Early in my career I became involved with the British Space Program through my work with Haley & Weller (Benwell Fireworks). In the early 1960s there was a need for accurate pyrotechnic delay units within the space vehicles. Much of this fundamental research gave me a practical and theoretical understanding of the nature of pyrotechnics. In particular, I was able to witness first hand the effects of pressure, vacuum, spin, and burning in inert atmospheres. In addition, and perhaps more importantly when applied to fireworks, the effects of changes in particle sizes of oxidizers and fuels, mixing procedures, granulation techniques, the effects of consolidation pressure and dwell time, variations in pressed density, and the effects of high and low temperatures on performance.

When this program concluded I became the Government approved chemist on site, and a Licentiate of the Royal Institute of Chemistry. I was responsible for leading a team of technicians involved in the routine chemical testing of components, chemicals, sub-assemblies, and every pyrotechnic mixture used in the production of military noise-makers, smokes and flares. When I moved into production, I was able to apply this solid technical knowledge to each stage of the production process. I spent many years manufacturing military pyrotechnics, fireworks, pistol caps, sparklers at Benwell until I moved to Canada in 1982 to work with Hands Fireworks. My technical background has been a major factor in the development of some of the interesting colours, effects and designs available today, and is the primary reason behind the excellent quality of our products.