The city of Godalming and the local Lions Club provide an annual town bonfire and fireworks event around the first of November. This year, it will be held Saturday November 2. A week before the event, a tragic act of vandalism occurred that threatened to cancel the event.
The Godalming Lions Club had been collecting wood for the bonfire for over four months. Everyone in the city was eagerly looking forward to the event. However, last Saturday vandals set fire to the wood. The Surrey Fire and Rescue Service sent a fire engine to the blaze. It took several hours to put it out. All that was left was a big pool of water.
Tom Martin, the mayor, worried about what to do. But then, like any modern-day politician would do, he turned to social media. He launched an appeal on his Facebook page to save the bonfire. He asked people to donate wood for the fire.
And, like modern-day citizens, the community rose to the occasion. One community member donated a tree that had fallen down in her garden. Another person donated a wooden garage that was left in a state of no repair after a recent storm.
But, best of all, Kelly’s Self Storage offered help.
Gil Andrew, a driver for Kelly’s Self Storage, jumped into action. He gathered 50 old storage pallets and all of the spare pieces of wood that was around the storage facility.
Laura Leah Price, the office administrator, contacted the mayor’s office. She offered the pallets, wooden containers, and pieces of wood. She said that Kelly’s Self Storage would deliver them Saturday morning to the site of the bonfire so that the wood would be available in time for the fire.
The Eagle Radio Station called and talked to Laura about Kelly’s Self Storage donation. Snippets of that conversation played on the air throughout the day today.
Mayor Martin commented that he was overwhelmed with the response to the request for wood for the fire. He was convinced that the community would pull together to donate enough wood and get the wood stacked and ready to burn in time for the events on Saturday night. He feels that it will be the biggest and the best that Godalming has had in many years. However, volunteers are still needed to help build the new bonfire on Saturday morning.
A torchlight procession will leave The Pepperpot at 7:00 p.m. and wind its way to the bonfire. (Torches are available for purchase outside The Red Lion.) After the bonfire, there will be a display of fireworks for the community to enjoy.
“Community reacts to save Godalming bonfire.” 964 Eagle Radio News; 29 October 2013.
“Kelly’s Help to Save Godalming bonfire.” Kelly’s Self Storage Blog. 29 October 2013
“Godalming bonfire burns to ground a week early.” BBC News; 29 October 2013.