READER DISPLAYS 2002 - CLAWTON

This report from Clawton:

Saturday, 8pm, the sky's were alight.

Wow, what a display, 25 minutes of pure skyfill. Absolutely superb. Haven't seen the video's yet, but by all accounts they came out superb as well. The guy who filmed the show is burning the video to CD for me, and I should have this by the end of the week. I'll take some frame grabs and post them up when I get it.

The 4 of us arrived onsite about 11:00am. Spent all day staking things in, setting up the sound system, protective barriers, lighting etc etc etc. About 6:30, drizzle started. PANIC. Waterproofed all exposed fusing etc. wrapped everything with tin foil. After 45 minutes, the drizzle stopped. Sigh of relief. 8:00pm, we kicked off. 10 MLE strobing flares to the sound of PPK, Resurrection, with ground mines lit to flash on or about the louder parts of the music. After that, first rocket barrage of 28 assorted rockets, mostly shellbursts, some shockwaves.

And so the show went on, multiple candle barrages set off together, Crown of Rubies, Crazy Horses and Lake of Saphires lit together - twice!! 2 MLE Z-Firing cakes fired one after the other with candle/mine accompanyment. Shellscape F3, Sandling Giant Candle/Mines Finale, 28 Large shellburst rockets (2 Big Mamas, 12 Goliath, 5 Lunig Ball among them) as the finale. 6 Shellscape 7 way rocket barrage units lit together were absolutely stunning.

One rather unfortunate incident was caused by the failure (the one and only live failure of the evening) of one of the medium sized shell rockets during the finale - The fuse bypassed the lift motor, and blew the display charge in the launch tube. This led to one of the firers being thrown to the ground, with a skin burn slightly larger than a fifty pence piece to his neck, just below the ear. Finale was stopped while we checked he was OK - he was taken away from the firing area, and the final few rockets were set off. He was treated by the first aider and nurse onsite. Of all the PPE we were wearing, we didn't have hoods. A very hard lesson learnt there. Will definitely have total neck coverage next time. We managed to get the rocket stick from the launch tube and the rocket motor from the ground. This was burnt out, so it would appear that this was burning when the rocket exploded and fell to the ground - this I can only guess is what caused the burn as the firer also got knocked to the floor. The scorch marks on the overalls would also back up that theory. Other than that, nothing else went untoward.

Overall the show was a great great success, other than that incident. The audience were totally amazed by the size of the display, and all went home happy people. The rain started proper about 20 minutes after we'd finished.

As soon as I get the video of the event, I compile a full list of pictures, but here are a couple taken during the preparations...

The Stash (1)

The Stash (2)

Beginning to stake out (behind the trees in the medium background is the River Thames)

More Staking out

The Prepared Ground after dark.

The Firers L-to-R....Me, Graham, Martin & Kevin (who received the injury)

 

 

Pictures and reports courtesy of, and with thanks to, Clawton.

 

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