Number Plate Stories
Fantastic Fireworks' celebrations guaranteed to go with a bang!
By Ruby Speechley
One of the UK’s leading professional firework display companies, celebrates its 21 st birthday in 2006. Luton based Fantastic Fireworks began as a childhood dream for managing director, Jon Culverhouse. Bonfire Night was always a big occasion for his Buckinghamshire based family. “I used to love going down to the local shops in Chesham to choose fireworks with my mum. I’ve never forgotten buying a huge rocket for seven shillings and sixpence. It’s only about 40p in today’s money, but back in 1960 it was a huge amount,” said Jon, “I soon progressed to making my own fireworks from formulas I found in the family Encyclopaedia. I’d mix the ingredients up in the garden shed with varying degrees of success.”
By 1983, Jon was a journalist on the sports desk at the Daily Mail, but it was a chance shopping trip that sparked off his interest in fireworks again, and set him on a very different career path.
“I was browsing round a toy shop in Harpenden, Hertfordshire when I saw some interesting German rockets that I’d never seen before. I bought a few and let them off in the garden. They were great, taking off with a huge, ear-piercing shriek. I tracked down the importer and wrote a few paragraphs for the news page of the paper about how he was trying to break into a market dominated by English household names like Standard, Astra and Brocks.