Dogs ran away from their homes and cats were reportedly left 'spooked' during the event at the Lucknam Park hotel and spa near Chippenham on Saturday, organised by Atkinson, 67, for his actress girlfriend Louise Ford's 40th (couple pictured together)
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Rowan Atkinson upsets Cotswolds neighbours with fireworks for his girlfriend’s 40th birthday party after terrified pets ran away and locals feared ‘military base was under attack’

  • Atkinson, 67, threw bash at Lucknam Park Hotel near Chippenham on Saturday
  • Residents said their dogs ran away and cats were ‘spooked’ by 10pm fireworks
  • Locals near Azimghur Barracks said they feared Russia had launched an attack
  • Were you affected by the bash? Contact [email protected]

A birthday party for Rowan Atkinson’s girlfriend wrought havoc on a sleepy Cotswold village at the weekend after its fireworks were mistaken for a Russian invasion and allegedly left nearby pets ‘traumatised’. 

Dogs ran away from their homes and cats were reportedly left ‘spooked’ during the event at the Lucknam Park hotel and spa near Chippenham on Saturday, organised by Atkinson, 67, for his actress girlfriend Louise Ford’s 40th. 

In scenes more akin to Atkinson’s iconic characters, including the bumbling Mr Bean and hapless British spy Johnny English, the seemingly innocent event caused chaos among some of the local populace. 

Far from being a ‘cunning and subtle’ plan, as Atkinson’s scheming Blackadder would have hoped, residents in Colerne, home to the Azimghur Barracks, feared Vladimir Putin had extended his war in Ukraine to Britain. 

One wrote on a Facebook page that they ‘honestly thought the base was under attack’. 

The Lucknam hotel offers ‘equine therapy’ and has 30 horses housed in on-site stables, leading one local to urge the RSPCA to launch an investigation, adding: ‘It sounded like we were under attack from Russia, you deserve to be shut down.’ 

Despite management warning locals of the birthday bash, including in various Facebook posts, many residents said they were caught off guard.

Dogs ran away from their homes and cats were reportedly left 'spooked' during the event at the Lucknam Park hotel and spa near Chippenham on Saturday, organised by Atkinson, 67, for his actress girlfriend Louise Ford's 40th (couple pictured together)

Dogs ran away from their homes and cats were reportedly left ‘spooked’ during the event at the Lucknam Park hotel and spa near Chippenham on Saturday, organised by Atkinson, 67, for his actress girlfriend Louise Ford’s 40th (couple pictured together)

Residents in Colerne, home to the Azimghur Barracks, feared Vladimir Putin had extended his Ukraine war to Britain, writing on a Facebook page that they 'honestly thought the base was under attack'

Residents in Colerne, home to the Azimghur Barracks, feared Vladimir Putin had extended his Ukraine war to Britain, writing on a Facebook page that they ‘honestly thought the base was under attack’

Despite management at the hotel (pictured) warning locals of the birthday bash, including in various Facebook posts, many residents said they were caught off guard

Despite management at the hotel (pictured) warning locals of the birthday bash, including in various Facebook posts, many residents said they were caught off guard

One said the fireworks at the event, which started at 10pm,  ‘sounded like a heavy bomber group dropping their payload.’    

Terri Freeland, 66, who lives four miles from the venue, told the Sunday Times: ‘On Bonfire night and New Year’s Eve you expect fireworks and loud music and take care of your dogs.

‘On a Saturday evening in May when I’m watching Top Gun on the telly totally engrossed I can most certainly say you absolutely do not expect it. I’m not even a local resident. I live on Box Hill and there is a huge valley in front of us where the hotel is. It completely startled me and was horrible. I just didn’t know what to do.’

Ms Freeland said her 18-month old collie Bobby bolted out of the house when the fireworks started. 

Far from being a 'cunning and subtle' plan, as Atkinson's scheming Blackadder (pictured) character would have hoped, residents in Colerne, home to the Azimghur Barracks, feared Vladimir Putin had extended his war in Ukraine to Britain.

Far from being a ‘cunning and subtle’ plan, as Atkinson’s scheming Blackadder (pictured) character would have hoped, residents in Colerne, home to the Azimghur Barracks, feared Vladimir Putin had extended his war in Ukraine to Britain.

She said she ran out in her dressing gown and wellie boots to look for him when her other dog, a 14-year-old collie named Megan, also vanished.

They both returned in the early hours of Sunday bit Ms Freeland branded the ordeal ‘extremely distressing.’ 

Another local who lives near the hotel said: ‘We’re in Thickwood and our little dog… is still absolutely petrified. 

‘I don’t want to be a party pooper but a bit of noise consideration wouldn’t go amiss.’

A third resident said: ‘Our dog was absolutely terrified — we back right onto Lucknam Park. We had warned our teenage son to make sure the dog was indoors at 9.45pm (thanks for the warning) and until fireworks finished but he phoned us to come home from a night out as the dog was so scared — he’d never seen her like that and didn’t know what to do.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Atkinson, the hotel and the RSPCA for comment.  

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