Southport British Musical Fireworks Championships 2014


Saturday 10th October 2014 saw three more companies battling it out in the skies over Southport as they entertained the tens of thousands gathered for the British Musical Fireworks Championships.

First up to fire were SmArt Pyrotechnics: Starting with the sounds of Michael Buble will always do it for me, but I have to say this is on another level to the displays enjoyed on Friday. Incredible, symmetrical (yeah baby) and an absolutely beautiful selection of effects, colours and the timing was absolutely spot on. On the change of pace, we moved onto the haunting strains of Enya and the display was utterly hypnotic with some wonderful lancework and the criss cross on the ground work was nothing short of amazing you could actually hear the explosion on the musical beat. Outstanding…. Crackling comet tails, sweeping fans of gold and green – the crowds clearly agreed as they burst into rapturous applause at the change of music.

A beautiful mixture of colour which lit up the whole of the firing area and the hearts and pinks for the Etta James section were amazing and the titanium flashes just added to the drama.

The finale was packed to the rafters with some staggeringly big shells and the daisy shells were especially lovely and the final burst of HUGE willow shells was utterly breathtaking – well done team SmArt!!

SMArt Pyrotechnics – Southport British Musical Fireworks Championship Winner from Pyro Productions on Vimeo.

Second to fire, Classic Fireworks stuck with a very British Theme with rousing music selections from the outset as the night filled with the sounds of the 633 Squadron theme tune followed by Zadok the Priest from the Handel.

There were some lovely bright purples which were gorgeous with some intricate firing in the midst of the display. The Sailors Hornpipe played whilst the team threw as much into the air as possible but some of the colour changing comets were beautiful but little symmetry. The sweeping fans were lovely and they finished off the display with crowd pleaser, Land of Hope and Glory which was accompanied by some absolutely beautiful shell work.

Last but not least, Gala Fireworks. The theme was a hark back to the 70’s & 80’s with sledgehammer, jitterbug boogie, another brick in the wall and the theme of the 80’s The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Gala Fireworks – Southport British Musical Fireworks Championship 2nd Place from Pyro Productions on Vimeo.

They started out as they meant to go on with some lovely tailed comets and some brilliant colour variations. There were some very loud parts and again plenty going up into the sky. Outstanding for me were the giant tipped crackling palm shell – the bronze to green change was lovely – the silver fish and pearls into crossettes and spiralling tails and ring shells.

The display was well paced and had a really good finale with lots of glitter and hearts but lovely.

All players, well done but in my opinion, at the end of Saturday I definitely had SmArt Pyrotechnics in front.

Bonfire Cake

There are of course a myriad of Bonfire Night Cake recipes about but personally, I am all about speed and efficiency and of course letting the children join in the fun. As a child, I spent many hours baking with both my grandma’s and my grampy (grandfather) who were all cooks in their day-to-day lives, one in service, one at the hospital and grampy a cook in the merchant navy so we were always about food.

This brilliant little cake takes little or no time to prepare and is messy fun at its best.


1 large swiss roll
Chocolate finger biscuits (you could also consider using kit kat, Mikado sticks or matchmakers)
Red and yellow roll out fondant icing
Chocolate butter cream

First of all, make the buttercream. This is fun. Put all the ingredients into a large deep bowl (or if you are working with young children, it will be everywhere) and whisk until all combined and smooth and leave to chill.

Cut your swiss roll up into 1 cm rings and pile into a pyramid type shape which will be the base of your bonfire cake.

Then, using a spatula or a spoon, smooth the creamy rich buttercream over the top making a small peak at the top.

Now, start creating the structure by sticking the ‘wood’ in the form of the choc fingers and pieces of breadstick. Don’t forget to put some round the base of the bonfire!

Now, get the little ones to roll out the icing and cut into flame shapes and add to the bonfire. Of course, this is meant to be eaten and fun too so it doesn’t matter much about the artistry but it will taste brilliant and it’s a great way of entertaining children when the nights are drawing in.

There you have it, Bonfire Night.

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