Firework extravaganza set to light up the Purbeck sky

Bonfire night is back with a bang, with the spectacular annual event at Swanage and Wareham Rugby Ground returning after a gap of two years caused by Covid.

The event on Friday 5th November 2021, at the ground in Bestwall Road in Wareham, is organised by Wareham Wednesdays and it’s their first big event since Bonfire Night in 2019.


Usually the group, run by volunteers, stages a variety of fun events at the quayside in Wareham during the summer, like pirate invasions and raft races, culminating in firework displays. But there were no entertainments this summer or last because of Covid restrictions.

Wareham Wednesdays
Wareham Wednesdays

It’s Wareham Wednesdays first event for two years

“Massively excited”

Organiser Dave Burgess said:

“I’m massively excited to be putting on an event for the community again.

“It’s been heart-breaking not to be able to do the firework displays. We usually raise money and give back to the local community, but it just hasn’t been possible.”

Wareham Wednesdays
Wareham Wednesdays
Wareham Wednesdays
Wareham Wednesdays
Wareham Wednesdays
Wareham Wednesdays

The Wareham Wednesdays’ summer entertainments are the stuff of legend

Fireworks start at 8.30 pm

The event includes fireworks by Anytime Fireworks, children’s entertainment, a funfair, music and food – including a barbeque, hog roast and fish and chips.

The gates open at 6 pm, with the bonfire being lit at 6.30 pm and the fireworks starting at 8.30 pm.

Simon Chainey does a live fire show at 6.45 pm and 8.50 pm. Music will be provided by the Blues Bruvvers at 7.45 pm and again at 9.15 pm. Krazy Kev entertains the children at 7.15 pm.

Wareham Wednesdays
Wareham Wednesdays

Children’s entertainment, music and food make for a great family night out

“Leave it to the experts”

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging local people to attend organised displays rather than holding their own at home.

Ian Hopkins, prevention delivery manager, said:

“We fully understand that there may be a higher level of excitement for Bonfire Night than usual, as people look forward to fireworks for the first time in many months, having missed out last year due to the pandemic.

“We just ask everyone to ‘Be Smart, Be Safe and Be Sensible’, and leave it to the experts by going to one of the many organised displays being held locally.”

Purbeck Police warned:

“The noise from fireworks can be distressing for animals and some vulnerable people. Be considerate and respectful of them when planning your bonfire night celebrations.”

Dorset Fire
DW Fire and Rescue

Ian Hopkins of Dorset Fire and Rescue Service expects a higher level of excitement than usual

Under tens go free

For Wareham Wednesdays the fireworks event is a triumph of planning and cooperation, with safety always in mind.

The events in the summer are sponsored by local businesses and put on for free, a collection being taken for good causes.

The Bonfire Night firework display costs £5 on the door, with under tens going free. There’s a discount for emergency, NHS and care workers with proof of ID.

Wareham Wednesdays
Wareham Wednesdays

The bonfire is lit at 6.30 pm and fireworks start at 8.30 pm

Rugby club members help out

Dave Burgess, who runs a tiling and bathroom company in Wareham, played second row for the rugby club for 15 years until injury, in the form of a dislocated knee, forced him to hang up his boots and devote his energies to coaching the under nines.

Then, four weeks ago, Dave started playing again after a gap of five years for the second team. His father John Burgess is club president and many members of the club help out as car park wardens and stewards for the event.

Lul-Med provide first aid cover, U-Drive provide a lorry for the stage and the PA is provided by Steve Whaley Entertainments of Wareham.

Wareham Wednesdays
Wareham Wednesdays

Food and refreshments, together with live music, add to the evening’s entertainment

“Jolly old knees-up!”

Last time, there were 1,200 people at the fireworks night but Dave is hoping there will be even more this year.

He said:

“I’m hoping this year we’ll have a couple of thousand. People can’t wait to get out and have a jolly old knees-up!”

“It’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait.”

Wareham Wednesdays
Wareham Wednesdays

Dave Burgess with his mother, son and cousin at a previous event

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