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This year's training day and firework demo will be on Sunday  30th of September (not the usual Saturday) at Nature In Art, Twigworth, Gloucetser. Full details here

The competitors for this Plymouth Fireworks Championship on Aug 8th & 9th are:
The UK Firework Company
Smart Pyrotechnics
Fully Fused Fireworks
Phoenix Fireworks
Fuse Fireworks
Illusion Fireworks

Phew! Another safe and successful firework season is over, with dozens of spectacular displays over a very frantic couple of weeks. The effect of the EU directive on displays will be gradual but not so with display packs and retail fireworks. This year the new regulations have caused havoc with the supply chain and now many of our favourite fireworks are no longer available. Still plenty to choose from though, and we are very hopeful that things will improve over the next year or two.

The winners of the Southport Musical Fireworks Championship are announced. In first place Sirotechnics, 2nd place goes to Bright Sparks and in 3rd place All-star Fireworks.

Usually at this time of year our firework elves would be busy making up wheels, setpieces, goodnights and other fireworks ready for the forthcoming season. But not this year. New EU regs come into effect this June. Some items are now effectively banned because the EU think they have "exposed fuse" by which they mean pipematch which clearly isn't exposed. Did they really mean to ban you from having a large wheel in your display. No, it's an unintended consequence due to their lack of knowledge. Even if we could still make them the cost of compliance with the new EU Pyrotechnic Directive is colossal and we would never get the money back.

But let's not be too despondent, still plenty of fireworks available with several nice items appearing later in the year.

This year's British Fireworks Championships will take place in on Plymouth waterfront  9-10th of August. Competitors are AJ Pyrotechnics, Dragon Fireworks, Selstar Fireworks, Smart Pyro, The UK Fireworks & Events Company with PDC in reserve.

The winners of the Southport Musical Fireworks Championship have been announced. Taking first place were Bright Sparks Firework Displays, second place were Phenomenal Fireworks and in third place Skyburst.

Politics aside, there is no doubt that the onslaught of EU regs has brought the British Fireworks industry huge problems and high costs. I have had numerous people ask how today's decision will effect their fireworks. For retail fireworks this has probably come too late as the EU Pyrotechnic Directive is already enshrined in UK law. Many fireworks will no longer be available after this season. In particular large wheels and setpieces, candle bouquets and large single ignition fireworks. Please be assured that our trade bodies will be doing their best to try and get regulations removed or at least watered down. But doubtless many other trades will be doing the same. It may take many years to undo the damage. For firework displays we might be a bit luckier. The UK authorities oppose certain regulations that will effect displays and have campaigned for a UK interpretation to be accepted. With a bit of luck the UK will now accept this position by default but time will tell. Whatever happens now, interesting times are ahead for us all.

Many of you have been concerned about press reports that the supply of fireworks might be limited to certain times of year, even by specially licensed sellers. This was a result of a petition presented to parliament by those concerned about firework noise and in particular the impact on animals. The debate has now taken place and fortunately it has come to nothing. Here is a clip to give you an idea of the report:

Fireworks are subject to stringent testing regimes and new products undergo intense scrutiny before they are made available for sale. Low noise fireworks are becoming more widely available. UK manufacturers have introduced low noise fireworks and worked with animal charities on guidance for owners. I understand the concerns of those who find the noise and flash of fireworks distressing, but I must reiterate that I believe the majority of people enjoy fireworks with consideration for others and in accordance with the regulations governing their use. It is a great pity that the actions of an antisocial minority tarnish the reputation of a responsible majority.
I am satisfied that enough is being done to make the public aware of their responsibilities when using fireworks and that fireworks manufacturers and retailers are helping with advice to mitigate the impact on animals

The competitors for this year's British Firework Championships have been announced. The displays will take place in Plymouth on 16th & 17th August.

Aurora Fireworks
Shellscape Pyrotechnics
Phoenix Fireworks
Gala Fireworks
Distant Thunder Fireworks
Smart Pyrotechnics

The reserve company is F1 Pyrotechnics

A not so happy 2016 for firework fondlers in the UK as new EU regulations start to bite. By 2017 all fireworks must be CE marked and comply with new (and pointless) EU regs. Because of the huge cost of compliance, fireworks made in small quantities will no longer be available. New regs concerning "exposed fuse" may mean the end of large wheels, setpieces and candle bouquets as well as tradition lancework such as GOODNIGHT. Worse still is a powder weight limit which effectively spells the end for large single ignition fireworks. The EU bureaucrats think the large the firework the more dangerous it is when in fact the reverse is true. Far safer to light just one fuse rather than a number of smaller items. Safety distances will be reduced from the present BS standard of 25m to 15m and in some cases just 8m. So what's the thinking behind all this nonsense? To "harmonise" the market in fireworks to encourage free trade between EU member states. Fine except that all retail fireworks are made in China not the EU, a fact that seems to have escaped the EU bureaucrats!

The winners of this year's Southport British Musical Firework Championship are announced:
First place F1 Pyrotechnics
Second place Brightfire Pyrotechnics
Third place Midnight Storm

Fantastic Fireworks has been announced as the winner of this years British Fireworks Championship in Plymouth. Second place went to Spyrotechnics and third place to 1st Galaxy. Sandling Fireworks couldn't make this year so we don't have videos for you. Sorry about that, we have been with a new range of products that will appear on our web site soon.


Congratulations to our very own Jubilee Fireworks for winning the prestigious Montreal International Fireworks competition. The competition is run from August 1st to the 31st and includes competitors from around the world. Second prize goes to JCO, France and third to Vulcan Fireworks Hong Kong.

The competitors for this year's British Fireworks Championships have been announced:

1ST Galaxy, Gala Fireworks, Fantastic Fireworks, Spyrotechnics, Phoenix Fireworks, Essex Pyrotechnics.The competition is held on august 18th and 19th, running order to be announced.

The winners of this year's Southport Musical Fireworks Championship are announced as:
First place - SMART Pyrotechnics, Second place - Gala Fireworks, Third place- Allstar Fireworks.

The winners of this year's British Firework Championships at Plymouth are announced.

Tuesday saw Shellscapefirework video, Blitz Fireworksfirework video and Northern Lightsfirework video compete. Blitz Fireworks display was judged to be the best of night.

Wednesday saw Reaction Fireworksfirework video, MLE Pyrotechnicsfirework video and Pyro 1firework video compete. Pyro 1 were originally going to be the first to fire but due to technical problems they did in fact fire the third and and final display. The best display of the night was judged to be Reaction Fireworks.

The overall winner of the two day competition was Blitz Fireworks. Congratulations to the Blitz crew. In particular we at Sandling enjoyed the ground shaking, trouser flapping barrage of increasingly loud salutes. Nice!

A very interesting tv article on Fake Britain regarding a fraudulent firework company based in Bristol. Watch the video here.

The coroner has dismissed firework smoke as the cause of the Taunton M5 crash that killed seven people. However the coroner intends to meet with highways officials and those involved in the display trade to discuss measures to reduce the possibility of smoke causing an accident in future.

Competitors for this year's Plymouth Fireworks competition have been announced:

Tuesday 12th August
Blitz Fireworks
Northern Lights

Weds 13th August
Pyro 1
Reaction fireworks
MLE Pyrotechnics

The competitors for this year's British Musical Fireworks Championship in Southport for this year are announced:
Friday: Distant Thunder
Saturday: Classic Fireworks
Smart Pyro
Gala Fireworks
Sunday: Solihull Fireworks
Flashpoint Fireworks

Geoffrey Counsell, who ran the firework company that fired a display at Taunton Rugby Club on the evening of a fatal pile up on the M5 as been cleared of all charges. The judge ruled there was no case to answer. Read the full story here.

The trial of Geoffrey Counsell begins Monday and is likely to last six weeks. Geoffrey's company fired a display at Taunton Rugby Club on 4/11/11 near to the M5. That evening a pile up in foggy conditions left 7 people dead. Manslaughter charges were dropped earlier this year due to "new information". No new guidelines or safety distance revisions have been issued since the incident.

Nightfreight, now called DX, decide to no longer carry fireworks as from 5/11/13 causing severe problems for the UK fireworks industry.

Winners of this years British Musical Championships are:
1st Sirotechnics
2nd Komodo Fireworks
3rd Fuse Fireworks

The last of our fireworks from China finally arrive safe and sound!
Chinese factories have been working around the clock trying to clear the backlog of UK orders. Further delays have now been caused by a monsoon halting all shipping from Hong Kong. Some shops goods retailers now expect their stock to arrive long after November 5th.

The Chinese ban on firework production which was due to very high temperatures, has now been lifted. Factories now have a huge backlog to clear causing problems for UK shop goods importers and distributors.

The winners of the British Firework Champion of Champions 2013 are:
1st Star Fireworks (Sorry, first part missing!) firework video
2nd Pendragon Fireworks firework video
3rd Selstar Fireworks firework video

Other competitors were:

Phoenix fireworks firework video
MLE Pyrotechnics firework video
1st Galaxy Fireworks firework video

The ban on firework production in China continues due to high temperatures. It now looks set to continue to the end of August causing problems for UK importers, particularly shop goods.

Winners of this years Montreal fireworks Competition are:
Gold - Pyromotions/Pyrodigit (Italy)
Silver - Mirnovec (Croatia)
Bronze - Zaragozona (Spain)

A man in Clevedon has been prosecuted for possession of Cat 4 pro fireworks including shells. Hew wasn't hard to find though as he was firing them off in his garden late at night! Now what we want to know is where did he get them?

The families of two fire fighters killed in the explosion at Festival Fireworks in 2006 win their claim for compensation against the fire service. The court was told of lack of training and faulty radio equipment. We at Sandling feel that lessons could have been learned from similar explosions at Enschede (Holland) , Kolding (Denmark) and Uffculme (UK).

