Pyro Company Histories - The Modern Companies

Discussion in 'Fireworks Nostalgia, Collectables And History' started by Andy_P, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Andy_P

    Andy_P Moderator

    Here are three threads for those who are interested in the way various firework companies have evolved into one another.

    These topics comprise whatever info I've cobbled together over the years, mainly thanks to the Cyber-heritage museum, several pyro company websites and a few company search / due diligence search engines.

    Topic #1 - The classic British companies (only a couple of which still survive)
    Topic #2 (this one) - The modern companies from around the 90s onwards
    Topic #3 - Some of the Chinese factories



    So now, The 'Newbie" Brands
    With a few honourable exceptions, almost all of these are importers only, selecting generic or exclusive products from the Chinese factories, who will put any label on the items that you want.

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    Absolute (Glasgow, Scotland)

    Absolute_Fireworks_1_thumbnail.jpg

    Absolute were founded by the people who were previously the UK importers for Royal Party who left to set up their own brand (source: Rocket Rev.)
    Listed directors are Alex Kilbride and Fraser Stevenson.
    Produce both Cat3 and Cat4 goods, and also have a display business. Were one of the first companies to develop a range based on the new 8m safety distance.
    Absolute also use the 'Tai Pan' and 'Rage' brand names.

    www.absolutefireworks.com

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    Arena

    An Epic brand name, but not currently used? (at time of writing, no "Arena" brand fireworks appear on their website).

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    Astra (Cosmic)

    Astra_Cosmic_thumbnail.jpg

    An old name... surviving through the years and now owned by Cosmic.

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    Astra

    Astra_SelectionBox_2012_thumbnail.jpg

    This Logo was seen on 2012 selection boxes (e.g. from Galaxy Fireworks in Ireland).
    I'm not sure if this is simply old stock (possibly bought up by Bright Star!) or a re-appearance of the Bagha Family using the old name which they still have rights to.
    There are also boxes carrying the other 'Cosmic/Astra' logo in that catalogue.
    See the Cosmic/Astra entry for more detail about both claims to the name.

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    Benwell / Benstar

    Benstar_thumbnail.jpg

    A once-famous name, since used by the Cosmic Group for cheap supermarket goods. (Some pictures of "overdressing" here). See Cosmic.


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    Benwell (Smethwick, Birmingham West Midlands)

    Benwell_logo_2014_thumbnail.jpg

    A relaunch of the actual 'Benwell Fireworks' brand was announced by BFA Secretary John Halfpenny (ex FIreworks International/Firework World) in Nov 2013 and a range of goods was available from 2014 alongside their "Black Knight" range of SIBs.

    http://www.benwellfireworks.co.uk

    Interestingly there is another (or the same!) Benwell... incorporated in Oct 2005 and registered at 109A Windmill Hill, Halesowen, West Midlands B63 2BY with directors
    Surjit Singh Doal (also of Fireworks Direct (Midlands) Ltd and Black Knight Fireworks Ltd)
    Obvious connection there to the Black Knight SIBS range...

    His Wife(?) Mrs Balbir Kaur Doal, is a director of Black knight and sons(?) Jaswinder Singh Doal and Mandeep Singh Doal are also directors of Fireworks Direct, Mongoose Fireworks (UK) Ltd, and in several of his other non-pyro companies.

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    Black Cat (Hong Kong)

    Black_Cat_2_thumbnail.jpg

    This firework brand was introduced in the USA in the 1940's by Li & Fung, one of the largest and most respected Trading Companies in China. It became a Registered Trademark in 1952 and is now the oldest and most highly recognised firework brand in the American market.
    BlackCat bought Standard Fireworks in 1998, and also the old Benwell name from the German owned company Feistel Fireworks.
    Black Cat director Phil Murray is also the BFA chairman

    http://www.blackcatfireworks.ltd.uk/
    http://www.lifung.com/

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    Blue Moon (China)

    Blue_Moon_thumbnail.jpg

    Brand imported by First Galaxy, directly from the BLUE MOON(CHINA) FIREWORKS MFG. FACTORY CO.,LTD. and using the same logo as the Chinese company.

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    Bright Star (Melmerby, Ripon, North Yorkshire)

    Bright_Star_thumbnail.jpg

    UK business begun in 1992 and run by John Mather, evolved from original trading name "JM" ? (more details please) See also "PJM Fireworks" below. Also uses the Esco Fireworks brand name.
    http://www.brightstaruk.com/

    Bright Star has a complicated hIstory:
    Bright Star Fireworks Ltd (of Melmerby, Ripon) ,was incorporated in 2001changed it's name to Bright Star Fireworks UK Ltd (same address) in 2004 and was itself dissolved in 2006.

    Directors of Bright Star Fireworks Ltd had been:
    Wei Ping Zhao (2001-2004)
    Wei Li (2001-2004)
    ...who were both also directors of Panda Fireworks (dissolved)
    Nigel Ronald Jackson (2001-present) also a director of Starburst Pyrotechnics* and The Firework Factory Ltd* (same address).
    Michael Bell (2004-present) also director of Red Dragon Fireworks Limited*** (same address) which was started in 2004.

