Category Archives: Fireworks Uk

Hampton Court Palace Fanfare and Fireworks

HOW MUCH: £45 – £70

Hampton Court historically has had a slightly chequered past, being associated with murder, war and political intrigue. It was in this very place that King Henry VIII first learned of Catherine Howard’s sexual indiscretions, which ultimately lead to her losing her head. Some years later General Eisenhower (as he was before becoming President of the USA) planned the Normandy landings from Hampton Court.

In 1494 Giles Daubeney, who later in life became the Lord Chancellor, leased the manor house of Hampton Court with a view to “modernising” it, although Wikipedia lists the building as being erected in 1514 so there is some discrepancy there but we are working on the assumption that it takes some while to erect a building of that size but 20 years is a little on the long side.

Although the Tudors and the Stuarts lived on site, the current royal family, the Windsor’s have never actually lived there and in fact, the late Queen Victoria changed it to Grace and Favour apartments for those who had given great service to the Crown or country which includes some other royals too.

Today, it remains a beautiful historic building with lots of tales to tell but it also has a practical purpose as the home of the Royal school of needlework is based there, also Hampton court has featured in several Hollywood blockbusters the best known would be Pirates of the Caribbean: on stranger tides. These days, the Palace plays host to the glitterati of the music world.

The Hampton Court Festival was established in 1993 and has played host to Eric Clapton, Sir Tom Jones and Andrea Bocelli over the last few years. This year the line-up is just as impressive with Jools Holland, Paloma Faith, even comedy from Alan Davies and Paul Merton. Fans of Peter Andre will also have a chance to see and hear him as he blasts out his biggest hits (I can only think of one) so except to hear “Mysterious Girl”.

The big day for us would be Saturday 13th June as the Royal Philharmonic orchestra perform their rendition of “Fanfare and Fireworks”. Attendees usually number around 3,000 who view the display from the expansive East front gardens. Although camping in the grounds is not permitted there are a number of hostels and hotels in the area but places usually fill up quickly so best start looking into making a reservation sooner rather than later. Getting there is easy as there are many ways you could arrive there; even by boat!

Generally we have found that large annual firework displays of this nature do tend to get bigger every year as their popularity increases and hopefully this will be the case.

The concert will start at 8.30pm with no interval. The fireworks display will start 15 minutes after the concert finishes.

Programme – Conducted by Paul Bateman

ROSSINI – Overture: William Tell – Galop
MUSSORGSKY orch. Rimsky-Korsakov – Night on the Bare Mountain
TCHAIKOVSKY – Nutcracker: Waltz of the Flowers
OFFENBACH – Tales of Hoffman: Barcarolle
RPO BRASS QUINTET – Suite of Henry VIII Music, Carnival of the Animals
MOZART – Overture: The Marriage of Figaro
J. STRAUSS II – Roses from the South Waltz
SMETANA – Bartered Bride: Dance of the Comedians
DELIBES – Coppelia: Prelude and Mazurka
TCHAIKOVSKY – Swan Lake: Finale
DVORÁK – Slavonic Dance op.46, no.8
BRAHMS – Hungarian Dance No. 5
HANDEL – Music for the Royal Fireworks: Ouverture, La Paix, Minuet, La Rejouissance

In the meantime enjoy the spectacular display from last year.

Hampton Court Music Festival Fireworks 2014 from Blackbat on Vimeo.


Festival of Fireworks 2015

WHAT: Festival of Fireworks 2015
WHY: It’s a fireworks competition
WHEN: Saturday 5th September 2015
OPENING TIMES: Gates open at 5.00pm
WHERE: Catton Hall, Derbyshire
WHAT TIME DO THE FIREWORKS START: The first fireworks display will start at 8.30pm

This is the sixteenth year of competition and it features some of the highest calibre of pyrotechnics in the UK. The event is the brainchild of super display specialists Jubilee Fireworks and it goes from strength to strength every year. All of the displays are all set to music and really it’s a get together to see some of the best pyro available to our industry and of course, to see what has been brought to the table to add that little something out of the ordinary into the mix.

Whilst the gates open at around 5pm, spectators generally arrive on site from around 6.30 – 7.30pm and there will be concessions in effect but everyone is encouraged to bring seating, blankets, and a picnic and let the whole family just enjoy an evening of fantastic entertainment. There is some ‘pre-display’ entertainment which will be detailed closer to the time.