Chinese authorities impose a one month ban on firework production due to extreme temperatures. This will cause delays for UK companies waiting for containers to be shipped.

BIS has finally seen the light and has agreed to revert to the original plan that fireworks will need to be CE marked by 2017. Any newly designed products will need to be CE marked within the next two years. See below for the bombshell BIS dropped last December. Although unwanted by UK authorities and trade bodies the EU Pyrotechnic Directive has been forced upon us and will have a huge impact on future firework sales. The CE marking scheme is a good quality control system for mass produced items but does not work well, or at all, for comparatively small quantities of imported fireworks or hand made UK fireworks. Companies that import large quantities of a small variety of fireworks should be able to comply, all be it at great cost. The problem arises with items that are imported or made in small batches, particularly display fireworks. We predict the variety of display fireworks currently on sale to the trade will reduce by 75%.

BIS ban all fireworks and Christmas crackers! This actually happened on November 6th last year 2012. Due to delicate negotiations we held back on sharing this one with you, but now it is public knowledge, here is the story. In 2010 BIS (formerly BERR, formally DTI) issued guidance relating to the EU Pyrotechnic Directive. The directive states that all fireworks must be CE marked. Because this is a huge burden and expense to the UK fireworks industry, BIS issued guidance stating that the fireworks industry had until 2017 to comply with the directive or cease trading. On November 6th last year (what timing!) BIS quietly changed it's guidance without any consultation whatsoever, so that it now states that all fireworks must comply with the directive by 2010. Yes that's two years before the guidance date! Short of inventing a time machine it was obviously impossible to comply with and at the moment there are around £15 million pounds worth of non CE marked fireworks stock in the UK.  Why BIS decided to do this is still unclear but appears to be due to pressure from the EU. It is important to note this is not a safety issue. The EU standard is not as safe as the existing British Standard. It has a reduced safety distance, does not include a safety distance buffer zone and has a reduced batch sampling plan. MPs and ministers as well as representatives of the UK firework trade are currently involved in top level negotiations and it looks as if common sense will prevail. You can the latest at the BPA website here.

The families of firefighters killed or injured in the Festival Fireworks explosion in Sussex six years ago, begin a three week trial against East Sussex Fire and Rescue seeking compensation. You can read the news report here.

The seven competitors for this year's Southport British Musical Fireworks Championship have been announced:
Friday Oct 4th Komodo fireworks (2012 winners), Pyroartistry
Saturday Oct 5th Sirotechnics Fireworks, Jonathon's Fireworks, Sandling Fireworks (Hey! That's us!)
Sunday Oct 6th Fuse Fireworks, Dragon Fireworks

All seven manslaughter charges against the organiser of the firework display held on the night of the M5 accident have been dropped. One H&S charge of "failing to ensure the safety of others" remains. Here is a link to the BBC news story. The CPS has never revealed the basis of the original prosecution which has caused concern throughout the display trade. It may be that we will now never know.

It is with great sadness that we have tell you that John Park died suddenly this morning. A nicer man you could not wish to meet. He devoted his life to fireworks and was until recently the secretary of the British Fireworks Association.

Don't mess with fireworks kids, or you could end up like this. Taken at post pyro party on our busiest night of the year.

knackered firer


Sadly, Rup Bagha, the founder of the old Cosmic Fireworks, passed away at midday today. Condolences to his family.

In a surprising turn of events, Geoffrey Counsell, "organiser" of the firework display at Taunton rugby Club last November, has been charged with seven counts of manslaughter relating to the tragic accident on the M5. see the press release
here. In March this year evidence was released showing that smoke from the display was blowing away from the M5 at the time.

The winners of the British Pyromusical Championships in Southport are announced:
 1st place - Komodo Fireworks
2nd Place - Britannia Fireworks
3rd Place  - Celebration Displays (Evesham)

High winds disrupt this years Plymouth Fireworks Championship. The first nights fireworks were provided by Star Fireworks, Phoenix Fireworks and MLE Pyrotechnics. The quality of the the displays was outstanding. The following day the weather had deteriorated with sea spray drenching those trying to set up in appalling conditions. Due to high winds some material had to be removed from the shows. The displays went ahead in limited form and it is amazing that anyone managed a show at all in force 7 winds. The organisers decided not to make awards this year and will try to arrange a re-match with the same competitors next year.

Further footage of the Big Bay Fireworks mishap can seen
here. It really is quite amazing, it reminds us of the infamous Kamodo 3000.

A huge firework display fired from multiple locations in San Diago to celebrate the fourth of July goes spectacularly wrong. The entire 25 minute display was fired in just 15 seconds. See
here for video.

Sandling returns from the 11th International Symposium on Fireworks. This year  held in Malta and followed by the Malta International Fireworks Competition, so 11 days of pyro heaven with displays every night. A tough job but someone has to do it. Amongst many wonderful fireworks, the Maltese cylinder shells which can be up to 6 feet long are quite amazing. See one of our favorites
here.  No you can't buy one! Here are some more

Two Leicestershire men have each been jailed for 12 months for fireworks theft. Police were alerted by large quantities of fireworks being used at one of the defendant's sister's address shortly after the theft. Doh!

Press reports indicate that a nearby firework display was not a contributing factor to M5 crash last year. A Daily Mirror report
here and Western Daily Press article here.

The British Firework Championships at Plymouth fall on the 14th and 15th of August. This year is a champion of champions event meaning that all the entrants have won previous championships.
2006 Jubilee, 2007 Selstar, 2008 Pendragon, 2009 Phoenix, 2010 Star, 2011 MLE Pyrotechnics.

An exhibition of Maurice Evan's collection of bygone British fireworks opens in Stratford and runs until December 11th at the Verney Gallery. An article in the Guardian details the exhibition

The BBC are featuring a new Dr Who game entitles "The Gunpowder Plot" on the web site as from October 30th. Details

Moronic thieves used a cutting torch to try and break into a 40' container of fireworks in Essex. The resulting fire caused residents to be evacuated and a no fly zone to be enforced. They do say "as thick as thieves"!

Winners of this year's Southport Pyromusical Championships are
First Pyrotex
Second Vulcan
Third Star

Videos for this years Plymouth fireworks in order of firing:

Skyburst firework video
Fireworx Scotland
firework video
firework video
firework video
firework video

Highlight firework video

smeatons tower

Celebration Fireworks spectacular 30m high lighthouse took 4 men 2 days to assemble.

Results of the British Firework Championships are as follows:
First MLE
Second Celebration
Third Fireworx Scotland
Conditions were excellent on both nights without the problems of obscuring clouds of smoke which sometimes effect the event. Videos will be posted on this site soon.

An accident on a feeder ship resulted in 26 40' shipping containers full of fireworks falling into the Yangtze river. Many of the containers were destined for UK firework companies. Although insured there will not be time to have the fireworks manufactured again for this season. Fortunately for us, none of our containers were on board.

Sandling Fireworks South Magazine Site in Hereford has finally been demolished to make way for redevelopment (and a hyperspace bypass!). We vacated the site two years ago but wrangling about bats, newts and creepy crawlies has left the site in limbo. It has now finally gone. It served us well for many years and it is sad to see it go. Like many such sites, the value of the land far exceeds the value of the few buildings and the surrounding safety distances. We have four other sites and continue to operate from these normally.

sandling fireworks rotherwas

Liuyang Government bans production of fireworks until 27th August due to extreme hot weather.

Today the Liuyang government issued an official notice banning all production of fireworks and firecrackers until August 27th, 2011. The month long ban adds to an already difficult delivery situation for fireworks, which has come under pressure by lack of workers and increasing costs. Most affected will be the Guy Fawkes season, which will no doubt spill onto the New Years, Chinese New Year and then the July 4 season. 

The government has announced it's Red Tape Challenge. It gives us all the chance of getting pointless and burdensome regulations repealed or simplified. Well that is what they say any way. This includes explosives regs. Unfortunately the most complex, costly and pointless regs are courtesy of the EU and the government will claim there is little that can be done. Still, worth a try though. Have your say here
Red Tape Challenge

The draw for this years British Fireworks Championships has taken place and the competitors are Highlight Pyrotechnics, Skyburst The Firework Co, Nemisis Pyrotechnics, MLE Pyrotechnics, Celebration Fireworks (Evesham),
Fireworx Scotland. The championship takes place at Plymouth on August 16th and 17th.

Good news! Possibly. Those splendid people at the EU have decided that including fireworks within the dreaded REACH regulations might have been a bit silly after all. They are now proposing fireworks should be excluded. With usual EU urgency, a decision will not be made until June 2012. REACH would have spelt the death knell for many firework importers.

Jason Edgecomb of JWP Fireworks is finally jailed. See the full story

An arrest warrant is issued for Jason Edgecomb of JWP fireworks after he failed to turn up at Bristol Crown Court for a second time. This follows the imposition of a suspended prison sentence and being banned from organising firework displays following the blinding of an employee in 2008.

The Dutch Fireworks Flying Squad report a huge increase in illegal firework sales due to the imposition of the EU Pyrotechnic Directive. Legitimate importers are finding the new regulations almost impossible to comply with and are either closing down or failing to have stock type tested. This has opened the flood gates to illegal imports.

Sandling Fireworks web site now has a new faster server. In the run up to November our web site could not cope with the demand leaving some people unable to access parts of our site.

The dreaded (and mostly pointless) EU Pyrotechnic Directive is causing huge expense and great difficulties to Dutch firework importers.  TNO, the Dutch equivalent of HSE, is reporting a 75% failure rate of type tested fireworks. Having been frozen, baked, vibrated and dropped for days we should not be surprised that most fireworks do not function as well as they might after "conditioning". Fireworks would have to be made to military spec to survive this sort of treatment which would increase the costs hugely. Fortunately in the UK our authorities have not been able to cope with the regulations either and we have until 2017 to comply. We can only hope there will be some changes made by then! 

