19,000 turn out for Sheffield’s After Dark - SLIDESHOW

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SO that’s what £20,000 going up in smoke looks like.

The FTSE share index may have been heading through the floor but at Don Valley Bowl the pounds were definitely being sent skywards as After Dark thrilled thousands of chilly Guy Fawkes fans.

After Dark 2011 at the Don Valley Bowl...6 years Flynn Mullaydance from Hackenthorpe

After Dark 2011 at the Don Valley Bowl...6 years Flynn Mullaydance from Hackenthorpe

South Yorkshire’s biggest public fireworks display came with all the usual trimmings, of course, including live music, a fun fair and a famous face in the form of X Factor favourite Sophie Habibis.

But the star of the show, as ever, was a dynamic display of pyrotechnic prowess.

As flames from a mighty bonfire licked at the damp night air so the touchpaper was lit to produce a 20 minute feast of flashes, bangs, fizzing and multi-coloured explosions that could be seen and heard from miles beyond Attercliffe.

Organiser Scott Barton, of Yellow Bus Events, branded it the best After Dark yet with 19,000 people heading through the gates.

“It all came together fantastically,” he said. “At the beginning of the week we were quite worried about the weather, but it was good in the end.”

Scott said the crowd this year also comprised a lot more students, plus employees and their families bought tickets by their companies in lieu of a Christmas party and more people from outside the city.

“Being on a Saturday night we were competing with lots of things, and people have their habits, but it was very busy and is becoming more of a regional event,” added Scott.

For the Williams family, from Halfway, it was the first time youngest child Isabella had witnessed the bonfire night bonanza.

“You never know whether the really young kids are going to be a bit scared of it all but our daughter couldn’t take her eyes off the sky,” said dad Ian.

“Our son Bailey loves fireworks and seeing such a big display was always going to be better than the back garden. The display didn’t seem quite as long as previous years but the finale was the best I’ve seen.”

The timing of the 15th After Dark also meant Britney Spears fans heading for the nearby Motorpoint Arena got a free glimpse before their idol came on stage.

“I was a bit miffed at the prospect of bonfire night clashing with the gig, but we’ve got the best of both worlds by the looks of it,” said 18-year-old student Shelly Atwood.