When the bonfire is lit in the King George V Park in Banchory on Saturday, November 6, it will mark a full year of planning and preparation by a committee of 12 Banchory and District Round Table members.
They started work on the 2010 bonfire almost as soon as the ashes were cold from the 2009 one. It’s a tried and tested formula refined over the 20 years the Round Table have been organising the biggest bonfire on Deeside. Last year, it attracted an estimated crowd of 8,000 and the organisers are hopeful of even more people this time.
As with all Rotary events, it will raise money for charity and amongst the beneficiaries this year are Scill Deeside and Banchory Guides and Scouts.
12 months of background planning will explode into a frenzied day of activity on November 6 although things have been getting busier through September and October. All day, volunteers will be out and about collecting combustibles. If you have anything you would like to add to the bonfire, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a collection. Other volunteers will fence off the fire and fireworks area and build the bonfire, topping it off with a Guy.
The fire will be lit at 6.30 and the fireworks display, by Fireworx Scotland, will begin at 7pm. From 6.30, the Round Table will be selling hot dogs and other snacks and some local retailers will also be selling burgers, doughnuts and coffee. Round Table members in branded tabards will also be selling glow goodies and light sticks and all money raised from these will go to charity.
Last year, a number of uninvited street traders arrived in the surrounding car parks to sell their glow goodies as a commercial venture and all they kept all of the money they made, so the organisers are keen to stress that if you want to help the Round Table help local charities, buy only from members in branded tabards. There is no admission fee but Round Table volunteers will be out and about with collecting buckets.
Safety is always paramount at the bonfire so sandbins will be provided for sparklers. The fireworks display will be at the bottom of the park with barricades placed halfway up the park. There will also be patrols to make sure nobody gets too close to the display.
Around 10.30 the fire will be extinguished by the Fire and Rescue Service and tidying up will begin. By Sunday morning the park will be cleaned up by Round Table volunteers and put back into its original state with the exception of the burnt patch which usually grown in quickly.
It’s a lot of work, a lot of planning and a lot of fun, but the Round Table Movement is all about making friends, having fun and putting something back into the local community.