The world record for the largest firework rocket has been broken at the 12th International Fireworks Symposium, this year held in Portugal. Sandling were there to see it! It will now be entered in the Guinness book of records.

Winners of this year's Southport Pyromusical Championships are announced. First place goes to Pyrotec, second place Pendragon and in third place MLE.

Jason Edgecombe of JWP Pyro received a suspended jail sentence and was banned from working with fireworks for two years. This follows an incident in which an employee was injured. It was subsequently found that Edgecombe was operating with forged insurance documents. In 2008 his brother Luke was jailed for four years for blowing up a phone box with a shell. Click
here  and here for full story.

Thieves burgle a Sandling Fireworks magazine site near Bridgnorth taking a large quantity of display packs. Most of the fireworks taken are unique to Sandling and are easily identified. So, if you are offered any of our fireworks from elsewhere, do please let us know and we will check it out. We have been fortunate in previous years in having stolen stock traced and returned to us because it has been so easy to identify. The site now has 24 hour security patrols.

The winners or this year's Plymouth Fireworks Championships are:
1st place Star Fireworks
firework video
2nd place Reaction
firework video
3rd Place 1st Galaxy
firework video

Other entrants in no particular order:
firework video

SM Art Pyro firework video
Essex Pyrotechnics

Winners of the British Fireworks Championships 2010 are Star Fireworks, With Reaction Fireworks coming 2nd and 1st Galaxy 3rd place. We hope to have videos of all six displays on this page shortly.

All firework factories in Liuyang, China are ordered to cease production for the next 20 days due to extremely high temperatures. This news comes after monsoons delay existing firework stocks from being exported by sea. To add to problems some factories have their licenses suspended during the Shanghai Expo.

Jason Edgecombe of JWP Fireworks, Bristol appears in court after one of his firers lost an eye whilst firing a shell. Edgecombe is charged with health and safety offences and also fraud relating to forged insurance documents. In 2008 his brother Luke was jailed for four years for blowing up a phone box with a shell.  Read the full story

The European Pyrotechnic Directive has now been published and a guide to its implementation in the UK has been published by the EIG. If you can stay awake long enough you can find the details
here. All fireworks sold in EU countries will have to be CE marked and type tested at huge expense to importers. The regulations will do nothing to improve safety as we already have probably the worlds best firework safety regulations in the UK. UK authorities did not want the regulations but once again they have been imposed upon us by the EU. Even UK government cannot currently cope with these regulations and have announced that the UK implementation will effectively be delayed until 2017.

The draw for this year has now been made and the teams joining Reaction Fireworks (Scottish heat winners) in Plymouth on 10th & 11th August are: 1st Galaxy Fireworks, Flashpoint Fireworks, Essex Pyrotechnics, Star Fireworks and SM Art Pyrotechnics.

Martin and Nathan Winter, directors of Alpha Fireworks, formally Festival Fireworks are found guilty of the manslaughter of two fireman following a fire in 2006. Click
here for details and more in depth article here. The court found that high hazard fireworks were stored illegally in an unlicensed container which exploded in the fire killing two fire fighters. The jury also heard that fire fighters had little or no training when dealing with fires at explosives sites.

The case against JWP Fireworks regarding insurance fraud continues in Bristol Crown Court. Click
here for details.

The trial of the directors of Festival Fireworks, now Alpha Fireworks, begins in Lewes Crown Court. Click
here, here here,   here here,  and here for details. This follows a blaze in 2006 in which two fire fighters died.

New BPA web site now up and running! Click
here! It includes valuable information on what is required to run your own display company.

Due to strong winds, the final night of the Southport Musical Fireworks Championships was cancelled meaning that Star Fireworks and Fantastic Fireworks were unable to compete. Of those that did the winners were: 1st Flashpoint Fireworks, 2nd Dragonfire, 3rd Essex Pyrotechnics.

The relentless onslaught of unwanted EU regulations continues. Hot on the heal of Euro Pyotechnic directive, Euro firework standards and the REACH regulations comes the directive on the identification and traceability of explosives for civil uses. Whoopee.

Jason Edgecombe of Bristol based JWP fireworks appear in court charged with fraud and health and safety violations. See the fill story
here. Last year Luke Edgecombe was jailed for four years after blowing up a phone box in Bristol with a large firework display shell. See here.

The winners or this year's Plymouth Fireworks Championships are:
1st place Phoenix
firework video
2nd place Celebration
firework video
3rd Place Skyburst
firework video

Sandling Fireworks are pleased to be suppliers to all three winners!
Other entrants in no particular order:
Dragon Dynasty
firework video

Vulcan firework video
Highlight firework video

Cube Fireworks, a shop goods importer and distributor become the latest victims of the recession.

You might be ware that the DTI (Department of Trade & Industry) recently changed it's name to BERR (Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform). Now for some reason it has changed to BIS (Business Innovation and Skills). Apart from the fact that BERR is a obviously a daft name, why change it again we wonder. How much must it cost to change their entire web site and stationary each time they change name? Still, keeps people employed we suppose.

Details of this year's Southport pyromusical competition are announced:

Firing order confirmed:
Friday 9th October
1st Dragonfire LTD, 2nd Axholme Fireworks
Saturday 10th October
1st A40 Fireworks LTD, 2nd Fireworx Scotland, 3rd Essex Pyrotechnics
Sunday 11th October
1st Star Fireworks, 2nd Fantastic Fireworks

It appears that the directors of Cosmic Fireworks, that went into receivership earlier in the year, have bought the companies remaining assets and are now trading as Cosmic Fireworks UK Ltd.

Five American professional  display operators are killed in two separate incidents involving July 4th celebrations.

Over ten years since it's inception, the final draft of the new European Standard is published for comment by those involved in the industry. This will ultimately replace the existing British Standard although it is thought the change over will be gradual. We at Sandling reckon we could have done it down the pub over a few pints in one weekend, but those Euro commissioners have to be kept in employment of course.

South west firework company Firemagic are fined £15,000 following a fire at their premises, although the director will pay just £2 a week.
Click Here

Two of the UK's largest shop goods importers,  Cosmic Fireworks and Men Shun, are in receivership.  This follows a poor year for all shop goods people due to exchange rate, very bad weather on the run up to Nov 5
th and HSE's reclassification exercise which has left them with huge stocks of fireworks that are now 1.3 and cannot be stored by shops.

The contestants for this year's Plymouth Championships are announced:

Dragon Dynasty Pyrotechnics
Highlight Pyrotechnics
Skyburst The Firework Co.
Celebration Fireworks
Phoenix Fireworks

Regional heats have been abandoned for this year but the organisers hope to re-instate these next year.

Big price rises are hitting UK firework companies hard this year.  Nearly all fireworks are paid for in US$ and the exchange rate has dropped from $2=£1 to $1.4=£1. In addition big rises in Chinese labour costs are increasing costs further.

The worlds largest firework display is held in Dubai to celebrate the opening of the Atlantis Hotel. See a video of it

12/11/08 Another season draws to a close with dozens of displays and thousands of display packs fired safely and successfully without incident. Sandling fireworks crew braved the elements and set up and fired in some some truely awful weather with just the thought of beer to keep them going. Having drunk one pub dry of real ale our dirty, wet and smoldering firers staggered into our local and consumed copious quantities of ale much to the landlord's delight. For some reason my staff have not yet allowed me to see the bar bill. 27/10/08 Police in south Wales seize a staggering £30,000 worth of illegal fireworks in a series of raids.

Beihei Port has re-opened allowing the huge back log of display fireworks to filter out of China. Suppliers suggest it could be well into next year before stocks are cleared.

20/10/08 China's Beihei port remains closed with no indication of when it might re-open. This has brought China's production of display shells to halt and is hindering production of fireworks in general due to warehouses being full to capacity.

China's Beihai port has suddenly closed for reconstruction without notice. This is currently the only Chinese port able to handle display shells. This will put tremendous pressure on Chinese suppliers who are still trying to clear a huge backlog of fireworks caused by the transport ban during the Olympics.

This year's winners of the British Musical Firework Championships at Southport are; First Jubilee, second Festival and third Allstar. congratulations to all!

30/8/08 Against all odds Sandling Fireworks are once again fully stocked! Some are not so lucky and have been advised they will receive nothing this year. Others are expecting their stock to arrive mid October - cutting it fine to say the least.

Winner of this years' British firework Championships are: First place Pendragon, second place Star fireworks and third place Phoenix fireworks. Congratulations to all who competed!

Manchester Airport issue an extraordinary leaflet banning the use of both consumer and professional fireworks within 5 miles of its runways. The leaflet appears to have no legal basis and is being challenged by the BPA and BFA. Be amazed!

Behei Port, China, announce a ban on the shipping of fireworks until further notice. Behei was the only port left that would ship 1.3G display material. This means that it is now impossible to ship any display material from China. Hopefully things will improve after the Olympics but for many UK display companies this might be too late for this year.

Sandling Fireworks regretfully announce having to pull out of the British Firework Championships in Plymouth on August 12th - 13th. Due to the firework famine we do not have sufficient stock to put on our usual spectacular display. Other competitors are Dragon fireworks, Skyburst, Star Fireworks, Fireworx Scotland and Pendragon. Sandling is replaced by Phoenix Fireworks; we wish them well!

To add to the agony of the firework famine Shanghai port announce they will close for firework shipments from July 1st to 31st August. This means many UK suppliers will not receive any fireworks until October or November. The port had previously announced they would close from July 20th.

The shortage of Chinese fireworks begins to bite. At Sandling we have received just 10% of our expected stock so far. Others have received nothing or are expecting delivery in October. We are currently unable to publish our usual catalogue due to uncertainty of stock. Please check our web site for availability.

