FIREWORKS displays at Swindon’s Polo Ground will be a thing of the past, it has been announced.

Swindon Lions, which runs the annual spectacular, said they were cancelling the event because of dwindling numbers and financial losses.

The fundraising fireworks display has run for almost 50 years and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes.

John Austin of Swindon Lions told BBC Wiltshire this morning: “I think that perhaps the public aren’t so keen on going out to a large gathering like ours. And maybe the attraction of fireworks is dropping away.”

He said just 1,800 people went to the display last November – down from around 6,300 people just four years ago. That year the event made a £27,000 profit with the proceeds going to charity.

Mr Austin acknowledged poor weather may have had an impact last year, but added: “I do feel that perhaps our type of event isn’t so attractive as it used to be and of course there are many small events around, many pubs giving free displays to their customers. Our numbers just dropped to below 1,800.”

We said the club’s fundraising efforts would continue: “We’ve got to find other things and we’ve got to work harder at Christmas with Santa and the elves, but yes we’ve got to make up the loss somehow.”