Derby

Fireworks display of Ashbourne man's ashes refused by council

Mick Finnikin Image copyright Paula Kniveton
Image caption Mick Finnikin, who died suddenly, told friends of his wish to "go out with a bang" after health scares

A man who wanted to "go out with a bang" by having his ashes shot into the sky in a fireworks display has had his wish rejected by councillors.

Mick Finnikin, 68, of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, who died of a heart attack last year, told friends of his wishes after previous health scares.

Carolyn Brown spent nearly a year organising the fireworks display.

But Derbyshire Dales Council said she could not hold it after concerns about Mr Finnikin's ashes landing in gardens.

Miss Brown, Mr Finnikin's friend of 40 years, said: "His greatest wish was to go out with a bang in a rocket over Ashbourne."

She had planned to use about 30 rockets, each containing a teaspoon of ash, in an eight-minute display on a council-owned playing field on 6 February.

"He had lived in Ashbourne all his life," she said.

"He was one of those local characters who would walk down the street and half the street would stop and talk to him.

"He had a larger than life and wicked sense of humour. On his travels, he even married a tree in India."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Derbyshire Dales District Council denied the request following residents' concerns about ash landing in gardens

Miss Brown said she was now "desperately looking for alternative places" but felt "ever so upset" with the decision.

She added she did not believe the ash would have landed in people's gardens.

Thomas Donnelly, who represents Ashbourne South for Derbyshire Dales District Council, was one of the councillors who objected.

He said some residents had said they did not want the "fall-out" from the fireworks on their properties.

He said he had known Mr Finnikin "very well".

"It is nothing personal," he said. "If we were to allow it, I am worried we would set a precedent."

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