A WINTER wonderland proved a big hit at a Halesowen school after an ice rink was brought in following the cancellation of a firework spectacular.

Dudley’s safety advisory group refused to give its blessing to the Guy Fawkes event at Howley Grange Primary School because of safety concerns, forcing the PTA and local Scout group to plug the plug at the last minute.

But a hurriedly re-arranged ice skating fundraiser held last Saturday proved so successful organisers plan to make it an annual event.

PTA chairman Dave Guest said there had been a “real buzz” about the ice skating which made about £1,000 to be split between the school and the Howley Grange Scouts .

It meant all the other arrangements including food and a glow-in-the dark juggler could go ahead and organisers were grateful to Solihull Fireworks for not making any charge, despite the late cancellation.

Mr Guest said: “There was great team spirit. It was amazing how in 10 days we turned a big negative into a positive. We are going to make it an annual event and steer well clear of fireworks.”

Councillor Judy Foster, cabinet member for community safety, said the advisory group, made up of council and emergency services representatives, was unable to endorse the fireworks evening because it did not meet nationally set safety guidelines.