    *Directors of Starburst are John Mather (of JM and Brightstar "now") and Nigel Ronald Jackson (2004-present)
    **DIrectors of The FIrework Factory are ALSO John Mather and Nigel Ronald Jackson (2001-present) and Wei Ping Zhao again( 2001-2005 )
    ***Directors of Red Dragon include Michael Bell, John Reginald Park (of Astra Fireworks Limited(Dissolved))

    The "Esco" name crops up in another of Nigel Ronald Jackson's many directorships, namely Sohni (Esco) Ltd of Wetherby, West Yorkshire (company dissolved in 2003).

    Directors of Bright Star Fireworks UK Limited were/are:
    John Mather (2010-present)
    Michael Bell (2004-2010)
    Harpinder
    and Rup Bagha (2001-2004) - THE COSMIC LINK! - STREWTH!

    (According to this post "Cosmic (old Cosmic??) bought the Benwell, hence Benstar name and Bright Star bought up their bankrupt stock when they folded recently")

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    Britannia

    Britannia_thumbnail.jpg

    A First Galaxy Fireworks brand name.

    http://www.britanniafireworks.co.uk/

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    British Bulldog

    British_Bulldog_thumbnail.jpg

    One of the brands of the Chestnut Trading Ltd/Cosmic stable
    See "Nightstar" for more details.

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    Brothers (Huddersfield)

    Brothers_thumbnail.jpg

    Part of the Brothers International Group which was founded by Garry Wang in Beihai, China in 1995 and which now has subsidiaries and partners in China, Japan and Europe
    Brothers (UK) was established in 2006, by Guo Qiang Wang and Sai-Fan Shair.
    Current directors are Guo Qiang Wang and Chu Keung Chow .

    http://www.brotherspyrotechnics.co.uk/

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    Cosmic (Enfield, Middlesex)

    Cosmic_thumbnail.jpg

    Has existed as two separate entities and used various brand names over the years, including Astra, Golden Lion, Next Generation, Flash, Dancing Dragon, Cosmic Party and Cosmic itself.

    According to one source, Dynasty, Midas, Dancing Dragon, Flash, Jumping Jack Flash, Astra, Benwell, Benstar are all names used by Cosmic at various times to give supermarkets an "own brand".

    By their own admission, the company has had a "turbulent history" culminating in a change of ownership in 2009, but retaining some of the old team. Now concentrating on Astra and Cosmic brands, and selling only to wholesalers and retailers.
    Several of Men Shun's employees moved over to the new Cosmic Fireworks company after Men Shun closed down in 2009.

    http://www.cosmicfireworks.com/

    The new company(ies) appear to be called Cosmic Fireworks (Investments) Ltd and Cosmic Fireworks (Trading) Ltd. Both of those and the cosmicfireworks.com website all have an an address of Parkfield Nurseries in Enfield, Middlesex.
    Their directors are shown as Andrew Joseph Sutcliffe and Colin Alan Roberts (who is a director of Parkfield Nurseries too).

    Those two are both also directors of Golden Dragon Fireworks Ltd - a name which is about to become their latest product range.
    Andrew Sutcliffe and Kelly Sutcliffe are owners of Chestnut Trading limited (who import the British Bulldog, Nightstar, Firestar and Scorpion brands)


    Further confusion:
    According to the Jordans website, the old company were Cosmic Group UK (who had their head office in North Yorkshire?), and the new one is Cosmic Fireworks (UK) Ltd
    But looking at some company and director check websites I think Jordans have got the company names confused....

    Cosmic Fireworks Ltd. of Waterloo Road Wolverhampton, is shown as still trading, with several members of the Bagha family as directors.

    Cosmic Fireworks U.K Ltd. registered at Hagley Road, Birmingham and trading from Burton on Trent now shows as "liquidated" also with two members of the Bagha family as directors.
    Also, Cosmic Fireworks U.K Ltd. had a previous name.... Jumping Jack Flash Fireworks Limited and the Bagha family were also involved in Bright Star and Astra. Aaargh!

    Rup Kamal Bagha (Who sadly died on 1st November 2012 - see UKFR forum post here) was listed as a current or previous director of a whole raft of companies including:
    ASTRA FIREWORKS LTD - Active (Director Resigned 28/04/2011)
    ASTRA FIREWORKS (U.K.) LIMITED - Dissolved
    BENWELL FIREWORKS LIMITED - DIssolved
    BRACKNELL FIREWORKS LIMITED - In Liquidation
    BRIGHT STAR FIREWORKS UK LIMITED - Active (Director Resigned 01/04/2004)
    COSMIC FIREWORKS U.K LTD. - In Liquidation
    COSMIC FIREWORKS LTD - Active (Director Resigned 28/04/2011)
    COTON TRADING (was Mega Fireworks (Digbeth) Limited) with Premjit Singh Ratu (see Imperial) - Dormant
    NOFIREWORKS LIMITED - In Liquidation
    STAR FIREWORKS LTD - Active (Director Resigned 21/06/2011)

    Harpinder Bagha (Rup's wife) has directorships of many of the same companies, but you can also add:
    STAR PYROTECHNICS LTD - Dissolved (huh?)
    RED LANTERN FIREWORKS LIMITED - Dissolved

    Ravij Bagha (Rup's son) only seems to be involved with COSMIC FIREWORKS LTD and one of the incarnations of BENWELL FIREWORKS LTD (Birmingham)

    Rajinder Bagha (Rup's nephew) worked at new Cosmic when it was re-branded under Andrew Sutcliffe and Colin Roberts (see above). He then left - and is now back again.

    If anyone can shed any more light on this convoluted mess, please PM me!

