AFTER reading the article "Partial fireworks ban on cards" (Wednesday, October 9), I must admit that it left me somewhat confused.

If I may quote from the article. "Bolton shops were found to have been selling fireworks illegally to children under the age of 18 over the past 12 months". Over the past 12 months? Please correct me if I'm wrong, or I may have misunderstood that last line, but I always thought that Bonfire Night was November 5.

So, could someone please tell me (other than for reason of profit) why, every year, explosives go on sale in the second week of October? But, hang on a minute, fireworks are still being let off well into November. Is this because people who have bought them didn't manage to set them all off, or because they are still being sold?

The misery and anxiety caused to elderly people and animals by morons and the misuse of fireworks every year is, surely, an indication that this ridiculous ritual has now run its course. A few years ago, bangers were banned, but now we have far more powerful fireworks that rattle windows. I work on Security at Smithills Hall and when November 5 gets into full swing, it's like listening to a bombing raid. Every year we read the same reports of fireworks being thrown at people's windows or cars, or pushed through letter boxes. A dog was killed when it picked up a firework that had been thrown by yobs.

A total ban on the sale of fireworks until the last week in October is the only way. Any fireworks unsold after November 5 should be removed from the shelves, and, before anyone writes in to say they are anyway -- no, they are not! May I quote another instance from the Bolton Evening News.

October 9, 2002 "Firework injures fireman". "A passing motorist threw a firework at a firefighter as he and his colleagues were packing up their equipment after dealing with a burning lorry on the Kearsley roundabout." Need I say more?

Michael McEwing

Turton Road