Yet more cable 2:
Loading shell racks 3: Junction
box now wired up 4: Fusing shells
5: Mmmm... wondered why Phil was
so keen to get off the bridge! 6:
Another side view of the massive bridge 7:
The Crazed Monkey Crew!
The time came to pack my bag full of munchies and
drinks for the long wait. This event had been advertised on the
local news for a long time and it's for a person that means a lot
to the people of Bristol, so it was going to be busy.
The display was due to be fired at 9pm so I wandered
down to my little spot at 6pm. Those on the UKFR forum know that
I also take part in hot air ballooning so on the way to my spot
it was good to bump into a ballooning friend of mine who was telling
me that he was going to be tethering a hot air balloon. Usually
that wouldn't be a problem but it was pretty windy so I hung around
for a while to see what amusing shapes the balloon will make. Unfortunately
it proved too windy to do this so I retired to my filming spot only
to find that everyone else had the same idea as me - to get there
Short video showing the bridge and
some setting up. Click on the image to the left, download
the complete file before playing. Windows Media format, 45Mb
Everyone seemed to be there with their children,
parents, brothers, sisters and pets. I even overheard someone (that
I think had been dragged along) say "You should have brought
your telly; we could sit and watch the telly now". It's quite
amusing when you're on your own to do a bit of people watching.
There were a few people that were more interested to see what they
were missing on telly and others that seemed to be asleep standing
All wired up and waterproofed
As time passed my mind was hard at work trying to
figure out the best place to put my tripod to get the best shot.
I hopped over the fence and moved my tripod on the edge of the bank
only to get shouted at over the speakers to get back over the fence.
The whole of Bristol must have realised what I was doing as there
were speakers placed all up around the bridge, the road underneath
and in the park behind us!
After the shame of being shouted at over the entire
speaker system I decided to stay put behind the fence and just place
my camera over the barrier. My friends turned up with their tripods
not long after and I kept my shame to myself and blamed someone
There was many a person putting their tripods in
front of ours to get a good shot so we were constantly checking
through our viewfinders to see whether they would be in the way.
One person even moved the fence to get down onto the bank below
getting the best shot, but I knew he would get shouted at so said
nothing as I didn't want to be the only one that had my shame brought
to the attention of everyone in Bristol. Unfortunately nothing was
said and I had mixed feelings of feeling stupid to be shouted at
over the speaker system but feeling special to be noticed!
Whilst waiting, it appears the crew had checked
the weather forecast and waterproofing the shells seemed appropriate
as it rained down on us. It was bad enough that my hands were numb
with the cold but now I was wet too, great! But after some time
of munching on foreign chocolate, drinking a flask of tea and trying
to explain to someone where we were with not much success, the time
The voice of Adam Hart-Davis came over the speaker
system to announce the start and to raise a toast to Isambard Kingdom
Brunel, the countdown commenced. The display started with three
comets from either side of the bridge, fired at each other followed
by a pause of about ten seconds to show the new lights. This was
now time to start the display with strobes on the bridge and then
the waterfall began. This looked fantastic, lighting up everything
around it. Lots of different size shells were thrown into the air
with mines and comets in different colours all along the bridge.
Comets were even fired from each tower along the side of the bridge,
all to music and it looked great.
The waterfall (shown above) was fantastic and the
music went well with the meaning of the display. The single shot
comets that I saw set up on the bridge earlier in the day at extreme
angles worked well and gave an interesting effect when fired. The
lights on the bridge looked brilliant and lit up the night sky,
it was well worth waiting for.
The thumbnails below only show a portion of each
full picture and they are all worth looking at.