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    Cube (Birmingham)

    Cube_thumbnail.jpg

    Own label importer. Co-founded by Baljinder Singh and Adam Jackson in 2003. Company has seen more than one "re-launches" or changes of ownership, but those two are listed as the current directors on their website.
    For info, Adam JohnJackson is also listed as the owner of Chrome Fireworks Limited who are listed in the LOCEF database as the importers of 'Cube' Fireworks.

    http://www.cubefireworks.co.uk/

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    Dancing Red Devil (Hunan, China and Cheshire, UK)

    Dancing-Red-Devil_thumbnail.jpg

    A relatively new brand. To give it's full company name Jiang Xi Ping Xiang Dancing Red Devil Imp&Exp Co. Ltd was established in December, 2004, and grew out of Shunfa Fireworks of Luxi, Pingxiang city. Their UK operation was owned and run by Echo2 Ltd with a single director Mr John Owen Healer.
    The DRD goods were most often seen in the hands of seasonal 'white-van man' traders and were considered to be at the "budget" end of the market. However, Echo2 went into liquidation in March 2014 and the DRD brand (registered at the same address) is currently "dormant".
    Echo2 have also recently been fined for breaches of the regulations on supply of fireworks to retailers, so whether the DRD brand will continue under new management is currently unknown.

    http://www.dancingreddevilfireworks.com/
    http://www.firewww.com/en_main.asp

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    Devco (London)

    Devco_thumbnail.jpg

    Own-label importer. Established 1987, as a family business in Chiswick, London by two main directors, Mr Bhikhu Shah and Mr Chawla.

    http://www.devcofireworks.co.uk/

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    Dynasty Chinese Fireworks

    Dynasty_thumbnail.jpg

    Began as a supermarket brand from Cosmic (See above). Seen sold alongside Cosmic's Astra-branded goods in 2014.
    No connection with 'Dynasty Fireworks Ltd." (of Ipswich) that I'm aware of...

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    Emperor

    Emperor_1_thumbnail.jpg or Emperor_2_thumbnail.jpg

    Some mystery surrounds this company. Some items have been seen with the first logo above and the Chiswick address of Devco on them as well. The logo came from a (now empty) YouTube Channel.
    Others have been seen with the second logo and Planet's details overprinted on them. The second logo is registered to Seth M. Reiss of Tiger Corporation - a Honolulu (Hawaii) company.

    There is also a Chinese factory using the Emperor name. See the "factories" post.

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    Epic (Sheffield)

    Epic_thumbnail.jpg

    Own-label importer.
    Originally known as Jimmy's Wholesale Fireworks Ltd. started by Jimmy Singh in the 1990s and now run by Jimmy and son Paul.
    Other Epic brand-names include Paramount, Oriental, Marvel, Majestic and Arena

    http://epicfireworks.com

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    Esco

    Esco_thumbnail.jpg

    A Bright Star brand name in the UK.
    Sohni (Esco) Ltd of Wetherby, West Yorkshire was another of Nigel Ronald Jackson's directorships (company incorporated in 1975 and dissolved in 2003).
    Some mini rockets were for sale on the forum in 2014, showing the address - Link

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    Europyro

    Chinasky_Europyro.jpg

    A brandname of the Chinasky Pyrotechnic Company of Hunan, China (see next post), itroduced to capitalise on the new European CE marking requirements. They now have over 500 items in their range, covering both CAT3 and CAT4 items.

    http://www.europyro.eu/

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    Fantazia (Wakefield and Wrexham)

    Fantazia_thumbnail.jpg

    Own-label importer, Wholesale only to the retail trade. One supplier of CAT3 to MLE

    Fantasia Pyrotechnics is a collaboration between Robert Biglands of The Fireworks Store (same address in Wakefield) and Christopher Pearson of the old "Fantazia Fireworks Ltd" (of Wrexham)

    Fantazia Pyro closed their Retail Sales division in Feb 2012, but the trade side will continue with Christopher at the helm.
    http://www.fantaziapyrotechnics.com/

    As for Fantazia Fireworks Limited
    Managing Director Christopher Pearson says it was dissolved in 2008 due to one particular bad debt.
    Chris was also a director of Standard Fireworks Limited (presumably until Black Cat took over the name?) and also Wizard Fireworks Limited

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    Festival Fireworks (Lewes, East Sussex)

    Although not a Cat3 brand themselves, Festival have been behind several other brand names such as Wizard and possibly Sovereign.

    Festival Fireworks were owned by the Winter family, with parents Martin and Julie and son Nathan as their directors, and they traded until soon after the tragic fire on 3 December 2006 at their base on the Marlie Farm site in Kent, in which two firemen died .
    They have now relaunched as Alpha Fireworks with Martin and Julie as directors, and Wizard with Stuart Winter at the helm.

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    Firestar

    Firestar_thumbnail.jpg

    One of the brands of the Chestnut Trading Ltd/Cosmic stable
    See "Nightstar" for more details.

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    Firework Emporium (Ipswich)

    Firework_Emporium_thumbnail.jpg

    Own-label importer.
    Shop and a mail order business run by Warren and Tina ???. Was known as The World of Fireworks until 2003. Seasonal shop in Enfield connected but run independently (by who?)
    Born out of Octavius Hunt?
    Name now owned by Dynamic Fireworks (see Planet -Robert Anthony Claydon) since 2003?