The great firework famine continues. Here is an interesting article giving an American perspective. Time is running out to get fireworks shipped for July 4th.

The EU launch another barrage of unwanted regulations which could effect the fireworks industry. REACH stands for
Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. Those wonderful EU people consider fireworks to be individual chemicals. We beg to differ. If they don't see sense then importers will have to generate more mountains of pointless paperwork and doubtless pay huge fees to comply.

The Chinese government announce a ban on the transport of dangerous goods from June to September 2008 due to the Olympic Games. 90% of the worlds fireworks are made in China and this will cause a major disruption to supplies this year. Already some UK importers have been told they will not be receiving ANY fireworks this year, the rest of us wait with bated breath! Watch this space.

 Well it has finally happened :( New regulations come into effect today concerning the classification of certain fireworks. Some fireworks, such as large rockets, change from hazard type 1.4G to 1.3G meaning they can no longer be shipped by carrier.
There has been a major fire at the Chinese Port of Sanshui in Foshan province. Twenty large warehouses containing many thousands of cartons of fireworks have been destroyed. Fortunately there were no serious injuries. The port handles the bulk of China's firework exports and is now closed for the foreseeable future. This will mean delays for exports this year as backlogs of fireworks build up at the few remaining ports that will handle fireworks. In addition, it is considered likely that the transport of fireworks will be banned during the Olympic Games for safety reasons.

Details of the British Firework Championships have been announced. There is one Scottish heat at Edinburgh, the venue to be announced, on May 24th. The competitors are Blast Design and Fireworx Scotland. The Welsh heat takes place at Chepstow Racecourse on May 3rd. Competitors are Pendragon, Anytime and Celtic. English heats take place at three locations.  Battersea Park is on May 10th and competitors are Pyro 1, Imperial and Festival. Salford is on April 12th and competitors are Star, Highlight and Celebration. Birmingham is on May 26th at Cannon Hill Park and competitors are Essex, Sandling Fireworks and Pops and Bangs. The winner of each heat will go on to compete in the finals at Plymouth on August 12th and 13th together with last year's winner Selstar.

An interesting letter from one of our customers..........

I have doubts over the reclassification of large size firework rockets, how will the black-market import/sale of these be policed and enforced? Other fireworks that have been restricted or banned from public use or moved to cat4 professional firework status haven't been necessarily been completely stamped out, banned or eliminated from public use thanks to the illegal black-market trade/sale in these fireworks by rogue traders/unlicensed vendors and hawkers/criminal gangs. These people are going to have a field day illegally flogging large rockets to the public in spite of the HSE and UN reclassifications on large rockets.

And our reply.........

Hello Anthony,
Yes, indeed the white van boys will have a field day. We have been working hard to limit the impact of the new classifications. We have had some success but rules change on an almost monthly basis. We have been trying to get some rockets classified since last March. The good news is that shops can continue to sell old stock imported before June last year for the next two years. It also seems likely that importers with old stock can sell it to shops as long as it transported as 1.3G. That does not help us as we deal by mail order. Our friends at Fireworks International have been able to get their rockets UN series 6 tested in special cage type packaging and we have reached an agreement with them to sell these through our web site later in the year. Some other items we have been able to make with reduced flash content and they still work surprisingly well. Some items cannot be made this way and they will have to go :( As we always say, get them while you can!

EIG publish a press release in response to the irresponsible reporting of ISO containers of fireworks describing them as bombs. See  the EIG response

 A  UK company wins the coveted Gold first prize in the Montreal International Firework Competition. Our congratulations go to our colleagues at Pains Fireworks!

The winners of the British Firework Championships are announced. First place goes to Selstar, second place to 1st Galaxy, and in third place Blast Design. Tuesdays competitors had to battle with the elements as high tides and strong winds caused waves to break over Plymouth breakwater, causing some damage to firing equipment.

Fireworks price hike! The costs of importing fireworks from China suddenly rises by 8% as from July 2007 due to changes in the Chinese tax rebate system. Fortunately for Sandling customers, we have already imported most of our stock at the old prices. Shop goods are most likely to take full brunt of the rise as these are often not imported until later in the year.

 Fireworks get quieter! July 2007 sees the introduction of new UN default classifications. These have been brought about following a number of explosions in firework depots where the blast has been substantially greater than expected. Following a series of UN tests where whole bulk containers of certain fireworks were deliberate exploded, the powder weights and compositions of many fireworks have had to be altered. Any cakes containing bombette or starshell type effects will have their bursting charge reduced from about 12% to 5%, resulting in a quieter and slightly less powerful burst. Fireworks complying with the new specifications will be phased in this year as old stock is sold. Any cakes containing any salutes or flash reports will be phased out completely. Rockets will change from 1.4G to 1.3G which means although they can still be sold to members of the public, shops cannot store them and they cannot be transported by carrier. HSE have allowed until March 2008 as a sell on period for existing stocks of rockets. Watch this space.

 Sandling Fireworks are proud to provide the fireworks for the 25th Anniversary of the Falklands War. The display will held at Victory Green, Port Stanley on Saturday 16th June. It will be preceded by the release of 258 white balloons and a minutes silence in memory of the 258 servicemen and civilians who died, with the first rocket salvo marking the end of the silence.

Read the UK Parliament debate on the EU Marketing of Pyrotechnic Articles
HERE. See for yourself how pointless and costly this directive is and how it has been forced upon the UK against own governments will.

 Chinese firework distributor Men Shun were fined £40,000 for illegal storage in 2004. 100 tonnes of fireworks were found in an unlicensed magazine in Wetherby.

Plans for English regional heats for the British Fireworks Championship at Plymouth have been postponed until 2008 due to unforeseen circumstances. The Welsh and Scottish heats will still take place. The Welsh heat will be at Chepstow Racecourse on May 5th and those taking part are Celebration Fireworks, Pendragon fireworks, and Westcoast Fireworks. The Scottish heat will take place at Perth Racecourse on May 26th. Competitors are Blast Design Fireworks, Fireworx Scotland And Midnight Storm. The Plymouth championship will be on August 14th-15th.  Thanks to
TESA for this information.

Tuesday 14th August

Tunbridge Wells Fireworks (the 2005 reserve)
Scottish Champions
Welsh Champions  

Wednesday 15th August

Viking Fireworks
1st Galaxy Fireworks
Selstar Fireworks

2007 sees the the introduction of the new UN default classifications for fireworks. Many retail fireworks that were 1.4G now become 1.3G or even 1.1G. The effect will be that shops will not be able to store 1.3 items and at even if they could, no commercial carrier will transport them.  HSE have allowed until March 2008 as a sell on period for old stock. Consumers will notice many changes this year including the phasing out of large rockets and a much reduced bursting charge for aerial fireworks. Any cakes with any flash reports will become 1.1 and so will disappear completely.

The competitors for this years British Musical Fireworks Championship are announced.
Friday 5th October: Festival Fireworks (Sussex), Pyromania Displays
Saturday 6th October: Anytime Fireworks, G-Force Fireworks
Sunday 7th October: Essex Pyrotechnics, Phoenix Fireworks

BPA website gets a rather nice overhaul.

Three tonnes of illegal fireworks seized by customs officers have been stolen from a holding warehouse in Yorkshire.

Bad news for the firework industry. The EU has voted to approve the European Pyrotechnic Directive. UK officials were strongly opposed to the directive but once again were powerless against EU bureaucracy.  The directive wrongly assumes that most firework accidents are caused by faulty fireworks and that the directive will make things safer. In fact only a very small number of accidents are caused by faulty products, most being caused by user error such as leaning over a lit firework. UK fireworks are already some of the safest available thanks to British Standards, which are fairly straightforward to comply with. In future all fireworks will have to CE marked. The enormous costs involved threatens the future of most European firework companies with no perceivable benefit. The time scale is three years for Category 3 consumer fireworks and five years for Category 4 professional fireworks.

A massive fire and explosion destroy Festival Fireworks depot in Sussex killing two fireman and injuring several others. It is unclear as to why the firemen were in such close proximity. It is also unclear as to whether the blast was caused by fireworks or a nearby depot storing oxygen and acetylene cylinders which caught fire after the initial fireworks fire.

Phew! Another November 5th week over with! We have fired dozens of displays around the country safely and without incident. The staff party bar bill was unbelievable!

Display company Firemagic based in Clevedon near Bristol suffer a massive explosion the cause of which remains unknown. Thankfully only minor injuries reported.

Police seize 5 tonnes of illegal fireworks together with £140,000 cash and a large quantity of drugs from a farm in Gateshead.

When we put up warning signs at our factory saying ALARMED TO POLICE that is exactly what we meant. Unfortunately four dim witted thieves thought we were bluffing. They broke in, triggered the delayed alarm, and fled into the arms of the awaiting police. You just can't help feeling smug sometimes. Well done Gloucester police for their lightning response.

Police in Merseyside seize 10 tonnes of illegal fireworks.

Manchester Fire Service destroy 1500 kgs of seized illegal fireworks in a spectacular burn off. 

Winners of this years Plymouth Fireworks Championships were Jubilee Fireworks First Prize, Alan Hilary Pyrotechnics Second Prize and Happy Dragon Third Prize. All eight companies managed superb displays and judging must have been very difficult.

DTI  firework accident statistics for 2005 now available
here. A considerable reduction in firework related accidents is reported.

The British Fireworks Championships are to be staged at Plymouth on Tuesday 15th August and Wednesday 16th August. Tuesdays firing order is Happy Dragon, Fantastic, Pyro 1, Shellscape and Wednesday sees Alan Hillary, Northern Lights, Jubilee and MLE.

