The last British-made fireworks with their distinctive blue touchpaper appeared around 1995 in Standard boxes. On this page we have added, for your nostalgia and enjoyment, a few images of the memorabilia that has been collected by firework enthusiast Martin Weselby. Although there used to be dozens of UK firework manufacturers, of which some brands live on, the rockets and Catherine wheels we buy nowadays are invariably produced in China.
Although fireworks have been around for centuries they first became more widely associated with Guy Fawkes' Night from soon after the Plot - as we know from the Diary of Samuel Pepys. Despite display audiences of the early nineteenth century not being able to witness colour in fireworks, displays would undoubtedly have left audiences with enduring memories. To this day people's chilhood memories of displays are rekindled when they see an old advertisement or firework packaging.
With the packaging and contents of fireworks being so beautiful, they must present something of a dilemma to enthusiasts – launching them invariably destroys the casing. There are, however, many enthusiasts who resist the temptation and collect vintage fireworks and memorabilia.
From beautiful pastel picture Postcards in the 1900s that were once used to promote the twice weekly displays that Brock’s mounted at Crystal Palace to the newspaper announcements in the Forties, that apologised to customers for having to turn to munitions production: ‘We’re working on the sterner pursuits of the war’ - a wide range of stunning memorabilia is being preserved to this day.
We hope you enjoy some of the images shown on this page. If you would like to know more about vintage fireworks and memorabilia or if you have some items that may be of interest to enthusiast Martin Weselby follow this link: Firework Ads