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Back with a bang!

By Alan Beresford

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AFTER a weather wipeout last year Portgordon fireworks was back with a bang to celebrate a belated 25th anniversary.

Friday saw a large crowd gather at the harbour and surrounding area – as well as vantage points across the village – to enjoy the extravanza of light and sound taking place in the skies above.

The Portgordon Fireworks Committee pyrotechnics team of Ian Legge, Kevin and Steven Gunn, assisted by Graham Sharp, again outdid themselves with a bold and thunderous display.

Doing the honours in setting the fireworks off was a man with a very special connection to the event and its long history. Then a community officer for the council for the Buckie and Portgordon areas, Ken Matthews was one of the founding fireworks committee team. Indeed, it was he who purchased the very first box of fireworks to be set off above the village.

Mt Matthews had been scheduled to perform the role last year only to be thwarted by the bad weather.

Fireworks committee chairman Kenny Gunn said: "It was a cracking night of calm weather, very much like our last event in 2017.

"We were delighted Ken had the chance to finally set the display off; he was a bit nervous holding the control box unaware of the spectacular display he was about to unleash.

"Ken and his wife Gillian then had VIP treatment with special seats and a hot plate of stovies to

follow along with fellow stewards and collectors how braved the chill.

"With this year's event now drawn to a close we're starting to look ahead. We've an ageing committee and would warmly welcome fresh talent on board to learn about the activities required to put on a spectacular fireworks display."

Mr Gunn went on to pay tribute to the many organisations, firms and individuals whose generosity had made the fireworks possible, as well as those members of the public who generously filled the collection buckets on the night of the event.

While the display last year may have been a wash out it was not a fruitless year for the committee, by any manner of means.

In order to show their appreciation for the ongoing support of the wider community, the committee paid for CCTV to protect the public defibrillator installed at the Lampie Hoose by Buckie and District Community Choir. They did likewise for the defib put in place at the village primary school, which was funded by the SSE Beatrice Community Fund.

For more fireworks photos, see pages 8-9.

Joining the crowds in enjoying the eagerly-awaited return of the Portgordon fireworks was local MP Douglas Ross.

Joined by his wife Krystle and baby son Alistair, Mr Ross is no stranger to attending and helping out at the event, his involvement harking back to his days as a councillor for the area.

He was once again left full of praise for the event and the dedication of the volunteer team who make it happen.

“Everyone was bitterly disappointed when last year’s 25th anniversary event had to be cancelled but Kenny Gunn and his team of volunteers more than made up for it this year.

"I was helping to collect donations and people were given every last penny they had on them as they were so impressed by the display.

“It was a great touch to get Ken Matthews to start the fireworks this year since he helped to kick start the event with the first display in 1993.

“Yet again Portgordon fireworks matched peoples expectations with an outstanding display that was enjoyed by a huge crowd.”

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