Dambusters 70th Anniversary Commemorative Display for 617 Squadron Association

As you will have seen from previous web posts we were looking for somewhere to put on our Dambusters-themed display.  When we first decided to do the display, originally developed for a consumer fireworks competition back in 2011, we couldn’t have dreamed where we would end up.

On Saturday 18th May we put on the display at the 617 Squadron Association’s dinner to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Operation Chastise.  The audience included two veterans of the 1943 raid and after the display was over we were privileged to be introduced to one of them.  The display was described as a “fantastic and fitting tribute to the Dambusters” by the Association.

The display took place at the Petwood Hotel in Lincolnshire which served as the Squadron’s Officers’ mess between 1943-45.  Requisitioned by the RAF in 1942, originally Officers of 97 and 619 Squadrons were based at the Petwood. When it was decided that the 617 ‘Dambusters Squadron’ should be made into a special duties squadron which would work in isolation and secrecy, Woodhall airfield was selected as the operational base. So 619 Squadron was moved out of the Petwood and 617 Squadron was moved in. Today, the Squadron Bar hosts a range of memorabilia and tributes to Guy Gibson VC, Leonard Cheshire VC and their Officers.

A video of the display can be seen below along with some photos.  Various members of the Knights of Fire team had family who served in the air services during the second world war and they are now lost to us but the memories are very much still there. Our greatest thanks to both 617 Squadron Association and the Petwood Hotel for letting us be (a small) part of their day.

The display was designed by Nick with Kevin developing a truly outstanding musical tribute.

If you like the video or have been moved by the recent commemoration of Operation Chastise then please consider making a donation to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

 

Petwood Hotel Barnes Wallis Petwood Hotel Guy Gibson Flight Book Petwood Hotel Officers' Mess Petwood Hotel set up

Inside track from the Malta International Firework Festival

As previously reported, Nick took part in the Malta International Firework Festival on 28 April as a technical adviser on the Pyrosure electronic fireworks firing system, working alongside Pyrosure and the Tal-Gilju Fireworks Factory.   Their display involved more than 3,500 cues.   Firework companies competing in the 2013 event came from Spain, Italy, Germany and Portugal as well as two Malta-based display companies.

Nick took a huge number of photos and these can be seen here.  Real behind the scenes stuff.

Nick was also able to film from both ‘ground zero’ inside the display as well as from the perspective of the audience and combined the two, creating the film below.  We’ve done this before and the results are fantastic for giving a real insight into what happens during the firing of a major show.  Enjoy.

 

Malta adventures for Knights of Fire

This coming weekend Nick is at the Malta International Firework Festival.  He has been invited by electronic fireworks firing system Pyrosure and tal-Ġilju of Mqabba to provide technical advice and assitance on the Pyrosure system which will be firing a 3000+ cue display at Golden Bay on Sunday 28th April.

This is the 12th international fireworks festival and is being held between April 26 and 30.  Fireworks companies competing in the 2013 event come from Spain, Italy, Germany and Portugal as well as two Malta-based display companies.

Fireworks in Malta have a long tradition which is centuries old. Indeed the traditional craft of pyrotechnics in Malta goes back to the time of the Order of the Knights of St John – which we like given our name.  The Order used to celebrate their most important feasts and events with special pyrotechnic displays. Such firework displays were also used as an expression of rejoicing on special occasions, such as the election of a Grand Master or a Pope, as well as on the birth of a prince.

There are some 35 fireworks factories in Malta and double that number of towns and villages where firework displays are part of the traditional celebrations of patron saints.

The sheer scale and spectacle of the displays in the festival dwarf anything that are normally seen in the UK.  Displays will use 10 and 12 inch shells compared to the six inch shells that are the largest that are routinely used today in Britain.

The Maltese tourist authority has produced this promotional video for the event, which we thought you all might like to see and we will have plenty of photos to share.

All revv’d up… and nowhere to show?

Many thanks indeed to the Bromley Borough News  and to the Bromley News Shopper for running articles about our Dambusters-themed display that’s in search of a good home.

Their articles can be read here and here.  A simulation of the display can be found here on Vimeo.

See you at the Detling Wedding Experience – 28 April

We are going to be at The Wedding Experience, taking place at the Kent Showground, Detling on Sunday 28 April.  Admission to the exhibition is free of charge.  The event opens at 10am when the cafe and stage entertainment begins and the exhibition hall – where we will be – opens at 10.30am and closes at 4pm.

We are going to be on stand 35 which is on the left hand side wall as you come in through the entrance foyer.  We are down towards the coffee bar.

If you are thinking of having fireworks (of the good kind) at your wedding then come and have a chat to us and we can tell you what’s possible.

 

 

70th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid and a fireworks display

2013 marks the 70th anniversary of Operation Chastise, better known as the raid by 19 Lancaster bombers of 617 squadron on the dams in Germany’s Ruhr valley on the night of 16/17 May 1943.

Last year we were due to take part in a fireworks competition using only fireworks available to members of the general public.  And to mark the forthcoming anniversary of the raid and out of respect for all involved we developed a fireworks display themed around the event.  Sadly the competition was cancelled but we still have the display.  We would love to be able to do it.

We have a simulation of the display which can be found here or below.   If you would like this display then contact either of us using our email addresses or telephone numbers opposite.

 

 

 

Wedding Fair at Bickley Manor – 24 Feb 2013

It was lovely to see everyone at the wedding fair today at Bickley Manor in Bickley…. organised by Wedding Services UK.  Many thanks to Jo for making everything so easy.  Who knew that so many people thought fireworks at a wedding were a good thing?

We’ve fired at Bickley Manor before and had lots of fun doing so.   See this post for more information.   We also filmed an unusual piece of footage at Bickley – the view from the firer’s perspective.  So if you want to see what it looks like from ‘our side’ then click here.