1980s Astra

Discussion in 'Fireworks Nostalgia, Collectables And History' started by Sparkler, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. Sparkler

    Sparkler Supports UKFR

    My favourite brand
    Pyro Ed, jww, Firefiend and 7 others like this.
  2. fozzboy

    fozzboy Supports UKFR

    Nice Mate.. seen some of those before!!!
    Sparkler likes this.
  3. pyromatt1987

    pyromatt1987 Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    I do love the artwork on the earlier Astra items
  4. Sparkler

    Sparkler Supports UKFR

    Yes to me it always looks older, the oldest bits in the pictures is mid 80s
  5. The label designs changed around 1985 when the company decided to invest in the firework side of the business, it had previously been held back to allow the military pyrotechnics division to progress. There was an overhaul of the labels and box packaging, most of the labels at this time dated back to the 1940's/50's and had only been changed to alter old money prices to value codes.

    The new labels were put together by a local company called Appleby Case I seem to recall, we thought they looked dreadful but bear in mind this was the 80's - check out the music of the time, Wham, Tears for Fears, Whitney Houston. Think of the imagery surrounding these performers, fashion and the media and you can now appreciate the slot the labels fitted in to. Some of them cost an absolute fortune with silver backgrounds - then VERY expensive for the company, although we generally thought someone in the process was having a laugh (and a drink!) out of the decisions. I recall a story that the design company we re-paid the full amount which was around £4k to replicate what was already done because the designs were "lost". Also remember this was Thatchers golden era, loads of money and everyone wanting to get on the bandwagon.

    Happy days...
    Pyro Ed, pyromatt1987 and Sparkler like this.
  6. TONYB

    TONYB Supports UKFR

    a rare piece of astra ...not many of these about
    IMG_3103.JPG IMG_3106.JPG
  7. Jamie Thornton

    Jamie Thornton Supports UKFR

    Nice Tony, wonder if standard had their own personalised pens, as more of a standard man, nothing to do with the fact I'm from Yorkshire lol, from what I know that Astra logo is late 80s early 90s?, we did get some Astra items up here in the 80s and 90s, remember those mini rockets in the 80s by Astra.
  8. Tinderbox

    Tinderbox Pro Firer/Crew

    What memories. I used to love the Astra stuff. However I do feel they cheated us a bit as some of the fountains during the 80's-90's had really thick tube walls. Particularly the Floodlight and a couple of others. Big fat tube, bugger all inside. They did make some cracking stuff though. I remember getting a small yellow box of fountains called Fountain Selection or something. All the blue touch paper was gone and instead the old slate-blue PIC fuse was there held in by a tamped plug of wax prills. Not even any tissue paper twisted around it. Just weird blue plastic fuse (I thought) that I later learned was Plastic Igniter Cord and ended up using reels of the stuff when I got into display work later in life.

    Those earlier labels look bloody lovely. Oh garden fireworks back in the day. They just aren't the same!
  9. Firefiend

    Firefiend Supports UKFR

    Got the box but I've never found any of their caps!
    Astra Box - Toy Pistol Caps.jpg
    jww, spectrum, TerenceFawkes and 2 others like this.
  10. what is it jay ?
  11. A 1989 Astra Size T box in a display case from an old fireworks showroom
    Bazza likes this.
  12. Firefiend

    Firefiend Supports UKFR

    A few more Astra bits from my collection. They were one of my favourite brands too...
    Astra Box - A Selection (1).jpg Astra Box - Size D (1).jpg Astra Box - Size F (1).jpg Astra Box - Gunpowder Plot - Indoor Fireworks.jpg Astra Fireworks - Sparklers - Baby - (4'').jpg Astra Fireworks - Floodlight (1).jpg Astra Fireworks - Crackling Cauldron.jpg Astra Fireworks - Red Torch.jpg Astra Fireworks - Thunder Banger - 12 in a Box.jpg Astra Poster - Wise Guys Buy Astra Fireworks.jpg Astra Box - Hallowe'en - Indoor Fireworks.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  13. Mystic Juggler

    Mystic Juggler Supports UKFR

    Hi i am new to the forum and just reading old posts, there is great information on here. This post has been a help in that i have had for a long time the Astra jet rocket, i thought though that is might have been a prototype though because of it's metal body but your image here shows they did sell them. so thanks for posting that. Here is my collage of nos labels i did years ago of Astra's 80's/90's selection. somewhere i have the tapes for the various wheels they produced at the time as well.

    Attached Files:

    Damonfdk, Sparkler and Firefiend like this.
  14. Jamie Thornton

    Jamie Thornton Supports UKFR

    No, those astra metal rockets came out in 1988, I remember having them, so yes they were real, they came in a pack of three as I recall.
    Firefiend likes this.
  15. I think they were German made if i remember rightly, Astra had a whole range made by Comet Fireworks, i tried to get them all, they were all in packs of three.
  16. According to the pack I have, they’re English made. ADB5CBCC-E638-48BF-837D-9FD31C0CD4C9.jpeg 97A9B2E3-72E0-4C8F-BCA9-FB544CEA09FA.jpeg
  17. Jamie Thornton

    Jamie Thornton Supports UKFR

    Think the ones I got had black match fuse, think they would've possibly taken the idea of the metal body from the german manufacturers as most of the German rockets had the metal motors.
  18. Escht

    Escht Supports UKFR

    Here is another one of those shop display cases, contents are all live ........... looking for a new home if anyone is interested in it

  19. I mentioned in an old post these were the labels that were designed by Appleby Case, in my view they went dowhill artistically - they scram 1980's but maybe that wil mean something for some collectors and enthusiasts. An interesting point to make is the Laser Torch arrangement. The old chap responsible for firework design was always keen to save a shilling here and there - that's why the fireworks were so awful really, the mixes were diluted with sawdust!. This firework used to be spread out in a fan with the tubes connected with a length of plastic igniter cord. He did the sums and worked out how much igniter cord we needed for a seasons production then turned them in to meet just to drop the igniter cord - the effect in theory being unchanged. I remember him coming into our lab and explaining the change with pride, justifying it with an estimate of the cost saving. Originally he was looking to staple the touchpapers together, can't remember how they did it in the end (that would have been dangerous). There were other fans we made that I though had the same treatment.
    Sparkler likes this.