A Golf Club owner says his club house was in danger of catching fire after burning shards of fireworks landed on the roof on Saturday night during a Rotary display.

Golf club owner Peter Claridge said friends he had left in charge of the premises on Saturday night were so worried that the club house was going to catch fire they remonstrated with the firework organisers.

Mr Claridge said: "My friend was forced to go into the exclusion zone to warn them about the danger to the building after he saw burning shards landing on the roof."

But Chippenham Rotary Club has defended the health and safety at its firework event on Saturday evening.

Firework organiser Richard Terrell today dismissed the idea that the fireworks were causing danger to a nearby golf club building in Monkton Park.

Mr Terrell said: "We had a full risk and health and safety assessment carried out by a professional company. There was no danger to the golf club but they came into the safety zone and so we had to suspend the fireworks between 7.10pm and 8.30pm. They refused to leave the area but eventually were persuaded to go out by someone from the town council and so we could re-start the fireworks."

Chippenham Mayor Desna Allen tweeted after the event: "Had the pleasure of launching Chippenham Rotary Club Fireworks night in Monkton Park.

"Despite the rain families turned out to enjoy the evening.

"However some less than community minded neighbours brought the festivities to a halt, by entering the safety “fall out” zone."

Mr Claridge said that he had supported the Rotary Club and the firework evening for the past 14 years, even selling tickets for the event, and there had been no problems in the past.

But this year there had been no meeting before the event to discuss health and safety. He said: "My friend did the right thing. He was worried the building was going to catch alight.

"We have been made out to be the spoilsports about this on social media and that is totally wrong. I am very upset that the mayor wrote that we are not community minded when we go out of our way to support things that happen in Chippenham."


Mr Terrell said the Rotary Club had organised firework displays in Chippenham for 50 years with no problems. He said the weather had been bad on Saturday and this had resulted in a smaller crowd than usual but it did not affect the safety of the display.

A spokesman for Distant Thunder, who organised the  display, said: "Safety of persons and buildings are paramount. Our technicians are very experienced and have fired shows all over the world in all types of venues and in all kinds of conditions. 
"Our senior technician at Chippenham did not have any concerns that hot debris was falling in or around the golf club in question and, wind conditions on the evening were taking any debris even further away. 
"Full risk assessments are done of every venue and monitored live during the show, the golf club was at no point in any danger in our opinion. 
"The show was stopped only because a number of people had ventured into our safety zone and refused to leave. For their own safety the show was halted until the situation was resolved."