HSE issue a derogation to the new UN default firework classifications. The document enables importers and manufacturers to continue using the existing 2003 defaults until July 2007. After this date there is a sell on period of 9 months to dispose of any remaining stock. After March 2008 all but the smallest rockets will become 1.3G making them impossible for shops to store and very difficult for suppliers of display packs to transport. Any cakes with any report units in will become 1.1 making them impossible to import or transport even for professional display operators. Large shells for professional use have already become 1.1 and are being phased out. Once existing stocks have been used it is very unlikely they will ever been seen again in the UK. We at Sandling feel the cowboys that sell from the backs of vans will have field day. And what of the rest of the EU? We rather think that life will carry on as usual!

Assets worth over £50,000 have been seized from two women accused of illegally selling fireworks on housing estates in the Newcastle area.

The UK firework industry is under threat from Brussels. The new European Pyrotechnics Directive will require all fireworks to be CE marked and tested to the same standard (if not higher) as military pyrotechnics. This includes oven testing and vibration testing for each firework. Most UK firework companies simply cannot comply with the regulations as they now stand, and would have to close down. We estimate it would cost us at least  £2,500,000 to comply! The DTI and HSE are against the directive and will do their best to minimise it's impact. As usual, watch this space.

HSE announce 1/1/07 will be the date that new UN default classifications will be applied to fireworks. Some cakes, candles and mines will need to be modified to remain as 1.4G but we can live with that. The big problem will be rockets. 98% of all rockets sold in the UK contain more than 20gm powder weight and will therefore become 1.3G. This means that they cannot be shipped to shops (other than by ADR licensed drivers) and even if they could, shops could not easily store them. For Sandling customers it will mean that we will be able to store them and even sell them to you, but we will not be able to transport them to you. We will be working hard to try and resolve the problem but the future of rockets looks bleak. We intend to continue to sell rockets as normal throughout 2006. Please note this is not the doing of HSE, or even Brussels (for once). This is the United Nations and you cannot argue with them!

Another safe and successful season for Sandling Fireworks draws to a close. Demand for packs has far exceeded our expectations this year and we have sold out of many items. We will be repacking what we can for New Year so please keep an eye on our website for updates.

Gottcha! Police and trading standards sieze 37 tonnes of illegal fireworks from several locations around Manchester. About time too we say.

HSE publish a revised version of  "Giving your own firework display". It is available from HSE books at £7.95

Cardif Council seize a huge quantity of fireworks from an illegal unlicensed store.

26 shipping containers (yes that's 26) holding an estimated 500 tonnes of illegally stored fireworks are discovered  in a Manchester yard. HSE have given the importers until September 16th to move them to a licensed premises or face hefty fines or jail sentences. Just when we thought the problem of illegal imports were under control!


MLE are the proud winners of this years Plymouth Fireworks Championships, second prize went to Le Maitre and third position to Skyline Promotions. Other entrants were Alan Hilary (last years winners), Midnight Storm and Millennium. 


New EU legislation is likely to mean all fireworks will have to be type tested and CE marked. This is in addition to the existing British Standards and the forthcoming European standard. UK authorities seem to have little enthusiasm for the directive but as we are British we must obey!

Latest UN recommendations regarding firework classifications, due within the next twelve months, look to have a severe impact on display packs. Cakes or candles over 24.5mm bore and rockets over 20gms powder weight will become 1.3G. Our large rockets can be 250gms powder weight. The effect will be that they can still be sold but not stored or transported. Watch this space!

New entertainment licenses are due to be in force this November 7th. From what we can see firework displays will be exempt. There seem to be some peculiarities though, a firework display fired to music does not need a license but a music concert with fireworks does.

New regulations on retail sales are now in effect. Sandling Fireworks is licensed to sell fireworks all year round. Other suppliers not holding this special license are only able to sell at certain specified times of times of year. Fireworks can be used at any time of year. See FAQ for more details.

We at Sandling are often asked some unusual requests but today takes the biscuit. We had to blow up a plate full of Brussell spouts for Central Television. We tried various combinations of explosives. The first three takes went rather well. For the fourth we turbo charged the sprouts and blew the table up as well. Ah well, all in days work!


Phew! Another safe and successful season for Sandling Fireworks. Thanks to all our customers for your support. The new industry led firework legislation appears to have been very successful. Yobs have been prosecuted, unlicensed people in possession of Category 4 fireworks have been arrested, and those that illegally import and distribute fireworks have been given a very bad time indeed. We trust that by the time they are out of jail they might think twice about trying this in future.


Sandling Fireworks Gloucester are delighted to announce the winning of second place at the National Fireworks Championships in Plymouth, August 10-11th. Points were awarded for artistry, timing and synchronisation. Sandling Fireworks were just 0.2 of a point behind the winner Alan Hillary Pyrotechnics, the closest margin in the eight-year history of the competition. Six of the country’s finest firework companies competed over the two nights to provide the most spectacular display.  The results were:

 1st Alan Hillary Pyrotechnics

2nd Sandling Fireworks

 3rd Jubilee fireworks


The Firework Regulations 2004 have now been published. No announcement has been made regarding their publication and the usual fanfare of publicity is notably lacking. Why, we wonder? You can see the new regulations
here. One very peculiar aspect of the regulations is that local authority employees can use fireworks after 11pm but professional display operators cannot!

Police and HSE officials seize 8 tonnes of illegal fireworks from a Gloucestershire farm. A further 20 tonnes are seized in  Northern Ireland.

2003 DTI accident statistics for fireworks now available

Consultations with regard to the firework safety act (airbomb and mini rocket ban etc) have now been published. The regulations are now in force. Importantly, an amendment by Sandling Fireworks changing the definition of an airbomb has now been accepted. As it was, it would have included many other types of fireworks such as bombette roman candles. 

100 tonnes of illegal fireworks destroyed in Derbyshire. You can find a picture


Entrants for this years British Fireworks Championships at Plymouth are: Tuesday 10th August Jubille Fireworks, Skyburst Illuminations, Sandling Fireworks; Wednesday 11th August Alan Hillary, West Coast Fireworks, Selstar Fireworks. 

The DTI release a consultation document dealing with the next batch of regulations to be drawn up under The Fireworks Bill. New regulations will include an 11pm curfew with exceptions for certain occasions, import tracking to help stamp out illegal imports, a special licensing arrangement for specialist companies wishing to sell all year and a 120dB noise limit on retail fireworks. The DTI have consulted extensively with the industry and has its full support. 

MP George Howarth has drafted an amendment to the Fireworks Act to enable tracking of fireworks from port to firework company and from firework company to distributor. All parties must have adequate and properly licensed storage. We wish the amendment every success. It will be another nail in the coffin of the illegal importers who hawk fireworks from the backs of vans.

Over 500 cases of illegal fireworks seized in raids on a farm in Staffordshire. A drop in the ocean compared to the estimated 1000 tons that entered the country last year but it does show a new willingness by the authorities to crack down on cowboy operators.

A consultation document issued by the DTI deals with the ban on airbombs and small rockets. Read it

A firework company has been fined in excess of £50,000 for importing fireworks with no legal storage in South Wales. It is hoped this marks the start of a crackdown on illegal firework imports.

The Firework Company based at Uffculme Devon are in voluntary liquidation following a creditors meeting.  
Several smaller companies are set to fall over the next few weeks. As we have always said, there is little money in fireworks!

The DTI has published its consultation paper on the proposed regulations making it an offence for under 18s to possess fireworks in a public place and an offence for any member of the public to possess Category 4 fireworks. You can download the document at Responses must be received by 26/11/03.

The DTI announce new laws brought about under the Fireworks Bill. It will now be an offence for under 18s to possess fireworks in a public place. It will also be illegal for a member of the public to possess Category 4 professional fireworks. At the moment it is an offence to sell but not to possess. Other measures intended for next year will include a legal ban on those items already subject to voluntary ban, an 11pm curfew with exceptions for NYE and special occasions; and most importantly, to try and crack down on criminal networks currently illegally importing fireworks.  

The first regulations made under the Fireworks Bill could be in force by this Christmas. We hope to have the voluntary ban on airbombs made a legal ban. There may also be an 11pm curfew on firework use with exceptions for special occasions such as New Year's Eve etc.

Over 100 tons of illegal fireworks have been seized so far this season. About time too we think. Illegal importers have no licensed storage, have no insurance and their fireworks are unlikely to comply with UK safety regulations. 

The Fireworks Bill receives its royal ascent and is set to become law next year.

The Firework Bill gets its final reading unopposed. Too late for this year, the enabling legislation should be in place for next season. Meanwhile your fireworks are under threat from the UN who wish to give a higher hazard rating to many fireworks. This would cause severe restrictions on what could be stored, transported and sold. It never rains but it pours.

Jubilee Fireworks are the winners of this years National Firework Competition at Plymouth. The London Firework Company were second and Festival Fireworks third. As usual Sandling Fireworks did not compete but supplied many of the fireworks used.

The Fireworks Bill gets its second reading in the Lords. In the Hansard of the debate Lord Lucas makes the following point "What the RSPCA wants to do is effectively ban all private use of fireworks. It wants to reduce the decibel limit to 95 decibels, which is roughly that of a horse farting. That would not exactly be most people's idea of an enjoyable firework display. The RSPCA wants to remove the private use of fireworks and have them only at organised displays."

Latest DTI accident statistics show firework accidents down by a third. More details when we have them.

Despite a last minute attempt by the opposition the Fireworks Bill has succeeded in getting third reading. If it gets through the Lords it  will enable new firework regulations to be put in place. The first, we hope, will be to crack down on importers with no licensed storage. Watch this space!

Police in Hull seize 3.5 tonnes of illegal fireworks being imported with false documentation. Unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The British Fireworks Association reports that illegal imports and distribution of fireworks is spiralling out of control. Typically these fireworks are imported from companies not licensed by the Health and Safety Executive with no licensed storage. Often the fireworks are untested and are sold in car boot sales, pubs and white vans touring housing estates. A recent incident in which footballer Luke Rogers was prosecuted after injuring a member of the public with a firework he bought in a pub highlights the dangers of buying from cowboys.
BBC news


The Fireworks Bill has had its third reading delayed until June 13th. In order to get to the statute books it must clear the Lords by the end of July.


