It feels kind of wrong to be writing about fireworks when it’s not even November yet. Bonfire Night is one of my favourite nights of the year, primarily because it brings back happy childhood memories, but also because I absolutely love cold, dark winter nights – especially when they’re lit up by fireworks and bonfires (or pumpkin lanterns, Christmas lights, etc). So when I saw the Ragley Hall Firework Champions 2017 event advertised on a roadside poster, I couldn’t resist. I often drive up the A46 and see Ragley Hall floodlit at night, but this was the first time I’d seen it up close in the dark. It looks a bit like the White House, don’t you think?
The premise of the evening is that there are three firework displays masterminded by three separate professional teams. Having seen all three displays, there is voting on the best one, followed by another firework display put on by the organisers of the event, and finally the announcement of the winner. With a funfair and some excellent catering options, there was a good atmosphere in the run-up to the start of the displays. Some people had even brought gazebos and set up tables in them, and were sitting in them feasting away with family and friends, surrounded by candles and fairy lights. We admired their dedication, particularly as we had merely grabbed a McDonald’s on the way!
The displays were launched down by the lake, producing some lovely silhouetted trees and reflections in the water.
It was quite interesting to see the different approaches taken by each team, and the differences in how well they had managed to set the displays to music, build up tension, and use different fireworks to create different moods and effects. I particularly loved this rainbow from the winning team.
I have never seen fireworks like these ones before – so many different colours. This, again, was from the winning team, whose display was considerably better than the other two (though they were all amazing!).
The event was a great test for my new-this-year Olympus Pen camera, which turns out to be great for night photography. I didn’t use a tripod for any of these photos, but they came out a million times better than they would’ve done on the iPhone.
It felt a little premature to be watching firework displays on a comparatively mild September night, but it was a great evening and we’ll definitely be going again next year. I’m looking forward to Bonfire Night even more now!