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Fireworks at Crystal Palace Park, 8th November 2003

Tonight's fireworks at Crystal Palace Park were greeted with three sayings from the audience... "ooh", "aah" and "run away"!

It was a dry and clear night - ideal for watching fireworks and the lunar eclipse (taking place nearer midnight). Capital Radio organised the display with a stage show featuring Matt Goss and Atomic Kitten. If you didn't fancy forking out money the usual vantage points were available, such as the pub courtyards outside the Blue Bottle and Jack Beard's at the top of Anerley Hill. Round the back of the bus station was a favoured location - better than previous year's squelchy muddy affairs because it now features a pavement and railings to lean against.

It wasn't quite as busy as the Fireworks we saw in 2000 but this was probably because Capital Radio were directing people to Selhurst Park as the nearest tube/rail station (a couple of miles away) rather than Crystal Palace bus terminus and railway stations (top and bottom of said park - you really couldn't get any closer).

Just before 8.30pm the fireworks got off to a gentle enough start.

Of course tradition dictates the smaller fireworks come first.

But it did get a bit samey for the first five to ten minutes.

The fireworks got bigger and louder. Although we were outside the park and there was just the gentlest of breezes the fallout came towards us.

The crowd became very agitated - children cried - as burning embers rained down on our heads.

The fallout marred the enjoyment of some superb fireworks. For a short while we were also distracted by a driver who parked up in the bus garage and became irate when asked to move (at one point driving at the garage attendants but just stopping short of running them over).

But the fireworks were unrelenting and totally mesmerising.

It was good to see fireworks making a return to Crystal Palace. For a highlight of the event check out our video clip of the display (30 second Quicktime clip - 1.3MB)


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