Stourhead Picnic & Fireworks 2009
Stourhead’s Fete Champetre used to happen every two years but since the rainy summer of 2008 they have favoured a Picnic and Fireworks style evening rather than bringing in a huge infrastructure which could potentially damage the glorious landscaped gardens. It’s for this reason that we were back a second year in a row. The firing site here is wonderful – if a little cramped! To afford us more space I suggested mooring a boat a little way out on the lake to enable us to use fanned material which would simply not be possible from the island due to overhanging trees and vegetation. I think that Rob still curses me now for designing a show which would fire nearly 300 single shot candles in less than 10 seconds! The candles were mounted on 180 degree fanned racks which in turn were set onto the boat. Rob and Simon began the arduous task of wiring in candle after candle whilst Will and I escaped that and began setting out and loading the rest of the material.
By mid-afternoon the mammoth candle task had been completed and with a huge amount of muscle power we gently pushed the boat out onto the water and set it in position. It looked amazing with row after row of these single shot candles at almost horizontal angles and that was before any had gone off! Show set and everything tested we were ready for firing at 10pm. The candle sequence was approximately half way through the display and all eyes were set on the boat throughout the first five minutes waiting….then off it went! Chases from left to right, right to left, centre out and crossing over, simultaneous lifts with shell bursts over the top – in fact every conceivable firing pattern was used and it looked tremendous filling the entire width of the huge lake with some stunning reflections. It may have taken 2 men 4 hours to rig but boy was it worth it!