THE ORGANISERS of a major fireworks display have apologised after delays meant many families with young children had to leave before it had started.

The Gunpowder Plod (correct) event in York was the first bonfire night event on the city’s Knavesmire in 17 years.

It included a 5k run followed by a fireworks display and family entertainment.

About 8,000 people bought tickets for the event, with tickets for the fireworks display priced £8 for children and £12 for adults and £15 to £25 for those wanting to take part in the 5k race as well.

But many ticket-holders have criticised the event, after it was beset by delays.

Many people queued up to an hour for food stalls and the beer tent.

The start of the 6.30pm race was put back when the registration system was overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to sign up after leaving work.

The fireworks display was then delayed by 45 minutes to just before 9pm as stewards struggled to clear people who had trespassed onto the middle of the Knavesmire where fireworks were due to be released. Police were eventually called to help clear the area.

Today (Tuesday, November 6) Jim Mee, managing director of Rat Race Events, which staged the festival, said they would donate the £5,000 proceeds from children’s ticket sales to the William Rhodes Appeal. William is a three-year-old boy from York battling a rare blood disorder.

In an email to ticket holders, Mr Mee said: “We are sorry the little ones might not have been able to enjoy the show and as a gesture, we have decided to make a donation to a local children’s cause; the William Rhodes Appeal.”