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    Fireworks International (Derbyshire)

    Fireworks_International_thumbnail.jpg

    Own-label importer, launched in 1990's as Fireworks World Ltd. by the Garner family with a retail shop in Derby. Now have five shops in the North and are one of the largest on-line firework retailers in the UK.

    Julian Peter Garner, is Operations Manager, Jane is Co.Sec.
    Stuart is another director as well as being a director of Firework Factors International Ltd, and Fireworks World Ltd.
    Father (?) Anthony Charles is an ex-director and was also a director of Fabulous Fireworks Ltd, Midland Fireworks Ltd and Millennium Pyrotechnics Ltd (all dissolved or non-trading).

    Some confusion on-line over possible links with Bright Star, as in 2010 they used re-badged BS material in their selection boxes.

    www.fireworksinternational.co.uk

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    First Galaxy

    First_Galaxy_thumbnail.jpg

    Retail sales and a display arm.
    Directors: Lee Smith, Mark Scott Smith, Barry John Smith (all also of Blue Moon Fireworks UK Ltd. and Britannia Fireworks Ltd.
    Both of those companies are dormant but the names are still in use as First Galaxy's two main firework ranges, and Britannia still has a website and shop at http://www.britanniafireworks.co.uk/

    http://www.galaxy-fireworks.co.uk/

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    Ghengis (Chatham, Kent)

    Ghengis-Logo-Black_thumbnail.jpg

    Own-label importer.
    Owner Norman Clifford Wilkinsonalso runs Imperial Fireworks Inc. and several car sales outfits, swimming pool installers etc. etc.

    http://www.ghengisfireworks.co.uk

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    Ghost (Worksop)

    A brand name of Marshall Fireworks Ltd, Worksop S80 2AU – Re-labeller?
    Marshall Fireworks was dissolved in 2000

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    Golden Dragon

    See NightStar or Cosmic

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    Golden Lion

    Golden_Lion_thumbnail.jpg

    See Cosmic and also Imperial
    Cosmic may have stopped using the name?
    Directors of Golden Lion Fireworks Ltd (of Birmingham) are listed as Mr Premjit Singh (see Imperial) and Mr Prem Singh

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    Guy Fawkes Fireworks

    GuyFawkesJTF_thumbnail.jpg

    Guy Fawkes is a brand-name used by JTF Stores, wh run a number of large "Shopping Club" warehouses, mainly in the North of England.
    Their range of fireworks are mostly (if not all) re-badged Brightstar items, or the same items made to a slightly lower specification/price (opinions differ!).

    http://www.jtf.com/fireworks
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    Imperial

    At least two different "Imperials" have traded....

    1. Imperial Fireworks Inc. Ltd. (of Chatham)

    Imperial_(Chatham)_thumbnail.jpg

    This company is currently trading. Their MD is Norman Clifford Wilkinson who also owns the Ghengis Fireworks brand and several businesses in other fields...
    They have a year-round retail shop in Chatham, a mail order operation, and also do displays.

    http://www.imperialfireworks.co.uk/


    2. Imperial Fireworks Ltd. (of Birmingham)

    Imperial_(Birmingham)_thumbnail.jpg

    Their director of is one Mr Premjit Singh, who is also a director of Golden Lion Fireworks and Coton Trading Ltd. (previously Mega Fireworks (Digbeth) Limited) (with Rup Kamal Bagha of Cosmic fame...)
    The company was till posting annual accounts in 2013 but has no website and does not seem to be trading.
    There were UKFR forum posts about their range in 2002, when they were being distributed by HFM.
    The logo shown is from a cake called "Colourful Coconuts" which I bought in back in 2002 as well, so I'm guessing it was from the Birmingham company.
    (If anyone has a better logo or more details, please let me know).


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    Indoor Fireworks Ltd. (Rendlesham, Suffolk)

    Indoor_Fireworks_thumbnail.jpg

    Indoor fireworks were a huge hit in the 1970s with millions of packs sold. Difficulty sourcing and importing, new legislation and a change of tastes, despite a core group of enthusiasts, led to a drop in availability during the 1980s and 90s.
    To my knowledge only two makers now produce Cat1 versions of the traditional indoor fireworks (see also Wizard).

    http://www.indoorfireworks.co.uk

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    Jonathan's (Nuneaton, Warwickshire)

    Jonathans_thumbnail.jpg

    Jonathan’s Fireworks was started up as a business in August 1999 by Jonathan Young, and have grown from a small retail shop to include a display company and their own CAT3 import brand.

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    Jordans (Leamington Spa)

    Jordans_thumbnail.jpg

    Jordans Fireworks grew out of Jordans family sweet shop in 1968.
    Mainly a supplier of other manufacturer's goods, Jordans recently began to import some products under their own name.

    www.jordansfireworks.co.uk

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    Jorge (Poland)

    Jorge_thumbnail.jpg

    Jorge was founded in Poland by Jacek & Mariusz Dudkowiak in 1990.
    They began as an importer, but established their own base and factory in Liuyang, China in 2004 and a subsidiary in Serbia (called Meteor) in 2006.
    Jorge produce both retail and professional goods, selling to 20 countries worldwide and in 2008 they went into partnership with Italian producer Vaccalluzzo to import and colaborate on a Cat4 range.
    1st Galaxy is the official UK distributor of Jorge products.

