Tricky one this, because as a team we are well split over the country so had to do all planning via mail etc. and as last year we didn’t have any test firings so our preparations really aren’t very interesting!

Step 1 - Andy decides to do it all again and have another go with the original JJB line up. Colin, Robin and I are happy to jump in and join the fun.

Step 2 - Communication. Several methods tried, Colin set up a forum similar to UKFR and we had a number of topics to deal with the display. I found it a useful way of planning as there is some structure and you can dip in and out when convenient. As it happened some of us dipped in more than others. We actually resorted to mailing a colourful Excel spreadsheet around, along with one long "let's get this sorted" phone call!

Step 3 - Planning. We agreed on a short display, with lots in the finale plus a set piece 'wall of fire'.

Step 4 - Music. Always a tricky subject. I am known for using some of the old firework classics including Irish music such as Lord of the Dance, which is why I was so pleased to hear MLE using it in their pro display. Andy prefers something more up to date, he choose U2's Vertigo for last year's display. As it happened Colin won the day with ELP's Black Moon. Our version was re-mixed by DJ Andy to give four minutes duration with the quiet bit in the right place.

Step 5 - Pyro. We all had a go at this one suggesting some personal favourites and taking advice from Stuart at Spyrotechnics for some of the latest Cat 3. The review section of this site was very useful for video and comments on our suggested list. I fell back on my knowledge of the Fireworks International range and we agreed to include a Candle Pack 2. I like to use set pieces where possible and I had used six point stars to good effect last November, adding two cones gave us a wall of fire. We had a couple of options for the finale but agreed on Triple H Bomb and Crazy Horses with a couple of other candles to fill the sky. Finally two mines and eight Sure Win Rockets would signal the end of the display.

Step 6 - The big day. Our set-up was fairly straightforward with traditional rows of centre, left and right. Colin provided all the hardware. Each piece was set out, angled and staked. Our only problem was that the candle pack was opened for the first time and didn’t contain what it said on the tin! So our carefully laminated plans had to be amended and we found ourselves with more noise and less colour than intended. The easy set up gave us time to really enjoy the day and have a good look around at what else was happening and chat with the Daleks.

From left to right: Andy, Colin, Robin and Tim. JJB Team photo courtesy of the Jumping Jolly Blokes

Step 7 - The Display. Darkness fell and it was soon time for us to start the evening. Andy was in charge of the centre, Colin and Robin had left and right. I waved my arms around in time with the cues and held the spare Rothenberg, ready for Andy when he had the top blown off his by the first mine! Being a fast and busy display the four minutes passed in a flash, I can’t remember seeing any of the display. All went to plan, however the plan was wrong as the final cakes overran the music. We were all shouting at the final 56 Shot Flashing Thunder candle to stop!

Step 8 - The result. I got a very positive response from my Essex fan club, but we were up against stiff competition and having seen the video the ending was messy. So in the end it was no surprise that we didn’t win. But we did have a great day and will be back to try again.

MAIN CAMERA: View from right at the front of the spectator area. This is the highest quality video clip. Windows Media format, 960x540 (widescreen format), 84Mb, click on the image to the left. Please download it all before playing. Stills from this video are shown above and below. See the clips below for views from further back.

HOTDOG CAM: View from further back, footage kindly provided by UKFR member Hotdog. Windows Media format, 70Mb, click on the image to the left. Please download it all before playing.

MONKEY CAM: A unique view from the sidelines, from a camera mounted on UKFR member Crazedmonkey's helmet. This is a lower quality (noisy) clip due to the analogue source camera. Windows Media format, 107Mb, click on the image to the left. Please download it all before playing.

FLASH2 CAM: From the Video Vault, footage by Flash2 from a superb viewpoint near the back. Quicktime format, 22Mb, click on the image to access this from the Video Vault section.

POWDERFINGER CAM: From the Video Vault, footage by Powderfinger. Windows Media format, 38Mb, click on the image to access this from the Video Vault section.

00:00 3 Strobes MLE £3
00:05 4 Jumping Jelly Beans £5.99
00:15 4 candle 7*14mm candles (outside) #
00:15 2 red star candles with green Blockbuster (middle) #
00:20 2 Festival Mines £12
00:40 2 Apricot Blossom KB £11.98
00:45 2 Thundering Space Spiders KB £19.98
01:00 2 Missile of Stars £15.90
01:10 2 Golden Cascade £29.98
01:15 2 pairs 140 shot candles (outside) 2 200 shot Artillery Candles (Middle) #
01:35 2 pairs 140 shot candles (outside) #
01:55 4 candle 7*14mm candles (outside) Gold #
02:00 2 gold star crackling candles with gold Blockbuster (middle) #
02:15 2 Shellscape cones £26.40
02:20 3 6 point stars £41.97
02:45 2 Rainbow Bombard KB £19.98
03:10 2 pair 14mm screaming whistling stars #
03:15 Festival Mine £6
03:20 2 Crazy Horses £80
03:25 1 Triple H Bomb £15.99
03:30 2 Candle 56 shot Flashing Thunder #
04:00 8 Sure Win Rockets £39.98
04:00 2 Festival Mines £12
  # Part of FI Candle pack 2 £139


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