Firework Bangers

Hiya mate … d’ ya’ sell bangers?

I have worked in the fireworks business now for almost 25 years and in that time, I personally must have had this question posed a few hundred times or more annually.

#Bangers #StandardFireworks #OldSchool

Oddly, even young men who were very small children when the banger was banned in the UK, still they ask for them – usually thanks to their dads who still have a smile when recalling their miss-spent youth. They are still spoken of in ‘hushed tones’ as brilliant and of course were the definitive ‘boys toy’ to the vast majority of men.

Box Of Old Fireworks

There were two main types of banger: gunpowder bangers and aluminium flash powder. Bangers were essentially single shot fireworks consisting of rolled paper with gunpowder inside and a fuse at the top. They were to be lit and then thrown where they exploded within a couple of seconds.

Little Demon Bangers by Standard Fireworks

Bangers, as I recall from my youth, did indeed ‘go off’ with a very pleasing and relatively decent ‘bang’. The smell of ‘rotten eggs’ from the sulphur and the knowledge that they looked like Wile E Coyote’s Acme explosives just added to the mystique that fireworks and in particular bangers hold today.

Old Firework Collection

Those of a certain age will recall some of the hard-hitting Public Information Films of the 60’s and 70’s and in particular the one about fireworks which was essentially the beginning of the end for the humble banger.

Reminisce with Epic Fireworks :)

Back in the early 1930’s, there were literally hundreds of halfpenny bangers on the market, which today would cost around 40p each until the 1940’s. After the war years, when materials for the production of fireworks was limited, unfortunately the quality of the firework began to suffer but they were still the most popular item in the pyro range.

More Old Fireworks

Fast-forward to the fifties and the love affair with the banger was still alive and well and Wizard Fireworks, based out of Shoreditch in London saw the continued potential in the banger and determined to corner the market share. The little banger and associated garden fireworks became the mainstay of their business through to the early sixties when pressure from anti-firework lobbyists and financial pressure was brought to bear on Wizard and this heralded the end of the business.

Old Fireworks

The banger managed to eek out another 20 years before being banned from sale; mainly it has to be said thanks to their irresponsible use and association with anti social behaviour. Apart from periodic ‘copies’ been found during firework season, the UK is now largely banger free.

Epic Fireworks - Thundercrash Banger

So, are these little innocuous pyro devices really a loss to the industry or just spoken of fondly because they are no more, along with our youth. Who knows, but one thing is for certain, if by some miracle they were introduced to our range, the queues would stretch from London to us in Sheffield!

Pluto Party by Stephen Hawking

Well, today is the day we will know a little more about the planet Pluto.

The Pluto System

Actually, over the last week I’ve learned a fair bit about the planet Pluto and the New Horizons spacecraft, having seen and heard all about it on the television and social media channels.

Professor Stephen Hawking Held A Pluto Party

After almost a decade in flight, to celebrate the 3 billion mile journey, on Saturday 11th July the #EpicFireworks display team was invited by Professor Stephen Hawking to attend his ‘Pluto Party’, and end the evening with some EpicFireworks.

Professor Stephen Hawking Held A Pluto Party

The weather on the day was absolutely brilliant and the fireworks display was EPIC – check out the video footage of the display below. Can you guess which fireworks we used ?

See you next time Stephen and a big thank you to team Hawking for the kind hospitality. xxx

Stephen Hawking NASA StatementI would like to congratulate the New Horizons team and NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration for their historic flyby of Pluto. The culmination of a decade long mission, I can’t wait to see what new information the New Horizons spacecraft will reveal about our distant relative. – SH

Posted by Stephen Hawking on Tuesday, 14 July 2015

JAPANS MIDSUMMER FIREWORKS

WHAT: JAPAN’S MIDSUMMER FIREWORKS (MATSURI)
WHEN: MID SUMMER FROM LATE JULY TO EARLY SEPTEMBER
WHERE: ACROSS JAPAN
COST: FREE

From late July to early September, the night skies over the whole of Japan will be illuminated with fireworks at some point.

Most of the festivals and events around the country are for the giving of thanks and appreciation for the prosperity in their own regions. On the whole, they will all include fireworks and parades as a matter of course but this is not the end of the matter. Each festival brings in hundreds of thousands of spectators and of course, funding to each area. The parades will generally include the carrying of the local deity (Kami) through the town on a Palanquin – aka Mikoshi (a carried cart). This is the only time of the year when the Kami will leave the shrine.

Most of the festivals include a huge number of fireworks in all forms but there will be a large concentration of the super shells Japan is famous for. There will be food concessions all day, various performances of traditional dance and music and even dragon boat races.

The area of Kyushu for example, where they hold the Sasebo Seaside Festival they launch super shells which have a burst which is more than half a kilometer across reflecting on the water. They also hold a massive ‘tug of war’ competition.

Over in the Nagaoka, the first day of their summer event is dedicated to the 1486 people who lost their lives on 1st August 1945 during the bombing of the area by American allies. There were many more casualties of the war and in fact, Japan lost over 2 million people during the hostilities. The Nagaoka Rehabilitation Festival began one year after the end of the war. During the daytime, they hold a parade where the children of the region carry a wooden statue of Jizo through the village where fresh water is splashed over it for good health. As evening falls, a 25 foot high pyramid created with 3,300 lanterns which look like a giant glowing Christmas tree. The late evening of course, is packed with beautiful fireworks.

feathers fireworks

Over in Huis Ten Bosch, there is the largest Theme Park in Japan which has been operating for more than 20 years. The area has been created to look like a Dutch town. In spring, the area is covered in pink tulips. Come summer, the tulips are replaced by huge yellow sunflowers.

Come the evening, the area becomes a magical Kingdom of Light at around 6.00pm with an organic electroluminescent display (fairy lights to you and I!!) a carriage parade and bright lights illuminate the streets, castles, palaces, canal and of course the Dutch inspired windmills.

Another ‘must see’ is the Night Garden featuring 5000 sunflowers lit by LED lights. Fun is never far away and you can spend the afternoon with the family at the water park which has a huge outdoor pool and two super slides.

Beautiful KujukuShima are a large bunch of small islands off the coast off the Nagasaki Prefecture where there is also an aquarium and you can take a boat tour around the islands. The place is the setting for the opening scenes from Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai.

Of course, as you would expect, the fireworks on display will be nothing short of magnificent, particularly as the Japanese are the masters of the big shell or ‘Warimono’. There are fireworks competition, festivals and displays all over the country from late July through to early September which are mostly for the entertainment of spectators. Collectively, they represent the whole of Japan and individually, they are in support of their local shrines, the people and the individuality of the region.

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