Remember, remember, the 4th of November – 2011

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Following two years of virtual silence on bonfire night organisers have announced that this year’s Fireworks Display will go ahead on Friday, November 5.

An explosion of colour over Oban.
An explosion of colour over Oban.

Exactly 10 years and one day after the fiasco that put our small town on the map in terms of spectacular shows – OhBang!

On November 4, 2011 a technical hitch saw £6,000 of fireworks at Oban Community Firework display at Mossfield accidentally go off within a minute.

Instead of complaining, however, many members of the public in attendance on the night gave the experience the thumbs up and the OhBang! display is now remembered fondly within the community.

Local councillor Roddy McCuish was compere on the night and admits that it was one of the highlights of his lengthy tenure: ‘I remember thinking ‘wow, what a magnificent start’ not realising that was it,’ he told us.

‘The operative ran up and explained that there had been a malfunction and that it actually was it. When I made the announcement people thought I was joking, there was still people coming in through the gate.

‘It brought the town to the attention of the world. My mum phoned from Germany and I was asked to do an interview with CNN Radio.

‘Happily, local residents were good-humoured about the blunder, which was blamed on an electronic timing fault.’

Marian Miller was chief reporter at the time and decided to take The Oban Times video camera to the bonfire night display.

Taking up the story Marian said: ‘I decided I needed a good, high vantage point; so scrambled my way through bracken and brambles up the hill on the golf course, overlooking Mossfield.

‘I nearly fell off the hill at one point when an owl swooped out of nowhere past me.

‘I remember trying to keep up with all the fireworks going off, thinking I could edit it all together afterwards but very quickly after they finished I thought, ‘That’s it, it’s over, they’ve all gone off!’.

‘The next morning was surreal as I had all these news agencies phoning up for copies of the film – Good Morning America, the BBC, ABC News in America. It also got a showing a few weeks later on Jimmy Carr’s Eight of Ten Cats.’

Marian’s footage has been watched almost two million times on YouTube.

Now organised by BID4Oban, this year’s Fireworks Display will be set off from The Northern Lighthouse Board Pier on Friday, November 5, at 7.30pm.

Andy Spence, BIDs chief executive, said: ‘This is one of the first big events to be held in Oban for two years and it will be a great family night out.

‘We are very grateful to the NLB for facilitating this. As ever the display promises to be spectacular, however we do want of repeat of OhBang! from 10 years ago.

‘We are hoping that some of the local town centre businesses and cafes may want to stay open and help make it a really special year.’

To revisit OhBang go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6QtigLJD_4