Jordans Fireworks were founded in 1968 by husband and wife team
Brian and Margaret Jordan. Now run by David and Sally Jordan,
son and daughter of the aforementioned founders. David tells me
that 'Dad' has now retired, but somehow still manages to visit
their storage bunker located somewhere in the nearby Warwickshire
countryside almost every morning!
Originally the business was a traditional sweet shop that even
then had a good name for fireworks at Bonfire Night. Now it's
a case of them selling the odd sherbet fountain (if you'll pardon
the pun) amongst the endless shelves and display cabinets full
of pyro that line the walls.
wide selection of fireworks on display at Jordans' shop.
David goes on to say that the fireworks available in those early
days were drastically different to those you can buy today. Astra,
Benwell, Brocks, Pains Wessex and Wilders were the brands stocked
at the time until the prestigious brand of Standard Fireworks
was obtained after several years of trading. In those days it
was hard to open an account with Standard Fireworks particularly
if they already had a stockist in the town. All of the fireworks
stocked up until the 1980's were manufactured in Britain. Chinese
fireworks made their appearance when the Sohni Esco brand were
During the late 1980's and early 1990's Jordans were an outlet
for the first Chinese fireworks imported by Standard Fireworks.
They were one of a handful of stockists in the country that trialed
these early Chinese fireworks and many of the items that were
stocked were the forerunners of those available today. By this
time Brian and Margaret's children David and Sally had joined
the business and Bonfire night had become the busiest time of
the year for the company. David and Sally could see that the future
for the company lay in the firework business and that was where
all efforts for company growth were concentrated. It was with
these early Chinese fireworks from Standard Fireworks Display
Division that the company went in to the mail order display pack
of the best rockets from the Black Cat and Standard brands.
The growth in Chinese fireworks continued at such a pace that
practically all firework manufacturers ceased to produce fireworks
in Britain. Jordans were concerned that all of the firework manufacturing
eggs were being placed in one basket and hence travelled to Germany
to source products still manufactured in Europe. The result was
the establishment of the company as the UK importer of Lunig fireworks.
Working closely with the German manufacturers of high quality
rockets produced a range of German manufactured display rockets
the like of which had not been seen before in the UK market
Millennium year was a watershed in the firework business. Until
then the number of people buying fireworks for New Year's Eve
was a select band of enthusiasts. Trying to gauge how much stock
would be required for Millennium Eve was an impossibility. All
records were broken and practically every firework in stock was
sold. Those who left their buying of fireworks 'till the afternoon
of the event were faced with a choice of either a 20 shot Magic
Ball Roman Candle or a Medium Sparkling Wheel. (It proved very
difficult to make up a balanced display when you only had two
fireworks to choose from).
Since then business has continued to improve. It seemed that
the Millennium events had inspired more and more people to take
an interest in fireworks, and it was during the week leading up
to bonfire night this year (2004) that all sales records were
smashed. "There was a queue of people right around the shop,
out of the doors and onto the high street for most of the week"
said David. "Our weekly sales record was beaten by an incredible
Jordan (left) and Brian Jordan (founder) and assistant Lorraine
The shop has undergone several changes over the years. The in-store
firework showroom has grown and grown, so much so that it now
occupies 50% of the total retail sales area during the off season
and 75% of the shop area for the final week of Bonfire night.
The re-fit during 2004 now enables Jordans to have their complete
range displayed as dummy fireworks on shelves and velcro display
boards, enabling customers to actually hold the fireworks in their
hands rather just look in glass showcases. This makes Jordans
already compliant with the anticipated changes in the regulations
for the display of fireworks in retail premises. During 2005 the
re-fit will be completed featuring DVD and video players for customers
to see the effects of the fireworks on display. Jordans also run
a mail order service which has out grown the original shop and
is now dealt with from a Divisional storage facility in the Warwickshire
The shop has always been a Mecca for the firework enthusiast.
Whereas most firework pack suppliers do not have retail premises,
Jordans shop enables the novice and enthusiast alike to browse
the extensive range of fireworks all year round. Jordans can also
arrange for a professionally fired display for any occasion if
you so desire. David doesn't fire himself anymore, but uses Pyro
2000, a group of guys from the Standard Fireworks display team
who have over 100 years of experience in the field between them,
under the wing of Graham Wilkinson also from Standard, with David
providing his own safety checks at all displays.
Jordans choose the fireworks they sell very carefully from a
total of eight suppliers. Standard, Black Cat, Kimbolton, Men
Shun, Fireworks International, Sandling, Vulcan (Inter Oriental)
as well as their own Lunig brand. After extensive testing only
the best fireworks from each supplier are chosen. In recent years
Jordans have become an outlet for manufacturers' cancelled orders
and end of production lines. The same stringent buying policy
applies to these special offer items but it is now possible to
purchase top quality items at vastly reduced prices.
explains to a customer how to set up and fire the item.
A product knowledge second-to-none ensures that the best advice
is given regarding the suitability of each firework for a particular
situation. I was witness to David's superior product knowledge
when a customer entered his shop. The customer's needs and requirements
were explored in the greatest of detail and all aspects of safety
were competently covered. The customer left Jordans with his newly
acquired stash and with their own comprehensive Display Instructions
Brochure ensuring another satisfied customer left with a smile
on his face.
Jordans Provide a mail order service via their website,
you can visit their retail showroom all year round, orders can
also be reserved over the telephone: 14 high street, Leamington
Spa CV31 3AN Tel: 01926 421330.
Many thanks to David for his hospitality, I had a great day chatting
about fireworks and seeing behind the scenes.
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