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    JTF Fireworks

    See Guy Fawkes Fireworks


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    Kimbolton (Huntingdon, Cambs)

    Kimbolton_red_thumbnail.jpg

    Own-label importer.
    Founded by Rev. Ron Lancaster in 1964. About the only company that still actually manufactures a small part of it's range in the UK.

    www.kimboltonfireworks.co.uk

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    Klasek (Czech Republic)

    Klasek_thumbnail.jpg

    Czech brand, that first appeared in the UK around 2013-14

    http://www.pmcostrava.cz

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    Magnum Series (Runcorn, Cheshire)

    Magnum_Series_Highlight_thumbnail.jpg

    A range imported by Steve Illidge's Highlight Pyrotechnics.
    Unusually the brand covers both Cat 3 and Cat 4 product ranges.

    (Not to be confused with "Magnum Fireworks Ltd" a retailer in Middlesbrough).

    http://www.magnumseries.co.uk/
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    Majestic

    Majestic_thumbnail.jpg

    An Epic brand name.

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    Mars (Essex)

    Mars_thumbnail.jpg

    Known both as Mars Firworx Ltd and Mars Pyrotechnics Ltd.
    Run by Michael Robert Ellis ( 48 ) and Steven Richard Ellis (44) whos' previous companies include Universal Pyrotechnics Ltd and Mars Pyrotechnics (UK) Ltd.
    Probably best known for "The Godfather" a three part cake (to keep the weight within Cat3 limits) currently retailing at an eye-watering £293 (sept 2012).

    http://www.marspyrotechnics.com/

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    Marvel

    Marvel_thumbnail.jpg

    An Epic brand name, established in 2007 according to the Epic website and "specialises in high performance fireworks".

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    Maverick (Wisbech)

    (Maverick Fireworks, Wisbech, Cambs. PE13 2JD - Address found on Maverick candle bundles.)
    Company dissolved in 2005.
    Directors: Phillip Alan Morley (also of Happy Dragon Fireworks Ltd) and Steven Gene Button (also of Planet Fireworks Ltd, Northern Fireworks Ltd, and The Great Northern Firework Company Ltd.


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    Men Shun (Hunan, China)

    Men-Shun_1.jpg

    Sacred Arrow brand (was Bright Star!)
    Men Shun was the manufacturer of Bright Star until BS ran into alleged difficulties. Panda took over BS in 2001, and MS released their own range called Sacred Arrow.
    The BS & MS ranges still seem to be almost the same, so who knows what is really going on in China!!


    e.g. Men Shun's Creation Mine Pack = Firework Factors Mega Mines Pack = Bright Star Razzle Dazzle Mines
    Men Shun closed down in the Spring of 2009 and several of their employees now work for the new Cosmic Fireworks (UK) Ltd.
    http://www.men-shun.co.uk/aboutus.html
    Stop press - Apparently there is a new range of Men Shun product for 2012, made by Bright Star. So that means it has gone full circle... Men Shun made Bright Star, now Bright Star make MenShun! (and Panda and Cosmic have been deeply involved all the way...).


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    Millennium

    Millennium_thumbnail.jpg

    Founded by Darcy Wilson, and Christopher Nicholls in 1996. Dissolved 2004. Name (and assets?) bought by TNT in 2005.
    The Millennium Pyrotechnics name lives on as a display company based in Salisbury, Wilts. and run by Leon Hutchinson (also of another display co. Classic Fireworks). Is there any connection?


    And are either of these the same 'Millennium' as the one that Anthony Garner of Fireworks International was a director of?

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    MLE (Daventry, Northants)

    MLE_thumbnail.jpg

    Own-label importer. Run by Matt Lawrence. Factories in Liuyang
    Originally produced it's own range of Cat3 goods with some wonderful labelling done by Matt's sister. Although they still have a small on-line retail business, they have not had a Cat3 range of their own since 200? and now concentrate on their display business and Cat4 material


    www.mlepyrotechnics.co.uk

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    Next Generation

    Next_Generation_thumbnail.jpg

    (See Cosmic)

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    Nightstar (Preston, Lancs)

    Nightstar_thumbnail.jpg

    One of the brands of the Chestnut Trading Ltd/Cosmic stable, owned by Andrew and Kelly Sutcliffe (See "Cosmic" above for a glimpse of the full complex relationships). Their main distribution centre is located at Binbrook, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire.
    Nighstar also re-badge their goods under the Golden Dragon brandname.


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    Oriental

    Oriental_thumbnail.jpg

    An Epic brand name.

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    Panda (Hunan and Jiangxi Provinces, China)

    Panda_thumbnail.jpg

    Guangzhou Panda Trading Co., Ltd. (now known as Panda Fireworks Group Co., Ltd.) was established in 1989.
    This was followed by the incorporation of MANY regional Chinese and international sub-companies within the group (see full list HERE).
    The UK arm Panda Fireworks Ltd. was established in Britain in 2000.
    In 2001 Panda acquired the UK's Bright Star brand, Britain’s second largest fireworks company at the time. Further buy-ups in Denmark and Sweden followed the next year. See also Men Shun for range confusion.


    Panda was the exclusive fireworks manufacturer and displayer for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
    Panda's UK website is now just a holding page and links to Titan Fireworks (see below) It seems Panda's UK arm closed down in 2010, and Titan has been started up by James Wang - one of the old Panda team.


    http://www.pandafireworks.com/en

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    Panther (London, Gloucester)

    Panther_thumbnail.jpg

    UK wholesale firework supplier with a network across the whole UK with warehouses in London, Manchester, Lincoln and Northern Ireland.
    It's directors, Peter Manning, Brian Noel Mulry and Martin Campbell also have other interests in Property, plant hire and construction.


    www.pantherfireworks.com

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    Paramount

    Paramount_thumbnail.jpg

    An Epic brand name. Well known for some very loud cakes such as Thunder King.

