Kate Wilkinson talks to Dan Gosselin about this year’s display
1) How much work does putting on the display entail?
I started working on the display back over Easter (some would call it revision procrastination), which is when we start talking to senior staff at Grey and Durham County Council to get approval for the display, this is where my (pretty long) risk assessment and health and safety work come in. From that comes sorting out security, first aid, safety equipment and more. Over the summer we finalise our fireworks order and start working on the music, and publicity (probably my favourite part). This leads us into term where I have just kept things ticking over, finding a committee, meetings and other things. And now I’ve reached the week before and we are busy timeline-ing the display and making sure everything is ready.
All in all it doesn’t seem like it takes up too much time, but then I did start over Easter!
2) How many people (students/professionals) are involved in it?
Fireworks is entirely done by students. A lot of the work is done by the “Fireworks Guru” who is in charge (that’s me…) and the “Vice-Guru”. We work with college staff to ensure it is safe, but set up and firing of the event is done by the Fireworks Committee, which is about 25 students from Grey.
3) How will this year’s Grey fireworks display compare to previous years?
I think every year each Guru tries something new. There will always be fireworks and music, but this year I think I’ve placed more focus on the music than usual and taken it in a different direction. Hopefully this work will pay off and everyone who watches the display will come away pleasantly surprised with what they’ve heard.
We also have more explosives this year than last year. That’s also pretty cool.
4) Why should people come?
Grey fireworks is the biggest public display set off in Durham, all set to great music and done by Durham students. Plus it’s free, but we do rely on donations to keep going so we suggest dropping £4 in one of our buckets to help us keep the event going!
5) If you were a firework which would you be? Why?
Such a hard question. I think I’d have to be a Single Ignition Firework, they’re the ones where you light one fuse and it sets off a series of different effects lasting from 30 seconds to about 2 minutes, because if I’ve done my job right I should just be able to start the show and it’ll just happen (with just a little help from my committee!). Wow. That was cheese-y.
Grey College Fireworks Display
8th November 2013, 19:00, Grey College, Durham
Image courtesy of Dan Gosselin