The National Fireworks Museum at the Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey has now closed. It was always intended as a temporary exhibition but has proved so popular that that efforts are being made to re-open it as a permanent feature.


The RSPCA has failed in its attempts to have an amendment of the Fireworks Bill which would reduce the current firework noise limit from 120dB to 95dB. 95dB is about the sound of a book being dropped on a table. Of the dozens of fireworks tested by Sandling so far, only two have been less than 95dB.


Bill Tyman's fireworks bill is published.  The industry has worked closely with Mr Tyman and the DTI. We at Sandling are pleased with the results but it remains to be seen if it gets through its second reading. This is an enabling bill and does not contain primary legislation but rather opens the door for legislation to be made. The effect of the bill therefore depends on what legislation is likely to be drafted from it.


A private members bill by Scottish MP Bill Tyman has  some chance of making it through parliament. The bill would address changes in legislation regarding the training of display  operators, the licensing of those selling fireworks and hopefully greater powers to crack down on illegal operators and importers. The BFA are working with Mr Tyman to this end.


A story in the Sunday times proclaims that firework sales were to be banned other than for a couple of weeks around November 5th and that a noise limit of 113db would be enforced. The story is of little substance and appears to be a result of misinterpretation of various press releases.


The DTI have agreed to support the voluntary measures announced earlier this year by the British Fireworks Association to reduce hooligan misuse of fireworks and to reduce firework noise nuisance. Measures include the phasing out of airbombs, a maximum noise level of 120db for large fireworks and 113db for small shop goods items, further reductions on the supply of small rockets and reinforcement of the three week selling period for shops prior to November 5th. Sandling Fireworks will be spending the winter months testing fireworks, noise meter in hand!


Winners of this years firework competition at Plymouth were Shellscape, with Frontier Fireworks second and World Famous in third place. Weather conditions were such that most of the displays were obscured by smoke or low cloud with large sections of the audience not being able to see anything at all. In fact it was surprising to see the usual turnout of thousands considering that Plymouth Tourist Information had printed the wrong dates for the displays in their brochure!


DTI accident statistics for 2001 have now been released. Figures show an increase of almost 50% on the previous years statistics from 972 to 1362. Most accidents reported are due to hooligan use of fireworks, particular in the street. Even though fireworks are available only to persons over 18 the great majority of injuries are to those under 18. The industry is working with the DTI to remove fireworks used by the hooligan element from sale.


Dutch proposals to give fireworks the same hazard classification as hand grenades and gelignite have been rejected by the UN. Had they have been accepted, fireworks would have become almost impossible to store and transport.


The new Manufacture and Storage of Explosives regulations will not now come into effect until April 2004. The regulations govern the way fireworks are made and stored and have been broadly welcomed by the industry.


We are sad to announce the death of Larry Crump. An American enthusiast and display  operator known here for his regular contributions to Fireworks Magazine. He died suddenly and unexpectedly following complications arising from surgery in 1966.


The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Melanie Johnson, has indicated that the industry's voluntary ban on Noisy Fireworks is not enough and that more needs to be done if a total ban on firework sales is to be avoided. Watch this space.


Sandling fireworks attend the opening of the National Fireworks Museum situated at the Spinks Gallery in The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey. The exhibition features an extensive collection of fireworks from the 1940ds to the present day. Well worth a visit! The exhibition was on display for one year only and has now been closed. The industry is trying to get it re-opened.  


Fireworks ban in Northern Island. Until recently fireworks have been banned in Northern Ireland due to the troubles.  A few years ago the ban was relaxed to allow the sale of Category 2 garden fireworks. Any sales of Category 3 fireworks required a license. Unfortunately the sale of Category 2 fireworks have caused problems with noise nuisance and have also been used as weapons against the police.  The Northern Island office has now extended the licensing policy to cover Category 2 fireworks. In addition airbombs of any type will now be completely banned. In effect these measures  put an end to shop goods sales in Northern Island. This may not come as much of a surprise but unless the UK fireworks industry can put its house in order this could easily happen here.


A new trade organization dealing exclusively with shop goods has been set up under the name of The British Fireworks Association. Sandling Fireworks are pleased to be members of the new group which hopes to create closer ties with the authorities and to counteract some of the ill informed anti-firework propaganda circulating at the moment.


A Dutch court has sentenced the two owners of a fireworks factory to six months for illegally storing fireworks that exploded and killed 20 people in the town of Enschede on 12 May 2000. The men were found guilty of importing and selling illegal fireworks, breaking safety codes and violating storage licenses, but the pair were both acquitted of the more serious charges of negligence for the fire.


Following meetings between the DTI the CBI Explosives Industry Group, a plan of action has been drawn up to reduce noise nuisance caused by firework misuse.

Whilst there will always be those who will object to fireworks at anytime, it was felt that most people accept fireworks during the traditional Guy Fawkes, New Years Eve and special occasions such as the Golden Jubilee. The problem seems to be caused by a certain hooligan element that purchase cheap and Noisy Fireworks and take great delight in firing them during October, often in the early house of the morning.

The fireworks being misused in this manner are airbombs.  Members have agreed to impose a voluntary ban on the sale of these items. However it was felt that this action  might actually make the situation worse as hooligans could simply buy larger roman candles with more shots. Members have therefore agreed that these will also be phased out. We have calculated that this equates to around one million less bangs per year!

We were anxious not to deprive those having a traditional family bonfire party of their fireworks.  For this reason we have agreed that the report roman candles mentioned should still be available in selection boxes. We  felt that hooligans were hardly likely to buy a box of fountains and Catherine wheels just to get their hands on one or two noisy roman candles.

The ban is voluntary and will take a little time to implement as existing stocks are sold off, although many companies have already cleared their stocks. In any event it has been agreed that any remaining stock left by February 2003 it will be destroyed. The next stage will be to put pressure on the authorities to have The Firework Act 1995 amended so that the voluntary agreement becomes law.

Clearly we all wish for fireworks to be popular and entertaining rather than something that considered to be a nuisance. We are pleased to say that the British still love their fireworks judging by the amount of firework packs we are selling to parish councils and local communities to celebrate the forthcoming Golden Jubilee. Readers will be pleased to know that the above restrictions will have almost no effect on Sandling Fireworks packs.

A voluntary ban on airbombs together with powder weight restrictions and noise limits on fireworks will be finalized by the end of this month. Watch this space for details. 

A private members bill imposing further restrictions on firework sales gets its second reading this Friday 18/1/2001. As usual with private members bills, it is unlikely to make to the statute books. Meanwhile in response to unprecedented complaints about firework noise, the prime minister has said he will review firework legislation once DTI figures are released for last season.

Geodis United Carriers are closing down their operations at the end of January following sustained losses. Geodis are currently the only carrier prepared to distribute fireworks.

HSE have re-classified maroons and salutes as 1.1G. Maroons produce the very heavy reports that often start and finish a professionally fired display. The new classification puts these devices in the same category as high explosives. Most firework companies do not have any legal means of storing 1.1 material. The new rules do not apply to salutes containing only gunpowder. 

Early indications are that there were few accidents to report this year. Noise seems to be the current bone of contention with the anti-firework lobby having a field day. Discussions are underway between the DTI and the firework industry to see what can be done about rogue traders who import and distribute fireworks that have no place in shops. We expect drastic action so watch this space!

Phew! Another successful season over! Weather was kind to us this year and new firing system produced stunning new effects!

Sandling Fireworks takes delivery of new radio controlled digital firing system. Now anything possible! Synchronized firing from multiple sites with 1/100th second accuracy, stunning wave effects and "chasing" sequences can be included your display. See operator fired section for more details.

Anti-firework campaign backfires! Not often we get good news these days but this one's a treat. Noel Tobin of the notorious National Campaign for Firework Safety called for a ban on firework displays and firework sales as a mark of respect for the victims of the Twin Towers. What Mr. Tobin didn't say is that he has been campaigning for years to have all fireworks banned, even professional displays. Fortunately the media saw right through this cynical plot to exploit the terrible events of September 11th and Mr. Tobin  has even less credibility now than ever before. As a result, Sandling Fireworks featured in numerous newspaper and radio articles and even got some excellent publicity on ITV news today. We have received numerous additional orders today as a result. Thanks Noel!
Ten of the thirty seven European standards have been agreed and will soon be published. The standards state that all fireworks should be heat and vibration tested. A pointless exercise that UK firework companies will find impossible to comply with. There is still time for the whole thing to fall through. We can only hope. 
The winners of this years firework championship in Plymouth were Shellscape Pyrotechnics with Jubilee 2nd and Pyro 1 3rd. The winner of the Welsh championship were West Coast Fireworks with Pendragon 2nd and Celebration (Cornwall) 3rd. As usual Sandling Fireworks did not compete but supplied many of the fireworks used.

DTI accident statistics for 2000 released.  Accidents down slightly from 1056 in 1999 to 972 in 2000, This compares with just 831 in 1998. Interestingly "bangers" still account for 93 injuries despite being banned some years ago. Either the accidents are not caused by bangers but by fireworks that go bang, or there is a healthy black market. A bit of both we suspect. Either way, positive proof that banning fireworks is not the answer!

Following the closure of Bright Star fireworks earlier in the year the brand has been acquired by Panda Fireworks. Both brands are now being marketed by the new company Bright Star UK LTD.

Following the huge explosion in Holland the Dutch authorities are suggesting that fireworks should be classified as high explosives such as gelignite. This would effectively make it impossible to import or transport fireworks and would kill the trade. This is seen as an exercise to shift the blame from the Dutch authorities for allowing huge quantities of  large display fireworks to be stored in a heavily populated area. Hopefully common sense will prevail!