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    PJM Fireworks (Merseyside)

    Party Shops in Prescott and Chorley, East Lancs. Some display work.
    Started by Peter Mather the son of John Mather (the man behind Bright Star).
    So just re-labelled Bright Star products?


    http://www.fireworks-on-line.co.uk/

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    Planet (Leeds)

    Planet_thumbnail.jpg

    Import arm of Great Northern Fireworks (See Maverick) and Dynamic Fireworks.
    Planet Fireworks Limited was founded on 17 Jan 2001.
    People behind the companies are:
    Steven Gene Button - Planet, Northern Fireworks Ltd, Great Northern Fireworks Ltd, Maverick,
    Nigel John Claydon - Planet, The Big Firework Company Ltd, Heavenly Stars Fireworks Limited, Dynamic Fireworks Limited.


    Much of Planet's range is made for them by Brothers so there are many similar pieces.

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    Rage (Glasgow, Scotland)

    Rage_thumbnail.jpg

    Budget brand from Absolute Fireworks

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    Red Dragon

    See Bright Star.

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    Royal Party (Salisbury, Wiltshire, plus Sweden, Finland and USA)

    Royal_Party_thumbnail.jpg

    Own Label importer. Swedish Company with bases in UK and Finland. Factory in China as usual.
    According to Rocket Rev, Royal Party's original UK importers eventually left to set up their own brand, and became Absolute.
    Royal Party's Swedish parent company continues to market its brand in the UK.


    http://www.royalpartyfireworks.com
    Update, October 2015: Royal party's UK operation is currently in receivership. More news when available.
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    Sacred Arrow

    Sacred_Arrow_thumbnail.jpg

    Brand-name of Men Shun (see above)

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    Scorpion

    Scorpion_thumbnail.jpg

    One of the brands of the Chestnut Trading Ltd/Cosmic stable.
    See "Nightstar" for more details.

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Shellscape (Maidenhead, Berks.)

    Shellscape_thumbnail.jpg

    Own-label importer of CAT3 and CAT4 founded in 1993 by Steve Ridgley and Ray Butler. One of the few UK firms with an HSE licensed factory - an 8 acre site on White Waltham airfield, which they acquired in March 2003. The factory site had been used for military and explosives testing from the 1940s Tiny amount of small-scale manufacture in the UK.

    http://www.shellscape.com/index.html

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Shogun

    Shogun_1_thumbnail.jpg

    Along with Vulcan, this is a brand name of Inter-Oriental Fireworks (now renamed Shogun and Vulcan Pyrotechnics).
    Inter Oriental was founded in Hong Kong in 1974 by Ewan Cheung, who first started his career in fireworks in 1960. They sold generic fireworks in China until they launched the Vulcan brand in Europe in 1992, followed by the Shogun brand into the US in 1998. See Vulcan below for more details.


    www.shogun.com.hk

    _______________________________________________________________________________


    Skycrafter

    SkyCrafter_thumbnail.jpg

    Brothers Pyrotechnics budget range.

    www.brotherspyrotechnics.co.uk/products/skycrafter-range/

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Sovereign (Kent)

    Sovereign_thumbnail.jpg

    Not much info on this brand or company to be had on-line. Was stocked by many suppliers (A40, Firework Crazy etc.) Company website not working.
    Firework labels show the company to be "Skyhigh FX Ltd, trading as Sovereign Brand Fireworks, Kent ME9 0QX".
    However, other reports are that they were an imported CAT3 brand of The Winter family's Festival Fireworks. (See Wizard for the connection).


    Directors of Skyhigh Fx Ltd are Mark Wynne-Pedder and Campbell Ridgewell who at first glance don't seem to have any connection to the Winters.

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    SP Fireworks (Stafford)

    SP_thumbnail.jpg

    Small importer, founded in April 2007 by Richard John Pearson . Website still active but company searches show it now as "not trading".
    Pearson also ran Concept fireworks, a range that was offered to other retailers for packaging under their own label.
    Part of the Stafford Plastics Group, (also run by Richard Pearson) whose main trade is manufacture of double glazing and similar products.


    http://www.spfireworks.co.uk/
    http://www.conceptfireworks.co.uk/


    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Sparky (Middlesex)

    Short-lived importer /relabeller. Was founded on 16 Sept 2002 by Jarnail Singh Athwal and had its registered office in Ruislip Middlesex. Was seen at a few of the Spring Fairs. Some connection with Bright Spark as that brand was on its stand.
    Company was dissolved in May 2010.


    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Spook (East Sussex and/or Sheffield)

    Spook_thumbnail.jpg

    Spook Pyrotechnics Ltd of Bexhill on Sea was run by Michael Koritsas, who also runs Murray Systems Ltd, (once of Bexhill and now of Sheffield).
    Never a high-end supplier. Some would say they made DRD look good.....
    Company was dissolved in 2010.


    According to this post Some "Spook" branded goods (made by Bright Star) seem to have been imported since then by a company in Sheffield. Possibly a link there....

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Starburst Fireworks (Melmerby, Ripon, North Yorkshire)

    Star_Burst_thumbnail.jpg

    Re-badged Bright Star material. Lower budget stuff.
    See Brightstar entry above for directors' details


    Not to be confused with Starburst Fireworks Ltd - a display company based in Jersey or several other companies who use 'Starburst' or 'Star Burst' in their names.

