Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Brocks Crystal Palace Fireworks

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of Sutton, Surrey (1922)

Ditto Address. Telephone: Sutton 2081-2. Cables: "Fireworks, Sutton". (1929)

[1] The oldest and most respected of the firework firms and one whose name is synonymous with the national and international face of the British firework industry.

Early 1700s: Brock's began life as the creation of John Brock; its first factory was located in Islington, London.

Passed through the control of several generations of the Brock family

1826 the company became world famous for presenting what would become forever known as Brock's Benefits, displays for the enjoyment of the common public, the first of which was fired on July 10, 1826

1865 onwards, Brock's displays became a regular attraction at the site of the Crystal Palace. The company was renamed C. T. Brock and Co's 'Crystal Palace' Fireworks, a name that lived on long after the famous glass and iron structure had gone.

1877 At the second attempt Charles Thomas Brock, pyrotechnicist, succeed in his application for a licence to establish a fireworks factory in South Norwood[2]

Brock's displays continued regularly, except between 1910 and 1920, until the Crystal Palace was completely destroyed by fire in 1936, an event which spelt the closure of this traditional and hugely popular firework institution.

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of World-renowned "Crystal Palace" Fireworks, Unique Christmas Crackers, Novel Popular Joke Bombs, Sports Goods, Strong Wooden Toys. Speciality - Toy Cricket Bats and Sets. (Stand No. F.26) [3]

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of the World-famous "Crystal Palace" Fireworks, Firework Displays in any part of the World, Sparklers, Indoor Fireworks, Firework Novelties and Christmas Crackers, Sports Goods, and Toy Cricket Bats and Sets. (Stand No. D.5) [4]

During their long existence the Brock's production site moved a number of times, initially to South Norwood, then to Sutton

Later moved to Hemel Hempstead

1971 final relocation to two factories, one in Sanquar, Dumfriesshire, Scotland and the other at Swaffham in Norfolk, remaining there until 1981.

1988 Standard Fireworks bought the old established Scottish-based Brock's Fireworks, and all firework production transferred to Yorkshire.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Firework Art Website
  2. The Times, Mar 12, 1877
  3. 1922 British Industries Fair p12
  4. 1929 British Industries Fair p29