COMMUNITY EVENT: The organisers of the town event have worked with owners of animals who had concerns in the past
COMMUNITY EVENT: The organisers of the town event have worked with owners of animals who had concerns in the past

BONFIRE night celebrations will be back in Barnard Castle for the first time in three years thanks to the efforts of organisers to make it as animal friendly as possible.

Barnard Castle’s Christmas lights committee have teamed up with charity fundraisers the Clique to organise the event, which will again be held on the upper Demesnes.

It is the first time the Christmas lights committee and the Clique have organised the event.

They say they have taken particular care to address the concerns of local residents and animal owners close to the Demesnes.

The event was moved from the Demesnes after concerns from owners about the effect the noise from fireworks was having on their animals.

In 2016 the event was relocated again at the last minute to Streatlam Farm after problems with insurance stopped it being held on land owned by Durham County Council at Shaw Bank.

Last year there was no bonfire in the town last year after Barnard Castle Meet committee, which had organised the event for more than five years, said financial losses had made it unviable. Roger Peat, of the Christmas Light Committee, said: “Out of all the sites in Barnard Castle this one is the best for people being able to walk to the event. The idea is not to have loud banging fireworks and we are planning on having quiet ones set to music.

“We have spoken with Chris Teward who has his stables nearby and he has been on site and is happy to work with us on this.

“It is a massive undertaking for the lights committee and as such we have teamed up with the Clique, who have been fantastic and have a lot of experience in organising outside events.”

Mr Peat added those driving to the event will be able to park at The Bowes Museum and Barnard Castle School also agreed for their car park to be used as an overflow if needed.

However, Mr Peat said Durham County Council will have the final say on the event and officers are still going through the process. He will meet with their safety advisory group on Tuesday, September 18.

“We seem to be ticking all the right boxes though. We need the support of the community to make this a success,” added Mr Peat.

All funds raised from the event, which is being held on Saturday, November 3, will fund the town’s Christmas lights. Advance tickets are available at both the Teesdale Mercury shop in Market Place and Galgate News and cost £6 for adults and £4 for children.

Family tickets – two adults and two children – cost £15.

Gates open at 5.30pm with the bonfire being lit at 6pm and fireworks display, which will be accompanied by music, is due to start at 7pm. Tickets on the gate cost £8 for adults, £6 for children and a family ticket will be £20.