We were proud and excited when Graham Puxley – who runs the Fête Champêtre at the National Trust’s Stourhead estate – asked us to provide the musical fireworks display for the 2 day event in Wiltshire. For those of you who have never been it is a unique special event – to call it a summer concert or picnic in the park really doesn’t do it justice – but then we’re always suckers for events with a sense of fun, and especially when fancy dress is involved!
Lo and behold, with a few weeks to go before the event, this ghastly new incarnation of the Great British Summer had taken its toll again, and the grounds were very, very wet. Graham had been chewing over the decision for a few days but had ultimately decided that the collateral damage to this precious corner of England isn’t something that he was prepared to let happen on his watch, especially given the conservation responsibilities of the National Trust. Plan B was swiftly drawn up: a free picnic for those who had tickets. No orchestra or stage, but just an opportunity to enjoy the grounds of this Wiltshire estate for a day for free, with a fireworks display in the evening. We were happy to help, and knowing that the onus of the entertainment fell solely on us, we pulled out all the stops to make the display even more special than usual: a thank you to the audience who had turned up, and to Graham for choosing us to provide the fireworks in the first place.
“It has been a real pleasure working with you. We particularly appreciate how you overcame the challenges we presented you and your understanding of the sensitivity of what is arguably the greatest 18th century landscape garden in the world. The care and thoroughness of your planning, your skill and imagination and the selection of material resulted in a simply breathtaking display!” Graham Puxley, Event Organiser, The National Trust, Stourhead
Alchemy Fireworks useful links: National Trust Stourhead