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Tai Pan (Glasgow, Scotland)

    Tai_Pan_thumbnail.jpg

    One of Absolute Fireworks CAT3 brand names.

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Titan (Stafford)

    Titan_thumbnail.jpg

    Founded in 2010 from ex-Panda Fireworks UK employees (including James Wang) .
    Started importing "Titan Fireworks" retail range into the UK in 2011. Factory is based in Liu Yang, China.


    http://www.orientalmarket.co.uk/titanfireworksproductlist.html

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    TNT (Wiltshire)

    TNT_thumbnail.jpg

    Part of the large American Anderson group of companies.

    They say they are the largest distributor of 1.4G fireworks in the U.S.
    In 2004, TNT bought up Millennium Pyrotechnics, at the time said to be the UK’s largest privately-owned importer and supplier of retail and display fireworks.


    http://tntfireworks.co.uk/

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Total FX (Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire)

    Total_Fx_thumbnail.jpg

    Total Fx Fireworks Ltd have been trading since 2005. Run by Timothy Sallis who also owns Total Pyro Limited (displays), Total Fireworks Limited (on-line sales (and a shop?)) and Pyro Magic Limited (Wedding Services) - is that the same or different from http://www.pyromagic.co.uk of Marlow?

    http://www.totalfxfireworks.co.uk/ www.totalfireworks.co.uk/ http://www.totalpyro.co.uk/

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Ultra (Southall, Middx.)

    Ultra_thumbnail.jpg

    Own label importer of CAT2 and CAT3 retail goods.
    According to their website"Ultra Fireworks is a division of Sethi Silk Stores Ltd."


    http://www.ultrafireworks.co.uk/

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Vulcan

    Vulcan_thumbnail.jpg

    Along with Shogun, this is a brand name of Inter-Oriental Fireworks.
    Inter Oriental was founded in Hong Kong in 1974 by Ewan Cheung, who first started his career in fireworks in 1960. They sold generic fireworks in China until they launched the Vulcan brand in Europe in 1992, followed by the Shogun brand into the US in 1998.
    The Vulcan company now concentrates on producing material for the professional market and also has a display business which won second place in the Oman World Fireworks Championship 2010.
    Their first factory made rockets in Jiangmen, China and was shortly followed by a second factory producing Vulcan-brand Shells in Yangchun. They now have a total of seven factories in Guangxi and Hunan.
    http://www.vulcandisplayfireworks.com/


    Not to be confused with the Surrey-based display company of the same name who's website is http://www.vulcanfireworks.co.uk/ !
    There is also a Canadian Company "Vulcan Fireworks International Ltd", which has the same (or similar) logo as Vulcan, and also has a factory in Hunan, but makes no mention of any connection to the HongKong company!
    http://www.vulcanfireworks.com/
    (Also not to be confused with the Australian company http://www.vulcanfireworks.com.au/)


    _______________________________________________________________________________


    Weco

    Weco_thumbnail.jpg

    Well-regarded German manufacturer, who still make many of their own items in their own European factories.
    They have a 60,000 square metre production site alongside their headquarters at Eitorf, Germany; a similar sized branch in Kiel and 350,000 square metres in Freiberg, Saxony .
    They also have a logistics office, located directly on Hamburg Harbour for ease of import and storage directly at the docks.
    In the UK they are known for some excellent value-items sold seasonally by the Lidl supermarket chain.


    History:
    The company was founded in 1948 by Hermann Weber, with the original name being - PYRO-CHEMICAL Hermann Weber & Co.
    By 1966 the company was being run by by Frank A. Weber-Picard and Günter Scherzer
    Around1987-97, the company changed it's name to WECO Pyrotechnic Factory GmbH.


    1998 saw the 50th anniversary of the company and a management takeover by Thomas Schreiber (who became M.D.) and Dieter Kuchheuser. Between them, they acquired around 94% of the share equity over the following five years.

    WECO now have state of the art facilities at their three sites, producing rockets, cakes, bangers, stage pryo and professional fireworks, as well as air-bag gas generators for the automotive industry.

    Unfortunately, their website is available in five languages, but English is not one of them, so apologies for any errors caused by my mis-translations!

    http://www.weco-pyro.de/

    Downloads:
    WECO 1987 Firework Catalogue (pdf)
    50th Anniversary Brochure (1998)



    _______________________________________________________________________________


    Winda

    Winda_thumbnail.jpg

    ...is another Panda brand name.

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Wizard (Lewes, East Sussex / Cranbrook, Kent)

    Wizard_Indoor_thumbnail.jpg

    Originally listed as part of the Sovereign Brand group. Makers of indoor fireworks.
    Interestingly, their address was Unit 2 Marlie Farm Business Park (aka Shortgate Industrial Park, but both BN8 6PH) which is the old Festival Fireworks (GB) Site!
    And sure enough, it's was owned by Stuart Winter, and Nathan Winter was Co.Sec 2009-10.


    It used to say on their website at http://www.wizardfireworks.co.uk/
    "In 2004 Wizard brought back the traditional card of Magic Serpents, Fairy Ferns etc. under the Sovereign Brand-name.
    This was subsequently withdrawn from sale due to "ever changing legislation" but has now been relaunched with new formulations and effects (and is now fully British-made)."


