Three other teams were busy making final preparations too, and with the hospitality that seems to come as standard at this event, all were more than happy to let us have a look around.

Jubilee Fireworks, organisers of the event itself, were at the back of the firing area preparing for their display which would be the final one on the night. A huge platform stood around forty feet above the grass, supporting what looked like the largest waterfall this side of Sydney Harbour Bridge. This was going to be a good one!

Mmm, makes the waterfalls I've done look a bit tame!

"We're doing a really nice show" explained Jubilee's Andy Wiggins. "There will be fast parts, slow parts, a mix of everything. We'll be mixing artistry with some pyrotechnic shock and awe. Our finale alone will last some fifty seconds and build up with crackling crossette effects, shells and Spanish kamuros. The whole show features material from all over the world including Chinese, Spanish, German and Italian products."

- You can click on any image below to view a much larger version -

A mixture of bore sizes, fanned out for maximum sky coverage.

At the front, a fanned candle sequence while the rest of the fireworks here are a mix of shells, cakes and mines.

Three tubes stand alone - note the large amount of electrical wire running across the firing area. Remember, each individual item has its own pair of wires to connect!

And here is another wiring box. This unit has ten items connected to it and there were many of these dotted around the site.

Two very nice looking shells a few seconds before they were cruelly taken out of our reach and loaded into their tubes! We wanted to fondle them!

Wide angle view from the front of Jubilee's patch, looking over the fireworks of Sandling, Vulcan and Alan Hillary, towards the hall.

This shot shows the platform (back left) before it was raised to set up the massive waterfall. Now that would have also made a fantastic spot to watch from.

Assorted racks, tubes, candles and fans.

A look at some interesting Italian-made fuse delays. Jubilee were using these instead of the standard PIC fuse, to ensure more accurate timing.

Well I think this shot shows the end result pretty well.
You can see the full display here.

At the front of the display area and firing first, the team from Alan Hillary Events and Pyrotechnics were busy putting the final touches to their display.

View across AH's tubes towards the hall.

The AH crew busy making their final connections. This display was to feature some very artistic and well-timed pyrotechnic work.

Another view of one of the candle fans, showing how they would create a fanned effect across the firing area.

A look across the whole firing area, front to back. AH's black tubes can be seen in the middle of the shot, Vulcan's yellow ones behind these, Sandling's area is obscured, and the Jubilee platform stands at the back.

A look down a line of shell racks. There were a huge number of these all set up and wired in. Can you imagine having to clear this lot up afterwards?

Closer look at some fanned shell sequences. It is always interesting to see how many firework companies have their own design of shell racks. AH have an interesting looking metal frame design.

Last look across the main AH lines of shell racks. The upside down boxes are covering the wiring and junction boxes.

AH's display was a magical combination of
choreographed effects and hardcore thumping pyro!
See the full display here.

Sandling Fireworks were sandwiched between Vulcan and Jubilee and had almost finished their setting up by the time the sun was setting and we tracked down the boss Graham Lundegaard. Again, the hospitality shown to us was superb, and we commented to Graham about the great atmosphere at Shugborough. "This is a fireworks festival rather than a competition" he said. "This means there is an informal and friendly atmosphere between the teams".

Graham next to one of their hi-tech firing boxes.

Two lines of yellow tubes span the firing area.

Sandling definitely win the award for smartest looking control center. Look at all the buttons on this!

A fan of single shot items all wired up and ready to go. These are also fanned to give coverage to the left and right of the firing area.

A selection of items including shells and candles.

Closer look at three sequences of fanned tubes.

Like Vulcan, Sandling are using a wide range of candles from small bore bundles through to the larger Bazooka candle.

Another view of the single shot sequence. Each one requires its own pair of wires, and these are all wired into a 16 channel box.

Closer look at the Bazooka candle fans and bundles.

Graham next to his firing box again, in this shot looking towards the back of the firing area towards Jubilee's patch.

Wow! Sky-filling colour. See this display here.

Many thanks to all the teams for their help and for permission to look around their firing areas.

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