Championship display goes off with a bang

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A DAVENTRY firm has been crowned as Britain’s fireworks champions.

MLE Pyrotechnics, based on the town’s Royal Oak industrial estate, won the 2011 British Firework Championship, held in Plymouth last week.

The competition is seen as the biggest and best in the UK and involves teams producing a 10 minute display showcasing their very best work.

Mat Lawrence from MLE Pyrotechnics said the team worked hard to produce the display, which used many new effects that only their company can produce.

Using more than a tonne of explosives, the display was greeted with gasps, cheers and applause from tens of thousands of spectators positioned on a variety of vantage points along the coastline.

He said: “Our team of 14 people started work at 7am and finished around 5pm setting up and rigging the fireworks, for a firing at 9.45pm.

“The display contained more than 1,000 effects firing in 10 minutes and was controlled digitally using our FireByWire computer system.”

Thousands of people attended the event which took place on August 16 an 17.

The winning display was picked by a combination of a judging panel and votes from the huge crowds of people watching.

Second place went to a team from Worcestershire, while third place was taken by a team from Scotland.

Not only does MLE take the crown for this year, but the firm will now also be invited to take part in next year’s Champions of Champions competition.

The win also means the Daventry company will be representing the UK at the World Cup of pyrotechnical displays – the 23rd International Fireworks Contest, held in the Chinese territory of Macau next month.

MLE last won the British championships back in 2005, and that year also went on to compete in Macau.

More locally, the company organises displays and outdoor events such as the Firework Champions event held at Stanford Hall.

A video of MLE Pyrotechnic’s winning display in Plymouth can be found at the website www.britishfireworks.co.uk/bang/