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How To Put On A Spectacular Fireworks Display

November 2016Words by Ms Kate Kelley

Illustration by Mr Giordano Poloni

It’s that time of year again. The nights are lengthening. The air is… sort of… crisping up. The natural instinct is to gather in groups and watch things explode in the air, so that’s what we do. It’s time to bring on the fireworks. Of course, whether you’re celebrating Diwali, Bonfire Night or New Year’s Eve, the easiest way to enjoy these nocturnal effusions is to stand around and wait in a crowded public place while someone else does it all for you. But that doesn’t mean you should never try to attempt it yourself. In fact, the bespoke firework experience can be both awe-inspiring and rewarding, as long as it’s carried off with aplomb. To find out how it’s done best, we turned to pyrotechnics expert Reverend Ron Lancaster, the chairman of the UK’s only remaining UK fireworks manufacturer Kimbolton Fireworks. Having orchestrated displays for such illustrious events as London’s official New Year’s Eve celebrations and the 2012 Olympics ceremonies, he’s more than equipped to help you light up your back garden this winter. Scroll down for his top five tips:


Fireworks, though fun, are also dangerous. Reverend Lancaster says that the best way to avoid the risks is to take a realistic approach to the space you have available. “Each firework will have an individual distance on it for how far away you need to be once it’s lit. Smaller ones will require five or eight metres, but bigger one’s need around 25 metres, which tends to restrict you,” he says. In other words, if you’re thinking of wowing your guests from your penthouse roof terrace, you might want to consider a nice sparkler instead.