The sky’s the limit
Kimbolton Fireworks is one of the largest companies in the UK that provides firework displays and products to businesses and individuals including Tate Britain, the Civil Aviation Authority, Clydesdale Bank and BAE Systems. It has provided displays for the handover of Hong Kong to China, the annual displays at Legoland, the launch of the latest Harry Potter film and the 50th anniversary of VJ Day in London.
They are also the last remaining manufacturer of large display fireworks from raw materials in the UK.
One might expect, therefore, that the etail store at kimboltonfireworks.co.uk is the ideal place for every pyrotechnic need. And one would be right, as the site encompasses everything needed to create a highly professional-looking display yourself.
The new online store offers free shipping for orders over £325, which should not be impossible to achieve as the cheapest fireworks start at £67 for the Steel Rainbow, according to the advanced search feature on the site.
The product descriptions throughout the site are impressively thorough, with a description of the shape ("C" shape, "V" shape etc), the duration of the effect in seconds, a close-up of the product's packaging and a description of the product's effect.
However, to a firework novice like myself these descriptions don't reveal much. The Royal Tornado, for example, is described as a "Vertical firing aerial display comprising crackling, silver whirl, red, silver and blue comet stars changing to a whistle and silver salute finale". This sort of made sense, but the description of the Sandstorm, "Vertical firing aerial display comprising golden rain and crackling comets, changing to midnight snow and golden coconut bombards with silver tails and silver salute finale", meant almost nothing to me. I was seriously considering offering a prize for whoever could guess what a "golden coconut bombard" was. In addition, the product names such as Lake of Sapphires, Starmine Fiesta and Midnight Masquerade are promising but inscrutable.
Luckily, as a final flourish the site includes a video showing the firework in action. This is a feature that many competitor websites do not include, rather frustratingly for the consumer, but it gives Kimbolton a distinct advantage over its rivals in the sector.
Apart from the pyrotechnic goodies on offer, available singly or in packs, Kimbolton also provides accessories such as glowsticks and wax torches, safety gear and even "Firework Crew" polo shirts and caps to add a professional touch, no matter the size of your display.
As well as the helpful videos demonstrating the awesomeness of the products, the site includes a wealth of essential information on the different types of firework, from rockets to roman candles to lancework.
If you're really serious about your display - and if you're on this site then you clearly are - there is a page that tells you how the various firework packs compare to each other in terms of height and duration in seconds. Along with tips on how to present the display and suggestions on the firing order, this allows you to use the products in combination for larger displays.
There is also a page detailing a typical site layout, with minimum safety distances and tips for a safe display.
The only fault that I could count against the site is that the store checkout has a habit of crashing when accessed through Safari on a Mac. However, Kimbolton are aware of this and display a warning on the homepage of the shop to this effect.
In all, if you are serious about impressing, or irritating depending on your relationship, your neighbours this bonfire night, this is one of the best looking and thorough websites available in this country.