and would be focusing on fundraising over the next 15 months. They are looking to raise £8,000.
Anna said: “We have some great ideas for making the event really spectacular.
“We want to build on all of the hard work that the previous committee put in and make it a financially sustainable event. We have a lot of fundraising to do.
“Last year’s numbers were down considerably due to the appalling weather, and this is largely why we cannot afford to put on the event this year.
“Although the lantern procession is always subject to funding, it is the bonfire part which we need to find money for. One doesn’t happen without the other,” she said.
Despite the disappointment of this year’s event being cancelled, a new bonfire committee was in place and it was confident that the spectacle would return in 2013.
She added: “This is one of the main events on Bentham’s calendar and is really important in bringing the community together.
“It would be a real shame if we were to lose this vibrant event. It brings in lots of people from outside Bentham and is particularly beneficial for the local caravan site and pubs.”
Anna is calling on local businesses to come forward to sponsor it. Anyone able to help should contact her on 015242 61907.