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The following authors have contributed to the book

Tom Smith

Dr Tom Smith was introduced to fireworks by his grandfather, Jack Blanch, who was at school with and subsequently worked with members of the Brock family around the early 1900s.

Following his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Oxford, and a spell as a research chemist and computer lecturer, Tom took up a full time post as display manager with Kimbolton Fireworks in the UK during which time the company won several firework competitions and staged some of the largest displays seen in the UK to date.  In 1998 Tom left to establish an independent explosives consultancy, Davas Ltd, working worldwide on events such as the London Millennium celebrations, the Athens Olympic Games and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games as well as acting as advisor to major firework displays and explosives companies around the World. Recent firework display projects include acting as consultant to the London and Hong Kong New Year’s Eve celebrations.

In addition Tom represents the UK on a number of International Working Groups including the development of European Standards for “professional” fireworks.

Davas Ltd now publish the internationally recognised Journal of Pyrotechnics and deliver courses in Pyrotechnic Chemistry around the world.

Chris Pearce

Obtained his MSc at The University of Birmingham and, following an early career in teaching, entered the firework industry full – time in 1997.   Chris is now Managing Director of Jubilee Fireworks Ltd – one of the UK’s leading display companies.  He was Chairman of The British Pyrotechnists Association for a five year period and Deputy Chair of TESA (The Event Services Association).   Chris contributes regularly to various academic and popular journals and oversees the BPA’s Training and Examination scheme.  He has been adjudicator and technical consultant for the British Musical Fireworks Championships since 2004.

Andrew Wiggins

Andy is Display Manager with Jubilee Fireworks Ltd and has been involved in the fireworks industry on a full time basis for eighteen years.   Andrew is responsible for the design of all Jubilee’s major shows and his credits include the ‘Champion of Champions’ winning displays at both Plymouth (non-musical) and Southport (musical) competitions.   International displays include prize-winning performances in Monaco and The Philippines, along with major shows in Malta, Spain (San- Sebastian), Italy, Portugal, Macau and the prestigious Alton Towers displays in the UK.

Rodney Clarke

Rodney’s pyrotechnic interests developed alongside a career in the IT industry.  He was responsible for the development of firing systems technology for Jubilee Fireworks Ltd and he is now European representative for PMI (Pyrotechnics Management Inc) – manufacturers of the renowned FireOne digital firing system.   Rodney’s role with PMI and as an independent consultant have led to significant involvement in some of the largest fireworks display projects in the world, including the monumental Palm Jumeirah show in Dubai and numerous high-profile competitions and displays in Spain, Italy, France, Monaco, Portugal, Malta, Montreal, and Germany (Berlin  –  Pyromusikale).

Andrew Walsh

Andrew Walsh AM is one of the most experienced and respected performing arts professionals in the world.  With great theatrical sense, he has extensive experience creating, directing and managing large-scale events in Australia and throughout Asia, North America and Europe.  In an extensive career that commenced in Melbourne in the late 1970s Andrew has been continuously employed in the arts.  He has worked for major performing arts companies, toured with international stars and directed hundreds of productions and events.  He was theatrical director for Australia Pavilions at three World Expos and has directed Sydney’s Australia Day spectacular for fourteen years.  He directed the London Millennium celebrations and in 2001 was the creative director for the widely acclaimed Centennial ceremony for Australia’s Centenary of Federation.

In 2003 Andrew was Director of Ceremonies for Rugby World Cup and conceived and directed the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and pre-match segments.  He was Executive Producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and most recently the Executive Producer and Creative Director of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Athens Special Olympics.

Andrew is an associate of the Graduate School of Management at the University of Technology, Sydney and a fellow of the Australian Centre for Event Management.  He was awarded the Centenary Medal for contribution to Australian Society and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2006 Queen’s birthday honours.

Darryl Fleming

Darryl has been associated with Kimbolton Fireworks for nearly 25 years and is currently the display director responsible for the creative design, choreography, delivery and production of all firework display for the company.  Most notable achievements include Trafalgar 200, Dublin St Patrick’s Day Skyfest, Legoland, Cowes Regatta, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and most recently the Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve celebrations on the Thames and focused on the London Eye.

Kimbolton Fireworks have had unrivalled success at many of the large International Fireworks Competitions including, Montreal, Cannes, Madeira, Barcelona, Bilbao, Croatia, Knokke and Hannover.  Darryl Fleming has now gained a reputation where he has consulted for other International companies at Cannes, Montreal and Dubai.

James Donald

Jim joined Jack Morton Worldwide in 1995 and has worked his way through the organisation and is currently one of the company’s leading Executive Producers.  The range of event and experiential communication projects with which he has been involved has given him insights into the demands of events on all scales and for clients in all industries. These have included delivering the Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve ‘Marking of Midnight’, from 2005 through to 2011, an ambitious, high profile, iconic event for 250,000 Londoners live and millions around the world on TV; the 2008 Olympic & Paralympics home – coming parade through London culminating in Trafalgar Square, as well as playing key roles within the production team for, the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games Ceremonies, and the Hong Kong Handover in 1997.

In addition to the public facing events Jim has led many global experiential campaigns for corporate markets which have included; Thomson Reuters, Toyota Europe, Samsung Mobile, and many more.  Jim’s experience has given him the ability to lead complex multi-region and multi-faceted projects.

Martin Smith

Martin is a director of Brockham Bonfire Limited and is responsible for the firework display. His grandfather helped re-start the bonfire in the 1930s and the family have been involved with the firework display ever since  –  Martin is the younger brother of the main author, Tom Smith.  The Brockham Bonfire firework team have close links with Kimbolton Fireworks and regularly help with their displays both in the UK and overseas.

Murray Torrible

Murray has operated a specialist insurance facility for the Firework, Pyrotechnic and Special Effects Industry since 1997.  Following a hardening of the insurance market in 1996 Murray undertook 12 months of research into the operations and practices within the sector.  Utilising this research Murray identified an insurer that was willing to underwrite the risk at competitive premiums.  Within two years of introducing the facility Murray was arranging the insurances for a majority of the industry sector.  Murray continued to innovate and react to developments within the insurance market developing a Captive Insurance Vehicle in 2004 to stabilise premiums for the firework sector following the increases in premiums experienced in 2002 and 2003.

Murray set up Precision Broking Ltd in 2010, a specialist industry brokerage for the Firework Pyrotechnic and Production Services Sector.  The new insurance facility offers liability and property with the same insurer and a broader range of covers and limits than were previously available.  Since its introduction in 2010 Precision Broking have been appointed by most of the major display operators, importers and manufacturers in the UK and are now extending their operations into Europe and the Middle East.

One Response to Author notes

  • Michael Ulrich says:

    I love fireworks…I like the way they go pop and fizzle…and are pink.

    I’ve always loved sparkly things.

    I actually went to the Brockham display once and thought it was wonderful.


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