Disappointment as people watch Exmouth firework display without paying

PUBLISHED: 06:55 15 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:10 15 November 2013

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Exmouth Rugby Club on November 5, to view the firework display intended as a fundraising event by the Exmouth Round Table. Ref exe 3732-45-13SH.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Exmouth Rugby Club on November 5, to view the firework display intended as a fundraising event by the Exmouth Round Table. Ref exe 3732-45-13SH.

Archant

A DARK shadow hung gloomily over the recent annual charity fireworks display at Exmouth Rugby Ground.

A DARK shadow hung gloomily over the recent annual charity fireworks display at Exmouth Rugby Ground.

As our photo shows, instead of paying £5 admission to go in to the arena, hundreds of people deliberately chose to mill around the adjacent Imperial Road car park and watch the 20-minute spectacular for free.

Some even brought folding chairs with them so they could view the display in comfort, while others watched the soaring rockets as they savoured fish ‘n’ chip suppers from the back of their cars.

The Journal estimates that up to 700 people were at the car park on Tuesday, November 5, with another 300 along the estuary road and into the coach park.

Not only did around 1,000 people get a free show, many of them refused to give any money to the charity collectors who walked among them, asking for much-needed donations for the display.

It was the 50th time that Exmouth and District Round Table had organised the event, and possibly the largest crowd that has ever gathered to watch the display for free outside the rugby ground.

Mike Sprague, secretary of Exmouth and District Round Table, was philosophical.

“Obviously we would like as many people to come in and enjoy the fireworks and pay on the gate because the profits go back to local organisations and charities,” he said.

“But if it feels like it’s too expensive, we would like people to at least put £1 or £2 into the buckets as well so that our people can collect.

“Everything goes back to local charities in the area, one of which will be Beach Rescue which provided the first-aid cover on the night.”

Mr Sprague confirmed that the Round Table’s collectors struggled to get any money from those outside the ground.

“You get some who are happy to do it, but you get quite a large majority which just completely ignore it,” said Mr Sprague. “It’s an ongoing battle.”

The event raised £1,500 for charity.


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