A display this size and in a huge field
like this needs the right tools: All-terrain ride-on mower,
trailer to carry
the pyro, and a crack team of enthusiastic helpers!
The day started misty but fairly calm and after a bite to eat
I took a little walk around the main site, a huge field behind
another huge field, a huge distance from the spectator area.
Talk about an ideal venue, and we needed the space with both
cat 3 and cat 4 on show that night. Present that morning where
the UKFR die-hards but several pro crews were due to arrive
later, donating their time, expertise and pyro towards the evening's
Best of all that morning: I felt great - I didn't have to share
a room the previous night with legendary snorer Pete B. I learnt
that lesson in Dorset Episode I where in the end I had to sleep
on Gerry's landing floor to get away from the noise. So, this
time I insisted Pete B slept a good 100m away, and outside,
and in a tent. I had the best night's sleep in months.
A misty, damp morning and the view towards the church 2:
A garage full of pyro ready for sorting 3:
Message In The Wind, and we're not talking about the aftermath
of Stu's curry 4:
Stu and Keith start waterproofing items 5:
Rocket racks (upside down) 6:
The on-site pro crews fused some interesting mine combinations
After taking some film of the firing area I went back to the
main house where a good deal of activity was already in progress.
The long distance between the house and firing area meant a
ride-on mower with trailer was used to cart the pyro and it
took several trips too. Box after box was piled up on the trailer
and when the garage was cleared it was soon filled again with
set-pieces, fans and other items under construction. The sounds
of boxes being loaded was soon replaced with bangs from hammers
and the whirring of cordless drills. Er, and some swearing too,
when the hammers missed and the drills slipped!
Two Towers of Power 2:
Trailer loaded with pyro (one of many trips) 3:
Rocket racks ready for transport 4:
More gear ready to be taken to the distant firing site 5:
Various candles 6:
Tim assembles some candle fans
The items under construction showed that this meeting was far
removed from the first that Gerry hosted. In "those days"
it was a cat 3, amateur only event. Here, with so many professional
firers and teams on hand, the day took a new and exciting direction.
Without the constraints of just cat 3, we were going to have
fun - and all legal and done under the strictest of safety.
Gerry with one of the finished candle
sequences prepared by the visiting pro crews, here displayed
help of Nick (left) and Peter (right)
Wheels in the foreground, assorted frames at the back 2:
Completed candle fan 3:
Gerry's A-Team surveys part of the pyro stash 4:
We might need a few hours of setting up time here! 5:
More pyro 6:
With the main stash now up on the hill, Gerry and Keith started
the laborious task of staking out. The uneven field plus the
sheer power of the pyro meant that every single item needed
securing - that's a LOT of stakes and a lot of banging and strapping.
Gerry and Keith setting up 2:
More setting up 3:
Some heavy duty pyro - and that's just the cat 3! 4:
Battle Of The Alamo 5:
Multiple items staked out 6:
Rocket tubes looking skyward
Rockets were to be launched from tubes and as you can see below
even this was done in style.
Fully loaded and ready for action
As the day wore on, more and more UKFR members arrived, along
with further pro crews each with their own display or feature.
You can see their activities in more detail in the next sections.
The pile of pyro continued to swell during the day as many
members also brought some extra items to add to the stash.
Late afternoon view of the firing site - still loads to do 2:
Ball rocket salvo (don't try angles like this unless you have
a VERY BIG field like we did!) 3:
Another rocket salvo 4:
Zedsquared makes some checks to a firing system 5:
Dusk and fine weather
Well done to everyone involved in the setting up including
the behind-the-scenes people who were in charge of catering
and waterproofing, essential jobs that go mostly unseen. Check
out the photos above to see the sheer amount of fireworks and
the video below to get a flavour of the day.
Up : Assorted video of general setting up. 32Mb
Windows Media video file. Please "right click"
and save to your PC before playing.
Long shadows and approaching
dusk, but still a lot of setting up to do