How it all began

The village firework display

The annual bonfire and fireworks at Chalfont St Giles in aid of the Scouts and Guides, started back in 1970. Safety concerns prompted Guide supporters to organise a display for the girls in the hope that this would discourage the letting off of fireworks at home.

Furthermore, it was realised that opening the event to the paying public would help to swell the funds that were needed to replace the old Guide Hut which dated from 1950.

Thanks to the flair and enthusiasm of key supporters, the popularity of the event grew rapidly from its modest beginnings.

Once the new Guide Centre was completed in 1976 and the loans repaid, the Scouts were invited to share the effort and the profit of the events. An arrangement which continues to this day.

For many years, the displays were staged by local enthusiasts. More recently, the fireworks have been provided and fired by qualified specialist companies, in order to comply with stringent safety regulations and to satisfy the public’s appetite for more spectacular displays. The displays are now fired electronically and are accompanied by a specially created soundtrack and special effects.

There is still plenty to be done by the Scout and Guide supporters and other helpers in planning and publicising the event, managing the catering and sale of tickets and novelties. Not to mention all the equipment that needs to be shifted, tents and safety fencing to be erected and taken down, bonfire to be supervised, crowds to be controlled and the field to be cleared and left as we found it. Hard work on the day but enjoyable and rewarding!

Scouting provides a second family to lots of young people. It’s a safe place where they can aspire and grow.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls