I’ve always loved fireworks. And this picture could have been me in our back garden in Essex in the 1960s. In those days you could buy fireworks individually. I went down to the shop at the end of our road over and over again. No one asked me how old I was, and I spent my pocket money building up a small collection of fireworks in time for November the 5th each year.
Bangers, Jumping Jacks, Fountains, Traffic Lights, Snowstorms, Catherine Wheels… all sorts bought for sixpence or a shilling a time (2p or 5p in today’s money).
My dad would bring home a Selection Box, usually made by Standard, Wells or Brocks, along with some extra rockets. We’d add all these together and keep them in a tin suitcase in his shed.
On the afternoon of the 5th we would set out the garden into different areas. A couple of sand trays for the fountains. A bucket of soil for the Roman candles. Jumping jacks and helicopters would be lit on a paving slab – we never knew where they would end up, which is why they were eventually banned from sale. Everyone had a story of how a jumping jack had ended up in the big box of fireworks.
And we had a sheet of corrugated metal leaning against a step ladder so we would launch the rockets – always saving the biggest one for the end.
The stage was set.
We always had a bonfire, often with a Guy dressed up in our old clothes and stuffed with newspaper. There were toffee apples to eat. Scarves to wear. Torches to light the dark corners of the garden. And the neighbours would come round with their own fireworks to add to our collection. Every year seemed better than the one before.
50 years later and I run my own fireworks company. Who would have thought it? I work with great people from Electrify – all of them trained and highly experienced. And we buy our products from some of the best fireworks companies in the world.
In between I have held firework parties at any opportunity. I’ve worked for a couple of professional companies as a firer, taken my pyrotechnic exams, and helped to set up and fire displays across the UK and in Europe.
I also take photographs of firework displays – most of the photos on this site are mine. It’s hard at first, but once you learn a few basic tricks and get some practice there are some great shots to take.
And I want to help you have great firework parties too. Call us, email us, order some fireworks… we’ll show you that the sky’s the limit