TORRINGTON S night of the big blaze is just around the corner, with a torch being put to the Cavaliers medieval castle bonfire on the town commons at 9pm this Saturday night. Two years in the making, the burning of the huge structure will be the centrepi

TORRINGTON'S night of the big blaze is just around the corner, with a torch being put to the Cavaliers' medieval castle bonfire on the town commons at 9pm this Saturday night.

Two years in the making, the burning of the huge structure will be the centrepiece of a night of entertainment that is expected to draw thousands of onlookers to help raise funds for the Children's Hospice South West, North Devon Cancer Care Centre Trust and other local charities.

The building of the bonfire has already attracted many people to the town to see construction in progress by the Torrington Cavaliers volunteers.

Other members of the local community have also played their parts, including the making of shields and gargoyles as additional decorations by local schoolchildren and authentic stained glass windows by retired doctor Paul Bangay.

The latest addition came only last Thursday night when a huge dragon - the size of a caravan - was hoisted on to the ramparts. It was designed and made by brothers Nick and Stuart Davey, who are locally famous for their prize winning carnival floats.

This is the latest in 40 years of spectacular bonfire building and burning by the Cavaliers, carrying the Torrington name worldwide and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities.

Spectators will see the bonfire ablaze after the firing of a shower of flaming arrows by members of the Kenwith Archers. But it is fitting that the flame that will light it will be administered by Dave Kelly, one of the Cavaliers' founder members.

The bonfire lighting will be heralded by the first of two fireworks displays. A bigger second show and the Cavaliers' most expensive so far, will follow the bonfire at around 9.30pm. It is being sponsored by the GMB trade union.

Free parking has been arranged for over 5,000 cars - just follow the black and yellow signs. Disabled parking is also being provided at nearby Taddiport, with a free minibus service to the site.

Those who remember viewing points from previous years should note that there is no park and view area off the Weare Giffard road this year.

Gates to the bonfire site will open at 4pm and there will be pre-bonfire entertainment from 7.30pm. The bonfire show itself will get going around 9pm.

Advance tickets have been on sale for some time, but for those who have not yet bought them, there is no need to worry. Spectators can pay on the gate on the night

Admission prices are £7 adults, £5 children, £20 family (2+2); and under 3s free.