And here we are at it again in a field for a company display. Gren and I arrived in good time and set about carrying the pyro into the field, then we were shortly joined by Ian and got stuck into the setting up of all things explosive.

Nothing difficult here - cakes set out in a nice line to work backwards on, strobes at the front spread well apart, candles ready and shells way at the back. Job's a good 'un. Loads of spare time to hang around and have a laugh at Pete constantly on the phone flapping about not having enough time to do anything ever. The Super Mantronix was making its first appearance and the Kaleidoscope fan cake was to be used again. I was astounded by this at a show a few days previously (this time I was going to keep a close eye on this one).

People begin to gather.

Families were now starting to gather. Lots of small fires had been lit in barrels and the weather was perfect. Time to go and get some of that lovely smelling grub which had been making me hungry for the past couple of hours.

All of a sudden I heard lots of screaming coming from the back of the car park! What the hell is going on? I went to investigate and really wished I hadn't. Why? Because there was a headless man wandering around! Hehe… cameras do the funniest things.

A view of the firing site.

The food tent (right) and plenty of fires to keep people warm.

Super Mantronix showing its huge number of shots!

Time was moving on. Mary had arrived and she got her camera set up. Ian was guarding a fire, Mick was having a roll-up and I was getting many a funny look for my silly hat and I am sure Pete was still flapping about something somewhere, let's just go and blow this lot.

We took our positions in the field, portfires were lit and the funky disco effect of the strobes started flashing all around. The lights went out as the strobes burnt on and Gren moved on to the 5" maroon. I could feel a smile cracking out across my face as he walked over to it. Rather than being exposed on a moor this one was in the bottom of a tight valley - this was going to be LOUD. Whudump! As the maroon left its tube up it went with a perfect silver comet tail behind it. Up up and up it went to a blinding white flash and a huge break KAFUCKINGBOOOOOOOOM! It felt like I'd been kicked in the chest. YES!! I laughed as all the alarms went off all around. The 3" variety are tame compared to these I'm sure everyone turned white.

Multicoloured shell break pictured by Mary.


More pictures from Mary. Click on a picture to view the full version.

Well the show proceeded and a cake was fired up along with a rack of the new Skyblitz candles producing beautiful crackling orange crossettes. My trousers flapped as the first rack of shells blew high into the air - red, green and blue peonies filled the sky as Pete and Ian lit the cross over, crackling bombard Blockbusters were used for this to good effect.

More shells filled the sky as I was trying to get shots of cakes firing close up. Mick moved in and lit the much famed Super Mantronix. Wheee wheee as the first few shots rose into the air… Whee whee up went a few more this is going to last forever I thought as it continued firing a couple of shots at a time. Whee whee whee it started to speed up. Whee (you get the idea) whee now it was really starting to let rip it was probably firing about ten shots at a time by this point and it was getting louder. All of a sudden it went into overdrive and started launching masses of shots together and had gone from loud to earpiercingly loud. No make that deafening as it just released a torrent of whistles non-stop towards the last 30 seconds or so this is an awesome cake buy one now! "Thank God" I thought when it stopped - being so close trying to take action shots it was just too loud for comfort and after all that none of the pics of it came out.

Pictures from TLG:
Candle rack (left) and Kaleidoscope fan cake (right).

The show was continuing at a good pace now. Shell after shell was filling the sky. Booom! Up went three 5" cylinder shells and filled the sky with every effect under the sun and the two minute cake was fired up to start the finale. As the cake was cycling through various effects more Skyblitz candles were lit this time vivid blue peony with silver strobe, and then Mick lit the Kaleidoscope. Here we go: Whump! The first bank of shots went up leaving a blue crackling mine effect at ground level as each of the shots broke to red stars with crossettes the next bank launched again with blue cracking mine effect at ground level and silver strobe breaks high in the sky. The cake continued like this through ten banks of the best quality 30mm shells money can buy ending with an absolutely stunning absolutely sky filling arc of dragons eggs as the last of the real shells went up. Blue tipped silver brocades blew holes high in the sky, they were stunning and as they died off the area went dark and the crowd let out a huge cheer.

As the smoke cleared it was time to start packing away. Tubes were checked and a couple of shells had been a bit shy and didn't want to come out to play. I continued dismantling the candle racks and noticed that there was smoke still coming from somewhere. I thought it might have been a cake fire but no it was Mick!!! He was smouldering away. Hehe his jacket shoulder was glowing red he had a laugh and put it out no harm done.

That was it all done! The gear was packed up and then Dave arrived just a tad late poor fella. I was getting a lift home off Mary so it was time to sample the beer before the off, well actually I had to sample lots of beer so I could sleep that night because the next day was THE BIG ONE (report to follow!).


Many thanks for that great report Graham and to you and Mary for the additional picture material - Pyro Pete

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Images endorsed ©TLG - source images ©The Legendary Graham, used with permission. Images endorsed ©MB - source images ©Mary Burridge, used with permission. This feature produced by and ©2004 UK Firework Review. All rights reserved.