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In this film you will watch and learn how the friendly folk of the firework factory make bangers, roman candles, and star-bursting rockets. The action takes place to the music of George Frideric Handel's Royal Firework suite.

The factory we visit specialises in the monstrously huge fireworks you tend to see only at public displays. These are handmade by a team of very dedicated, and very careful old men, with nervous trembling hands.

Production was started by a retired chemistry teacher, whose fascination with fireworks began as a hobby in his wife's kitchen. However, the poor lady soon got fed up with exploding cupcakes, and her husband was forced to submit to the numerous safety regulations, and open up a factory.

As well as watching the extraordinary way in which gunpowder is made, and learning about the vital part that Bishop's wee-wee once played in its marketing, you will be treated to an introduction to the firework factory dog! Around and about the grounds there are great mounds of earth, designed to protect people from accidental explosions. Rabbits must not be allowed to burrow into the mounds, for that would weaken them. The dog's special job is to scare the rabbits away - for, loveable though they are, they are the sworn enemy of the firework maker.

After a fascinating look at the way all the different kinds of firework are made, using such diverse tools as plastic bags, hammers, and cement mixers, it's time to watch one of the most impressive public displays in the world. Before a crowd of thousands, the annual firework makers' competition on Plymouth Hoe gives firework fanatics a chance to enjoy the very best in controlled explosions. A wonderful treat for Plymouth, and a joy for us all.

Duration: 6:58

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This film is also available on the DVD:
'The Magic of Making - Volume 4'.