J & M Enterprises, importers and distributors of  Bright Star Fireworks are in liquidation and their premises are up for sale. This follows news of several pending prosecutions by HSE. A new company on the shop goods scene is Panda Fireworks, a honk Kong based company had their launch on Sunday 18th. Let's hope they do rather better than Bright Star.

The Guild of Firework and Pyrotechnic Operators (GFPO) will launch on January 16th.  The GFPO intends to set up a register of certified independent display firers.

The New Years Eve display in London has been cancelled at the last moment due to lack of co-ordination between various bodies. Syd Howard was to have oversee nthe display which was to be similar to last years Millenium show. The fireworks have apparently already been shipped and are on their way!

Floods and horrific weather conditions did not deter the Sandling Fireworks team over the November 5th weekend! Standing ankle deep in mud in horizontal sleet is not everyones idea of fun but the Sandling crew battled on and all displays were fired safely.

Dim witted thieves break into Sandling Fireworks factory using a welding torch!!!!! Really!!!! Amazingly nothing caught fire and they lived to tell the tale - to the police. 95% of the fireworks stolen have now been recovered by police. You have  heard the expression "as thick as thieves", well they don't come much thicker than this! Doh!

Pyro 1 were the winners of the Fireworks Championship in Plymouth with Kimbolton fireworks coming a close second. The lack of even a slight breeze meant that many of the fireworks used on the first night were obscured by smoke. Low cloud spoiled the finale of Kimbolton Fireworks on the second night. Thats the luck of the draw and we trust the judges would not have deducted points for the weather!

A huge explosion in a chinese firework factory has resulted in a chinese government ban on all production and shipping of fireworks. The ban will stay in place until until all factories are inspected and safety certificates issued. This is likely to result in a shortage of fireworks in the UK this year. The explosion is reported to have killed 30 people and levelled the Inter Oriental fireworks factory at Jiangmen in Guangdong province.

The competitors for the British Firework Championship in Plymouth on August 8th and 9th have been announced. They are Anytime fireworks, Bright Spark, Essex Fireworks, Frontier Fireworks, Kimbolton Fireworks and Pyro 1. Next year the competition will be open to all companies rather than limited to TESA members.

A massive explosion at a fireworks warehouse in Holland has caused an estimated 20 deaths and many hundreds of injuries. An enquiry will investigate as to why the site was licensed for the storage of such a large quantity of fireworks in a residential area. We have very strict controls governing the storage of fireworks in the UK. Whilst an accidental ignition is always a possibility, the quantities of fireworks and the safety distances to other buildings is such that there is is very little risk to any member of the public.

DTI  accident statistics now available at there web site Accidents have risen by 20% but firework sales have risen by 40%. Interesting note that there is a rise in the number accidents caused by bangers despite the fact that they have been banned for three years! Rather than acknowledging that banning fireworks only encourages illegal manufacture or importation, the DTI are removing the "bangers" category from the statistics and will include banger injuries other "other fireworks"!

Syd Howard International has lost the contract for the Sydney Olympics to Foti, a rival Australian company.

DTI accident statistics show a 20% rise in firework injuries for 1999. They now stand at around 1000. Remarkably low we feel considering that 100,000,000  fireworks were sold in the UK last year. Unfortunately it is sure to provide ammunition for the anti-firework lobby. Talking of which, Ken Livingstone is a member of Noel Tobin's Firework Reform group who wish to ban the sale of all fireworks in the UK. If you live in London think carefully before you vote! More news when we get it.

The Millennium seems to have been an overwhelming success. Here in Gloucester the entire city was lit up by fireworks for a good 30 minutes after midnight. It seems just about everyone had bought fireworks - some of them weren't even ours! All of our professional shows were a great success with huge displays being fired around the country. A nerve wracking moment when one of our 7.5 tonne trucks broke down on its way to a show but all was resolved in time for the firing! Elsewhere the show on the river Thames was a great success with the exception of the much hyped "river of fire". Of all the shows we saw on the box the Paris display was undoubtedly the most spectacular. Truely breathtaking and very imaginative, you have to give it to the French even if they don't like our beef! Sales of Sandling Fireworks packs proved a huge success. Demand was far greater than anticipated and many lines were sold out by the end of November. We kept packing until the very last moment and were able to supply fireworks to most of our last minute customers. It will take us some months to fully restock but we look forward to another good year because as you all know the Real Millennium is not until next New Years Eve!

The Firework Company in Uffculme Devon have been fined £25,000 plus £30,000 costs for breach of Health and Safety regulations. This follows an explosion at the company's site last November

Northern Ireland has banned the sale of airbombs and has legally restricted the times and dates that fireworks can be used. Fireworks have only recently been legal in Northern Ireland and are limited only to small category 2 fireworks. There is a very healthy black market.

The Chinese government has placed a three week ban on the transport of dangerous goods (including fireworks) during the 50th Anniversary of communism. Just what we needed!

Happy Dragon Fireworks won the National Firework Competition in Plymouth. As usual Sandling Fireworks did not compete but supplied many of the fireworks used by the competitors.

By a bizarre twist of logic from local planners, The Firework Company in Devon has had to re-open its Uffculme site where one hundred houses were damaged by an explosion there last year. Director Chris Hutchinson had applied for permission to move to a safer site two miles from the village but this was refused by planning officials.

The BPA and EIG have issued a new Firework Safety Handbook aimed at local authorities.

Miklos Menis of Theatre of Fire has died following an explosion at his company base in Ireland.
The accident is not thought to have involved fireworks. He will be sadly missed by all who new him.

Following the explosion at The Firework Company in Uffculme, HSE have conducted experiments to examine the way that certain fireworks behave when an ignition occurs in a steel storage container. As a result HSE have issued new guidelines regarding the storage of certain energetic fireworks, in particular aerial shells.

Sandling Fireworks 1999/2000 catalogue now printed!

The Control of Fireworks Bill 1999 was presented to parliament today and succeeded in getting a second reading. The bill proposes to ban all sales of fireworks to the public in the UK and for professionally fired displays to be licensed. The bill is a private members bill and therefore stands little chance of becoming law. It is an uncomfortable reminder of just how vulnerable the UK fireworks industry is.

The spectacular explosion at The Firework Company factory in Devon will be the subject of 999 on BBC1 on Tuesday 4th May at 10.05 pm.

New transports regs require that display fireworks can only be transported in specially modified and licensed vehicles. All wel and good except that come November or the Millennium all firework display companies have to use hire vans that will not comply. This means that all UK firework companies have no choice but transport fireworks illegally! A classic example of a law that absolutely cannot be complied with.

Following a recent explosion at a firework site HSE have decreed that many fireworks that are classified as 1.4G shopgoods behave like 1.3G display fireworks should they ignite whejn stored in a steel shipping container. They propose that these fireworks should not be stored in steel containers. As almost all firework companies use steel shipping containers for storage this could put most of them out of business!

Firework accident statistics for 1998 now released. The government hale the decrease in injuries as a major success of their safety  campaigns and legislation. The actual figures show some interesting results.
Total injuries down from 908 to 831.
Injuries from sparklers down from 200 to 129. This presumably means injuries from other fireworks were about the same as before.
Total detained in hospital down from 49 to 26.
No deaths.
Family or private party injuries down from 378 to 320.
Semi public display injuries up from 56 to 76.
Large public display injuries down from 137 to 132.
Street incidents down from 256 to 226.
Bangers responsible for 130 injuries. Interesting considering they are banned from sale. An excellent example of government interference having negligible effect. Presumably people are buying them on the black market or making their own.
Injuries from homemade fireworks up from 18 to 27.
Here is another good example! Injuries of 16-20 year olds up from 91 to 100 and 13-15 year olds from 125 to 119. So much for the government increasing the age at which you can buy fireworks from 16 to 18.

In case you have been living on a different planet recently, there is a total eclipse of the sun this year which is visible from Devon and Cornwall. What you may not know is that this coincides with the National Firework Competition in Plymouth! Sandling Fireworks will not be competing but will be supplying many of the fireworks used. The competition runs on Tuesday 11th August and Wednesday 12th August. The total eclipse is at 11.11 am on Wednesday 11th.

BTEC firework courses now running at Loughborough College. The qualifications are currently NOT recognised by the DTI etc and will not enable individuals to obtain Category 4 fireworks or shells.
Boldsound the holding company of Firework Display Artists has been wound up by the receivers.
Inspiration Fireworks have been bankrupted.

The Firework Company's Uffculme factory was today destroyed by a huge blast. Accidental ignition of a single firework is thought to have caused a fire which raged for 10 minutes before triggering an explosion. The blast has completely destroyed the site and damaged windows and roofs of nearby house. Miraculously no serious injuries as the plant was evacuated within minutes. The Firework Company are continuing to trade and assure us they will be back to normal within a few weeks.

Plymouth National firework competition ruined by bomb. The National Firework Competition was to run at Plymouth on Tuesday and Wednesday with 3 companies firing each night. The fireworks had been set up for the Tuesday show when a 500lb wartime bomb was unearthed just yards away from the fireworks. There was no choice but to cancel the show. The bomb was  eventually towed out to sea and detonated. All six teams fired on the Wednesday night. A little  known company called Northern Lights won the competition much to the amazement of the larger professional companies.

We got burgled the other day. The the enterprising thieves escaped with 100 Sandling Fireworks promotional videos running for 5 minutes each!!! We hope they enjoy them!

An important email arrives from John Bennett at Fireworks Magazine:
You may know by now that, on 3rd July, the Fireworks Bill was 'talked out' and will not become law. Good riddance - with one significant exception. The Bill's one and only redeeming feature was that it provided for competence training to be the qualification for firing shells etc.
John F Bennett F.L.A., Editor, Fireworks

Amendments to the the Fireworks Bill are accepted by the Government. Hooray!


