MORAY COMMUNITIES KICKED off the annual round of firework displays with one of the biggest and best celebrations in a coastal village at the weekend.
The display at Portgordon has grown year on year into one of the most popular displays in the north, drawing visitors from all over Moray and beyond to the village harbour.
Doubts were cast early on Saturday over if the display might go ahead at all, however, as torrential rain fell overnight on Friday organisers had to wonder if a postponement might be on the cards.
Thankfully Saturday brought clear skies – and that encouraged around 2000 people to pack into the small community, many using new car parking arranged this year with a local landowner.
Past events have been troubled by traffic issues which the organisers tried to relieve by operating a “park and ride” bus service to ferry spectators into the village from Buckie. The new parking arrangements this year – managed by local events police manager Roy Thomson – saw few issues this time around.
The result was attendance figures well up on 2014 – although event committee chairman Kenny Gunn pointed out that not everyone entered into the spirit of the event, which depends on donations each year to ensure it continues. He said: “The sad thing is we are limited for stewarding and a lot of people came along and sat in their cars up the street or at the beach to watch the display.
“Then when the guys came around asking for a donation from them, they were not very willing to part with their money easily. This is a big show and costs of lot of money – with the fireworks and insurance and the entertainment licence.
“It is just crazy that we took in just £100 more this year from a much bigger crowd attending.”