A POPULAR fireworks display which has been running for more than 40 years has been cancelled.

The Langham bonfire and fireworks display, which usually takes place at Langham Recreation Ground, was called off due to problems with insurance.

Bob Schofield, who sits on the Langham Recreation Ground Committee and used to organise the event, said the village was “up in arms” over the decision.

He said: “The whole event has been called off. The insurance company for the parish council made so many stipulations that the time to get everything put in place wasn’t enough.

“It has been running for 45 years this year. There were so many things put in the way it was impossible to do it.”

The organisers only found out the insurance company’s requirements on September 5, leaving them less than a month to make changes and set everything up before the event on November 2.

Organisers had already been spending time preparing flyers and tickets for the event.

Bob added: “I had even had the tickets printed. The issue was where we kept the money overnight after the event.

“We got in touch with security firms but they wanted a lot of money to come and collect it. That was a big stumbling block.

“They also wanted the whole eight acres of the recreation ground fenced off for security reasons and it was getting into £1,000 to do.

“I was upset and the village was up in arms, but there is nothing we can do.”

Langham Parish Council said the event, held in School Road, has only been deferred and hopes to return again next year.

A post on the Langham Community Centre Facebook page said: “It is with regret that, owing to circumstances beyond its control, the parish council, in consultation with Bob Schofield, has been obliged to cancel the Langham Bonfire Night planned for this November.

“It wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to all who contributed to this event over many years.”

Residents called it a terrible shame and made offers to help, but nothing could be done to save the event.

Mr Schofield used to have about 72 helpers, including his wife, Elizabeth, who take charge of jobs ranging from taking money from guests, ordering health and safety equipment and making the soup which is sold at the event.

He retired from organising the event in 2014.

The idea started when he invited a few people to his back garden to mark bonfire night. The event grew and regularly attracted more than 500 residents.