    In February 2013, the Wizard name and business was sold to a Mr Gary Bridgland and the new registered address is Heathwood Timber Yard, Marden Road, Cranbrook, in Kent.


    I'm told Mr Bridgeland has previous experience in the firework industry (any details please?), but as a humorous aside, according to company search websites he holds the position of "Tree surgeon" at Wizard! (hence the address?).
    They promise a new website is coming soon.


    Not to be confused with Wizard Fireworks Ltd of Chester CH3 5AN which was one of Christopher Pearson 's companies (see Fantazia). They ceased trading in 2006.

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    PLEASE NOTE: The above text and info is © Andy Pearce.
    Please contact me if you wish to use it elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
    Sally Xiao likes this.
  2. Signum

    Signum Pro Firer/Crew

    ..interesting, what do you think sets you as 'the most modern'? You got Robots and time travel

    ...or do you all wear super trendy modern looking PPE :D

    'Probans - by Hugo Boss'
     
  3. RocketRev

    RocketRev Moderator Supports UKFR

    I was thinking this thread was about firework brand companies, not so much about the display companies.... or does Komodo produce fireworks as well as do displays (in the same way that Millennium did, for example.)?

    We could have another thread for the display company family trees.
     
  4. Badger

    Badger Pro Firer/Crew



    I thought the post stated how various firework companies have evolved and didn’t specifically say various brand production companies, or I wouldn’t have joined in this fun thread and posted, but I agree those mentioned have a certain pedigree of production.
    Komodo has no production licence and so doesn’t.
     
  5. Badger

    Badger Pro Firer/Crew

    :D Very good Signum, I did however cover myself by saying possably/probably plus was talking in terms of est not inurt equiptment :D. As for the hugo boss Probans, you are spot on buddy, in fact I have a collection of HB Proban 'Outfits' in many colours enabling me to mix and match :D
     
  6. Andy_P

    Andy_P Moderator

    I was really thinking about the old cat 3 "brands" we know and loved, but I must admit I didn't make that very clear in the title. :blush:
     
  7. Andy_P

    Andy_P Moderator

    I've updated the first post with some details of the "newbie" companies.
    But now we have a lot more collectors of old fireworks on the forum, maybe we can add lots more details??
     
  8. Andy_P

    Andy_P Moderator

    1st post updated with a few details about PJM and Brightstar.

    More additions and corrections welcomed!!

    (P.S. - I realise some of the picture links have now broken. More work required!)
     
  9. pyro plim

    pyro plim Pro Firer/Crew

    Anyone remember or know of LFC the london firework co ? I saw some of their little mines (Cat 2) while helping out at a place about 10yrs ago .Maybe they were hooky ? not seen them since ..
     
  10. Andy_P

    Andy_P Moderator

    According to the Jordans website, Men Shun closed down in the Spring of 2009 and several of their employees now work for the new Cosmic Fireworks (UK) Ltd.

    Sound about right?

    First post expanded hugely with LOADS of confusion about Cosmic ctc. still to work out.

    Anyone got any artwork or pictures of the logos for Sacred Arrow or Maverick?
     
  11. Andy_P

    Andy_P Moderator

    Stop press - Apparently there is a new range of Men Shun product for 2012, made by Bright Star. So that means it has gone full circle... Men Shun made Bright Star, now Bright Star make MenShun! (and Panda and Cosmic have been around all the way...)

    Meanwhile the "new" Cosmic in Enfield (who had reduced all their many brands down to just two (Cosmic and Astra) are due to launch another called "Golden Dragon" just to avoid any confusion with Red Dragon, Golden Lion, Dancing Dragon, Red Lantern etc. etc....
     
  12. Andy_P

    Andy_P Moderator

    Added Chestnut Trading Ltd and it's four known brands (British Bulldog, Firestar, Nightstar and Scorpion).
     
  13. paul s

    paul s Supports UKFR

    Spook.........(aka Murray Systems Ltd)
     
  14. Andy_P

    Andy_P Moderator

    Thanks, @paul s, I'll add them, but I must admit I don't know much about them.
    Can you suggest a few words to describe them, please? It their stuff any good? Are they connected to, or evolved out of any other companies?
     
  15. paul s

    paul s Supports UKFR

    Ehr let's think? How about Shock Rockets, 70g of flash and rumoured to be one of the catalysts for the tightening of rocket regs. (Some of the old guard here will remember the days of decimated phone boothes).

    Or, you could try describing them as making Dangling Red Hemorrhoids appear distinctly above board.

    Quality was never one of their finer points, Andy. It's hard to find anything about them these days but they are still on the BFA , which is surely a joke.
     
  16. skyline2

    skyline2 Pro Firer/Crew

    Liecester Fireworks Andy, they made the fabulous Great S-Cake, labels based on films run back a few years ago by chap called John if I remember rightly !!
     
  17. I have a couple of fireworks left labeled Benwell from a whole pile that were purchased in NI as late as 2009. Not sure where that fits in the history?
     
  18. Andy_P

    Andy_P Moderator

    @FITH That'll probably be those Cosmic chaps confusing matters again!

     
  19. Thanks Andy. I fired one the fountain mines the other night - 2", from a pack of four, and from memory really cheap. It really packed a punch for it's size.
     
  20. Andy_P

    Andy_P Moderator

    Somehow I'd missed Weco off the list!
    I've added some details in the main post, but if anyone has any more info I'll be happy to add it.
     
    MrDan likes this.