The origins has its root in the first event. That was on St. George's Day itself. So Meggsy asked if I would do a little St. George's Day ceremony as a Vicar to mark the day and as a kind of opening ceremony for our competition (he reckoned if the Olympics etc. could have an opening ceremony, then so could we!). So I considered something to mark St. George's Day and something that would also be an encouragement to those competing and an exhortation to fair play and say "let the competition begin". (Rather than "let the battle commence!"). Meggsy was also keen to have a blessing! On that occasion I had some red and white candles in stock, so I lit some of them in lieu of an Olympic Flame - a more suitable thing for a firework event and in the right colours for St. George.

For this event, Meggsy asked for a repeat ceremony, even though it wasn't St. George's Day. I did suggest that a non-religious ceremony might be more appropriate - I'm not wanting to overdo the religious and to keep appearing as a Vicar! But Meggsy was keen to have me do the ceremony as a Vicar and to include a Christian prayer and blessing, reckoning that our non-religious friends wouldn't be put out by that.

I didn't have anymore red and white candles, but Steve promised me something.... Back in Roman and Greek times the gladiatorial contests and athletic games began with prayers to their gods and a call to good gamesmanship etc. That tradition was carried over into the modern Olympics and also our Commonwealth Games. So that's what I was modelling our little ceremony on.

A line of mines and a parachute rocket gave a great surprise for Debbie's 40th birthday, arranged by her other half Glen (The Joker).

VIDEO: Superb sidelines view from the Monkey Cam showing the mines and the parachute flare. 14Mb zipped DivX file, click on the image to the left. Please download it all before playing.

Congratulations to the well deserved winners, Probably The Best Team In The Competition Ever (pictured above). Sky Monkeys came second.

Results and speeches [Right click and save target as, WMV, 8983Kb]

Inspired by Las Fallas, a fantastic - and loud - mascleta by Mike of Brighton Fireworks and Marcus (Shedman).

Mascleta [Right click and save target as, WMV, 28065Kb]

This year a much better bullet camera was used on a firer's helmet (later to be christened MonkeyCam) which you can see in action in the team display features. This left the old Mk1 firer cam redundant, so I was hoping to mount this in a suitably dangerous location on one of the Daleks. Demex suggested why not try it on one of the assault rifles? Well it was worth a go! The results are predictably rough, this is a wireless camera that does not like movement so the top of an assault rifle is not the best location for it. But the few seconds of footage it did get were rather fun! Thanks again to Demex and also to the army guys for their patience setting this up.

Assault Rifle Cam Video [Right click and save target as, WMV, 45721Kb]

This camera was situated in the hedge to the right of the Tardis. The aim here was to capture the final explosions. However I wasn't expecting the last charges to be so bright, so it's a bit of a white out at the end. The video does get some nice footage of the Daleks being attacked by the soldiers though.

Tardis Cam Video [Right click and save target as, WMV, 39967Kb]

A rousing end to the evening with the National Anthem followed by Land Of Hope And Glory with a brilliant single shot candle sequence and the very last pyro of the evening.

Land Of Hope And Glory [Right click and save target as, WMV, 47040Kb]

As a thanks to organiser Steve, he was presented with a card and a rather nice beverage in the pub afterwards. The card contained a poem, penned by Pepsi...

On a sunny spring day in 2005
Meggsy's dream was brought to life
A field that was filled with like minded nutters
To make sure that the neighbourhoods ears did suffer
They worked through the day to compete for a title
And a nice little trophy provided by Michael

The Bouncing Bangers fountain selection
Were attached to some beams of steel box section
And as Disney tunes made their sound in the night
Tigger pulled on the beams with all of his might
But one couldn't be contained by a simple bean can
And the fountain shot off with an ear-cracking bang

The Jumping Jolly Blokes put on quite a show
With Meggsy even joining in for a go
He sabotaged their show without any hassle
By letting them set up too close to his castle
The Sky Monkeys also had a minor disaster
And their captain was sacked immediately after

The Toyboys went for a lasting impression
As their wood skills created a mighty erection
When at last it was raised it seemed kind of high
But Jeff had step ladders to get up in the sky
To light up their beasty with a big Catherine Wheel
And the evenings true winners were finally revealed

And then came the turn of the set pieces and pro's
Who seared off our eyebrows and warmed up our toes
With a homegrown red dragon and a knight made of wood
Our very own Reverend was fighting for good
But the dragon fought back with Jeff in control
And the battle was a colourful sight to behold

And then it was over or so it would seem
Until one day Meggsy resurrected his dream
So again came the call and what did we hear
The teams all reformed to compete the next year
Now all that is left is for Meggsy to sing
And to say may the best team on the field today win

Early the next morning sees the return of many team members and friends to help clear up (a special thanks to those who do this!!). It has become customary to have a huge burn-off in celebration of the weekend's achievements. Do not try this at home! Disposing of spent fireworks on a fire can be hazardous. All St George burn-offs are conducted by professional fireworks experts in a suitably safe area.

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