Firing on a postage stamp in London’s Green Park

On 13th September 2021 FF staged a display at Spencer House in London for a multinational company.

Spencer House is a Grade 1 listed mansion in St James’s. London, backing on to Green Park. It’s owned by Earl Spencer (brother of Diana). He doesn’t live there though: it’s run as an event venue and opens to the public on Sundays.

Inevitably there are some flies in this luxurious ointment: the garden at Spencer House measures only 30m wide by 28m long, backs directly onto a pathway through Green Park, and the prevailing wind blows directly at the audience. Chris the manager runs a tight ship, and after a bad experience with a previous fireworks company wants everything done quickly, unobtrusively, and safely.

Our brief for 13th September was to provide a 5-e pyromusical display to two tracks chosen by the customer: “I Believe” by Nikki Yanofsky and “Zadok the Priest” by Handel. Firing time was 21:00, but we had to complete the setup (including flames and PA) before 19:00 so we were not seen by the guests.

To meet the brief Rino designed a very nice FireOne display with 10 positions: 5 of single shots and 5 of cakes, flares and fountains. Because of the closeness of the audience and lack of fallout space it used only Cat2 cakes, with stage pyro for the single shots and fountains. However, that left us with the challenge of rigging 10 positions in a tiny space as efficiently as possible.

‘Enhanced Lewis Fletcher boards’

The crew gathered at FF in the morning to pre-build and wire the single shot boards. We used Rino’s own “enhanced Lewis Fletcher” boards to pre-build and wire the other positions, and pre-mounted the flares and fountains on hedgehogs. We did continuity tests on everything before loading it into the van. This meant that when we arrived on site we simply had to position the boards, wire in the hedgehogs and link everything with 2-core.

Just over an hour after we arrived on-site we had the fireworks in place and fully tested, leaving us plenty of time to set up and test the PA system and G-Flame boxes. Everything was ready well ahead of our 19:00 curfew.

Being so close meant that despite the small calibre of the fireworks the show had plenty of impact, but the choice of material also meant we had no problems with debris getting close to the audience or falling into the park.

Most importantly, the client was delighted with the display, and Chris described the whole operation as “brilliant”, We already have 2 more shows booked for Spencer House: let’s hope they’re the first of many more.