TONIGHT’S Bonfire Night celebrations (Saturday, October 26) in Littlehampton have been cancelled due to dangerous weather conditions, organisers have confirmed.
Alan Alderton, chairman of the Littlehampton Bonfire Society – which organises the event every year – said he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ by the decision but explained that it was taken in the interest of public safety.
With the Met Office warning of severe weather approaching the south-east of England, with winds set to peak at about 80mph, on Monday, the society was told that all events should be cancelled.
This includes the children’s parade, war memorial tribute, the grand torchlight procession, bonfire lighting and the fireworks display.
Mr Alderton said: “We thought that we were going to get away with it. But sadly that’s not been the case.
“The fire brigade have told us that the wind and rain, although not too bad at the moment, could become increasingly dangerous as the evening goes on.
“It’s such a hard decision to make because there are so many people who work so hard, behind the scenes, to make the bonfire happen.
“So it’s such a shame about the weather.”
Alan said that this was only the third time in more than 20 years that the event had been cancelled.
“We’re so, so sorry for all the people who were looking forward to tonight’s bonfire display,” he added. “There are a lot of people who are already travelling down, that will have to turn back.”
Earlier this week, the Met Office warned that a large storm system was approaching the south of England.
The front is expected to reach the south coast Sunday evening and into Monday, bringing exceptionally strong winds.
Advice has been issued for people to prepare their homes and take care when driving along exposed coastal routes, on Monday.
More weather updates to follow.