Standard Fireworks have been acquired by Black Cat


The House of Lords has proposed amendments to the Fireworks Bill that would curtail some of the more extreme measures and ensure that any new regulations would have to go before both houses as well as public consultation. Things are looking up!


The Isle of Man appears to have scrapped plans to ban Category  3 Fireworks from being sold to the public. This follows pressure from trade organisations and firework users in response to a consultation document.


The House Lords have debated the Firework Bill. We are pleased to see that some of the most worrying aspects of the bill, ie the granting of powers to local authorities, have  now been dropped. It is interesting to see that even those members who would like to see fireworks banned are alarmed at the sweeping powers the bill would give the Secretary of State. It is likely that they will be pressing for further amendments.

There are now some encouraging signs that a government recognised training scheme would enable trained members of the public to once again purchase shells.

The DTI have now released accident figures for 1997. They show a fairly dramatic decrease in firework injuries.

Injuries at family or private parties down from 428 to 378. This probably reflects the  general downturn in shop goods sales.
Injuries at semi-public (ie Scouts, Clubs etc) down from 100 to 56. This probably reflects the dramatic decrease in these shows due to the ban on shells.
Large public displays (Assumed to be fired professionally) down from 100 to 58. We are not aware of any particular reason for this.
Fireworks in the street down from 379 to 256.
Injuries in the 13 to 15 years age group down from 218 to 125. Probably due to the fact that sales are now prohibited to under 18s (ie big brothers etc).
Injuries in the 16 to 20 years age group down from 438 to 389.

Doubtless the authorities will see this as proof that their new regulations are working and will therefore restrict firework sales further still.

The DTI recently published the following report to clarify the ban on shells and Category 4 professional fireworks. This report backs up our view that attending a training scheme does not allow a member of the public to buy shells.

Firework Display Operator Schemes

Both LACOTS and the DTI have recently received a number of enquiries about company schemes which purport to allow an individual from a private organisation such as a club or Round Table access to aerial shells and other prohibited Fireworks specified in the Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997 on the basis that if they undergo a course of training and then become a temporary "employee" of the display/firework supply company they can fire their organisation's firework display.

2. The DTI take the view that the prohibitions in the 1997 Regulations on supplying aerial shells, etc., taken with the exemptions set out in Regulation 5 of the 1997 Regulations cannot be taken to mean that it is lawful to supply such devices to private individuals who happen to fire one or two displays a year. Such individuals are not "in business as a professional organiser or professional operator of firework displays". Furthermore, the Regulations do not recognise any training courses and simply going on such a course does not qualify a private individual to be supplied with aerial shells, etc., under the professional display organiser or display operator exemption in Regulation 5.

3. The DTI consider that there are two tests in the Regulations before the display operator exemption applies, and both must be satisfied. A person must be in business as a display operator or organiser (though this does not necessarily have to be a full-time business or an "all-year-round" business); and they must be of the highest standard of competence so that they can be said to be a professional. Firework suppliers should be in no doubt of the stringency of these requirements.

4. Companies operating schemes which rely on individuals becoming temporary "employees" for the purpose of supplying aerial shells for that person's own private purposes do not in the DTI's view create the conditions necessary to enable them lawfully to supply aerial shells, etc., to such persons. Such individuals will not be in business as professional display operators.

5. Even assuming that the company supplying the aerial shells is itself in business as a professional display organiser (which ordinary fireworks suppliers will not be), they will in reality simply be supplying aerial shells to a third person for that person's own purposes. Simply calling a person an employee, whether or not the company's insurance cover is extended to cover them, does not make that person an employee. A proper analysis of such an arrangement shows that the supplier is not in fact making aerial shells available to their employee for their (i.e. the employer) own purposes. Suppliers therefore need to be scrupulous in complying with the law.

The members of the standing committee to discus the aspects of the fireworks bill have been announced.

Isle Of Man to Ban Cat 3 Fireworks
The Isle of Man Board of Consumer Affairs has recommended that all Category 3 display fireworks should be banned for for sale to  the general public. Their reasoning is that Cat 3 fireworks need a 25 metre safety distance and that very few households would have this distance available in their gardens. The Tynwald would have to approve the recommendations. How long before the same happens here we ask?

Firework Safety Regulations Part 2
The second part of the Firework Safety Regulations are now in effect. Bangers and firecrackers are now banned completely. This does not affect Sandling fireworks as we have never sold these items anyway. There are now weight limits on certain other types of fireworks. Our Finale Modules A, B and C are over the weight limits and have now been withdrawn from sale. Bad news? Not at all! We have some cunningly designed replacements with a high pyro to weight ratio. These will be on offer in the Spring.

The Fireworks bill has had an unopposed second reading. It will go to Committe in March. Merry Christmas to you too Linda.


Fireworks Bill
We now have details of the Private Members Bill put before parliament by Linda Gilroy and due for its second reading on 28/11/97. The bill is an enabling making it possible to enact new legislation dealing with fireworks as and when necessary. In brief the bill contains the following proposals:

To enable the Secretary of State to to make any provisions he sees fit to ensure that fireworks are used safely.
To prevent alarm distress or anxiety to people or animals.
To put age limits on the supply of certain fireworks.
To prohibit the supply of certain fireworks.
To give local authorities the power to ban the sale of fireworks in their own areas.
To limit the period that fireworks can be sold.
To limit the times of year that fireworks can be used.
To enable local authorities to license any firework display.
To set up a national training scheme for display operators.

It should be noted that this bill gives the Secretary of State the power to make any of the above regulations. It does not necessarily follow that he will. Should he decide to adopt all of the above we can all say goodbye to fireworks in this country whether in your own back garden or at professionally fired displays. Lets all hope that common sense will prevail.


Phew! Another season over with. The past week has seen Sandling Fireworks firing dozens of professional displays around the country. All went well apart from one team driving off in an empty van - fortunately we were able to intercept them! Another team went to Kingston instead of Kington and wondered why nobody knew anything about a firework display. Fortunately the penny dropped and they hastily drove off to the correct display!
As usual, all our firers were unscathed as were our audiences.



Tony Blair has today made a statement expressing support for a nationally recognised training scheme for those involved with organising professionally fired displays. Odd that the DTI had no interest in this whatsoever when it was suggested to them by the industry last year.
This move follows an accident at a display organised by Firepower in which twelve people were said to have been injured. Fortunately there was only one serious injury in which a member of the audience was burnt on the arm.  


A bid by Howard Garman of Celebration Fireworks to have a Judicial Review of the Firework Safety Regulations has failed. The judge said that the regulations did not "come out of the blue". Celebration fireworks are now left with £50,000 worth bangers which they are not allowed to sell. No compensation has been offered.



 All fireworks on sale to the general public MUST comply with BS7114
Ban on the sale of shells to the general public now permanent
Category 3 bangers now banned
Chinese Crackers now banned
Minimum age limit now 18
It is now illegal to split shop goods packs and resell the individual fireworks
Minimum size of sparklers increased slightly to 470mm
Fireworks of erratic flight now banned
Category 4 fireworks are now in the same league as shells - it is a criminal offence to sell them to members of the public


Category 2 bangers banned - ie all bangers
Mini rockets banned
Size restrictions on certain fireworks
Sparklers to be labelled "Not to be given to children under 5 years of age"
Category 4 fireworks to be clearly labelled as such


£5000 fine and/or six months in prison


Professional firework companies, most notably us!
Local authorities -Why? You may well ask!
Film, theatre TV effects etc
Trading Standards HSE etc
UK Government
Armed forces

You may be surprised to read that we are actually quite pleased with most of the regulations as it now forces others to do what we have been doing for years, to sell safe and sensible fireworks that can be used safely by members of the public. We would have liked a nationally approved training scheme to enable people to use shells. Be assured we are still working on this!



In respect of the funeral of Princess Di our training day has been moved to October 4th. Spaces are still available.


Minister Nigel Griffiths states that Bonfire societies are not exempt from the ban on shells despite their experience and expertise


Standard Fireworks are up for sale

The following companies are no longer trading and have been wound up by the receivers:
Astra Fireworks
The Firework Factory
Firework Display Artists
Inspiration Fireworks
Jago Fireworks

Octavious Hunt are no longer involved with fireworks but will continue to sell sparklers



The dti have now issued a consultation document in the form of DRAFT FIREWORK SAFETY REGULATIONS 1997. The proposals follow an increase in accident figures over the past five years and an increase in the number of complaints about nuisance caused by improper use of fireworks. The main proposals are:

The temporary FIREWORK SAFETY REGULATIONS 1996 banning the sale of aerial shells to the general public to be made permanent.

To make the supply of any Category 4 fireworks (fireworks outside the scope of British Standards  and for professional use only) to the general public a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act.

To ban the sale of fireworks with erratic flight. These include flying squibs, helicopters and jumping jacks. These items are already the subject of a voluntary ban by the British Pyrotechnists Association but this ban will prevent any company sidestepping the agreement.

To ban the sale of mini-rockets. These are already subject to a voluntary ban but this has been broken by certain companies.

To ban bangers and Chinese crackers. Curiously single shot airbombs are still OK

To set limits on the size and weight of certain fireworks that can be sold to the public. By and large this is all sensible stuff and will not affect our packs very much.

To make it illegal to split primary selection packs and then resell the contents as loose fireworks.

The raising of the age for purchasing fireworks to be raised from 16 to 18.

Certain additional testing requirements regarding the security of fuses and stability of certain fireworks.

The penalty for breaching the above regulations will be a £5000 fine and/or a six month prison sentence.

For some strange reason Local Authorities are exempt from most of the regulations. Presumably they employ people far more sensible than the rest of us.