All of the competing displays are around 10 minutes each accompanied by music and lights and the first display gets under way for around 8:30pm with a break of around 10 minutes between to allow for set up etc.

The competitors this year are HC Pyrotechnics, Sirotechnics and Dragon Fireworks, all of which have a brilliant pedigree in the fireworks field having won some of the biggest accolades in International Fireworks competitions.

A little about the competing teams:

H C PYROTECHNICS – One of Belgium’s premier firework companies who organize a firework spectacular at home called ‘Knokke-Heist International Fireworks Contest’ which brings together some of the best pyro teams in Europe to fill the skies between 19th and 27th August. Sure to bring lots of colour to the event this will be one to watch.

SIROTECHNICS – Birmingham based display specialists. One of the less experienced teams headed by the dynamic Simon Harding but that said, having won the British Musical Firework Championships in 2013 and they continue to surprise and amaze with unique and innovative features in their display. Renowned for bringing something special, keep an eye on these boys.

DRAGON FIREWORKS – Surrey based display team who create ‘out of the box’ displays resulting in some truly magical results. The team have worked on a wide number of displays including Ringo Starr and a number of displays for Silverstone Grand Prix race circuit events.

Last, but by no means least the organizers of the event, JUBILEE FIREWORKS. Formed in 1987 they are a major driving force in UK pyrotechnics being previous holders of both the Southport British Musical Fireworks Championships and the British Firework Championships in Plymouth.

The venue, Catton Hall, has been owned by the same family since 1405 with the present hall built around the original property in 1740. Standing on the banks of the River Trent it is a magnificent site open to the public with a wide variety of events throughout the year.

Close to Birmingham and Leicester it offers a number of places to visit around about, especially being on the edge of the Derbyshire National Park.


Fireworks For King Richard III Re-Interment

WHAT: Fireworks For King Richard III
WHEN: Friday 27th March 2015
WHERE: Leicester City Centre
WHY: King Richard III Re-Interment

Back in August 2012, you could not have failed to learn of the discovery of the remains of King Richard III under a car park in Leicester. Not the most appropriate burial-place for a King I am sure you will agree.

King Richard was killed fighting Henry Tudor on 22nd August 1485 at the bloody battle of Bosworth Field, the final War of the Roses. He was subsequently buried in a crude grave in the grounds of Greyfriars Friary with no pomp or circumstance.

Move forward over 500 years to August 2012 when project ‘looking for Richard’ got under way. On day 1 of the dig, a male skeleton was uncovered bearing the same physical attributes as King Richard. DNA and carbon dating established that they were indeed the remains they sought.

Naturally, the discovery still laid out unanswered questions and the fact is that the mitochondrial DNA simply proves that the remains belong to someone in the line but not necessarily to the King. But, this was over-ruled as all the documentary evidence and the physical structure of the bones showed the spinal curvature which was one of the main attributes of Richard and the High Courts were satisfied that there was enough evidence to support the finding to be that of the King and then the next question was: where to re-inter the remains.

The High Court then had to sort out the argument between the Richard III society and heirs of the Plantagenet lineage who said that the remains should go back to York in accordance with his title. But, they ruled that he had rested there for over 500 years and should be allowed to stay at the heart of the Cathedral.

The re-interment service will form part of a number of events over the 4-day period including lots of free events over the weekend of 26th – 29th March 2015.

The Royal Family will be represented by Sophie, Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Indeed, Richard, the current Duke of Gloucester is Patron of the Richard III Society, the organization responsible for raising the funds to actually dig the site where the remains were discovered.

A Service of Compline will be held on Sunday March 22nd to mark the arrival of the royal remains and the funeral cortege will travel from Bosworth Field where the King fell to the Cathedral where his remains will stay in repose until the 26th March, allowing visitors to attend the Cathedral. Finally, the members of the Richard III Society will say their own farewell before the burial takes place.

There will be giant screens in Leicester City centre for the public to watch the service and on Friday 27th March, the Leicester Glows event will see 8000 fire-pots lit around Jubilee Square and the Cathedral Gardens areas. Indeed visitors will be allowed to light a flame in honour of King Richard III before FIREWORKS are launched from the Cathedral roof !!!

The foreground of the Cathedral and its façade will be illuminated with laser’s throughout this historically significant event.