2:00pm Saturday 17th March 2012
By James Nadal
THE decision to shut the funfair early and axe the firework display at this year's Marlow Town Regatta mean the drunken yobs are winning, a fireworks boss has blasted.
Troublemakers coming from outside of Marlow are ruining the town's social showpiece occasion, according to Malcolm Smith, who has supplied the fireworks in recent years.
The angry businessman said the changes to this year's event has killed it.
Supreme Fireworks owner Mr Smith, who lives near Cookham Dean, has been going to the regatta for about 30 years, taking his children and more recently, his grandchildren.
He stressed that the affect on his company of losing the event was small and it is his long standing connection to and love of the regatta, rather than any commercial concerns, that have angered him.
He said: "My attitude is the yobs are winning. Marlow is losing and has lost a major event for the people in the town.
"What's killed it is the anti-social behaviour of a minority who are getting drunk on the High Street on a Saturday.
"This minority is not being clobbered enough for being anti-social.
"I think people are getting much more angry about this. The whole essence is that the minority have effectively killed it.
"My headline would be the anti-socials have won."
Mr Smith, who is also a consultant scientist, said shutting the fair at 6pm is 'ridiculous'.
But regatta chiefs have told the Free Press the changes will help ensure the festival weekend is not tarnished again by any yob element and said the changes were in the best interests of everyone at the event and in the town.
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