It took Guy Fawkes and his gunpowder plot just minutes to do what generations of politicians have failed to do...unite Liverpool and Wirral. The two sparring boroughs have faced each other across that great divide that is the River Mersey.

More like hissing than kissing cousins, Liverpool and Wirral have never quite seemed eye to eye. Throw in a bonfire night festival of light across the river, and the people of both sides speak with one angry and disappointed voice.

Some children, social media alleged, were "reduced to tears", not to mention the organisers who were no doubt reaching for the flack jackets as the last Catherine wheel was lit.

Since 2008, when Ringo Starr got on the roof of St George's Hall, we’ve been rather spoiled with festivals and big ticket events

People went online and the pages of the Sunday Mirror to vent their spleens after the River of Light, the first ever joint display with the fireworks fired from barges in the river. 

"Worst. Fireworks. Ever", was one typical tweet.

The unfortunate hashtag #riverofshite started to trend on Twitter with virtual pitchforks so ferocious that it made the traditional Bonfire Night pastime of burning a Guy Fawkes effigy look as blameless as grilling a rasher of bacon.

It seems Mayor Anderson's fireworks display backfired, in every sense.

Even before the event, people in Wirral slammed the idea, saying it has taken away around eight popular November 5 events across the river. On Sunday people on the Liverpool side were calling for a return to the popular displays in Sefton and Newsham Parks.

However were the people expecting too much? It’s true that since 2008 when Ringo Starr got on the roof of St George's Hall, we’ve been rather spoiled with festivals and big ticket events taking place with the sort of rapid regularity that leaves other cities green with envy.

Have we forgotten, amid the singing and dancing hype, that Liverpool City Region remains one of the most cash-strapped areas of the UK and the municipal cuts continue to go ever deeper? Austerity measures forced Birmingham, the country's "second city" to cancel its council funded display completely, saying it simply couldn't afford it. Same story in many other towns and boroughs.

Perhaps we should have put our Roman candles in one figurative basket and instead of having three, spread-out, synchronised displays on the river, consolidated it into a single earth-shattering rocket launcher at the Pier Head. 

Even as the fireworks could be heard - but not seen - in the distance, cars were still bumper to bumper along Sefton Street, many probably too late to see what many others wish they hadn't bothered to see anyway.

Crowd control measures meant road closures and diversions, making it difficult for people to get close to the action.

At least every sparkling cloud as a silver lining, and for once people in Wirral and Liverpool were united, and all because of an event that took place in the Houses of Parliament hundreds of years ago.