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BPS Providing Home For Amateur Firework Makers


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#76 The_Djinn

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 11:09 PM

Okay, following on from initial info on this thread and from the LabPak thread, our first main hurdle to get the ball rolling is to find land. It appears that no one on the forum is a farmer otherwise land would not be an issue.
I know we are spread around the country but I am sure if we can get this first club up and running it will ease the way with getting other opened in other regions.

If everyone could ask around, whether it is closed military base or farmers field we need land ( as far away from houses and any other structure as possible and from public roads ). I have heard of various clubs that have managed to lease land from closed military basis for various things and at next to nothing. Another good thing about military basis is they tend to have secure buildings which may meet requirements for storage and other structures on the site could be used for manufacture hense there would be no need for building, renting / leasing porta cabins or shipping containers.

With farms, best to approach farmers that do not have live stock as they may be worried about the animals with any of the noise from testing devices.

Living just outside Peterborough, I will put my feelers out as there is an abundance of closed military fields and farms around here. I know that this may be a distance from some of you but Peterborough is quite central in the country with easy access by rail and road. This does not mean that this is the location, but I can only look in the area around me and it is up to everyone else out ther that wants to make this work to do the same.

Once we have found a site we can then look at the next hurdle but lets take it one step at a time.

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#77 Stuart

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 07:20 AM

I know a guy who owns thousands of acres in North Wales.

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#78 The_Djinn

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 09:13 AM

It is one thing knowing someone, but would they be willing to donate / rent / lease us a bit of land for the purpose that we require ?

I have asked BigG who originaly communicated with HSE to post the basic requirements with regards to distances from public structures / roads and distances between buildings on the site so that we can get an idea of the area we would require.

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#79 BigG

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 09:58 AM

It is one thing knowing someone, but would they be willing to donate / rent / lease us a bit of land for the purpose that we require ?

I have asked BigG who originaly communicated with HSE to post the basic requirements with regards to distances from public structures / roads and distances between buildings on the site so that we can get an idea of the area we would require.

Mark

I will do so in the weekend. It’s too busy this time of the year. Note that there is a BIG difference between the requirements of the a club or of an individual. An individual – providing that he/she do not use chlorates or ammonium perchlorate, would probably find an area of 50square meters sufficient to start with (In reality, a much smaller area is needed – but the problem is that the distances are not only from the storage to construction but also to the next road or closest dwellings…)

Anyway, I’ll try to give much more information during the weekend.

#80 lord_dranack

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 12:16 PM

I know this is quite a long shot, but I heard on radio 4 this morning that the BBC are running a competition where people say a new (sensible, thought out)law they would like to introduce, and the winner will actualy get I put befor parliament. A friendly MP is going to introduce it as a private members bill in the new year. Perhaps this could be useful? (I'll try and find out more)

#81 The_Djinn

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 09:53 AM

Currently I have over a 1000 pages of documentation from HSE and other authorities sitting on my desk. I have been looking into what it will take to get the amateur scene recognised / legalised. Looking at some of the documents and some of the exceptions that are made there may be a chance that this goal can be achieved.
A lot of what it will boil down to is coming up with a structure and guidelines that will satisfy both local authorities and HSE and the main issue does not appear to be related to storage but more related to manufacture.

Due to the fact that various exceptions are made for other hobbies due to small quantities used of various items, this could be a gateway for us.
We may find that due to the fact nothing is manufactured in large quantities and is for our own personal use and not for sale that we may also fall within the bounds of one of the HSE exceptions.

No, this does not mean that we would be ably to go mad and start producing anything and everything, but it may allow us (with the correct licensing) to mix up small quantities of formulas and complete a few devices within certain standards and a maximum overall weight of mixed formula and devices present at any one point in time. And unfortunately there does not appear to be any exclusions when it comes to age which currently is 18 years old (manufacturing, 18 years old accompanied by 21 year old) but lets see what happens.

I personally think the way forward is to put a proposal to HSE based on the current laws, guidelines and exceptions and then negotiate from that point until we can come to common ground and reach a conclusion that would satisfy both the amateur pyro enthusiast and the authorities alike.

Due to the fact that it is almost Xmas, nothing more will be pursued with the authorities until early 2004.
I will keep you all informed of my endeavours.
Any positive feed back and info is greatly appreciated.

Mark
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#82 BigG

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 12:20 PM

1000 pages!?!?! WOW! I got all the documents I think I need, and I have about 150 only?

Okay ? this letter is going to be quite lengthy ? IT covers the 1875 explosive act instructions and the clarification document by the HSE from 2003. Please note, it does not cover amendments to the law from 1923 or 1996 ? which apparently make things harder for us. I ask members to comment on this ONLY if the read the proper law and understood it ? or otherwise there will be just a lot of misinformation running around.

This post deals with license requirement by the law. Other on different subjects will follow:

1 ? Registration procedure

Creating a factory to manufacture explosive (also low explosive such as black powder), require a factory. Such factory must be licensed. The license procedure involve three authorities:

1.1 First, the secretary of state must approve the building of the factory (see later for exempts). This after reviewing the drawing for the site (see future posts for distances and drawings) ? he may allow the organization or an individual to proceed with an application.

1.2 Second ? the local authority must approve the building for use of storing explosives. This involves review of the site ? and allowing members of the public living in the area to state their objections.

1.3 Third ? although not directly a part of the law ? the HSE must approve safety regulation for the structures, location and practices in the site. This is a part of a requirement to allow government to ?administrate the law? on explosive sites.

2 - exempts

The law states that: The manufacture of gunpowder shall not, nor shall any process of such manufacture, be carried on except at a factory for gunpowder either lawfully existing or licensed for the same under this Act .

Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to the making of a small quantity of gunpowder for the purpose of chemical experiment and not for practical use or for sale.

If any person manufactures gunpowder or carries on any process of such manufacture at any place at which he is not allowed by this section so to do, he shall be deemed to manufacture gunpowder at an unauthorised place. Where gunpowder is manufactured at an unauthorised place the person so manufacturing is guilty of an offence.

2.1 ? The definition for the word small is not given ? but the HSE clarify it to be no more then a few ounces or the minimum required for the experiment in question ? still leaving some ground to argue the word small. 300grams is probably too much.

2.2 ? The HSE sites specifically: It is doubtful whether any ammunition or firework could be held to be manufactured for chemical experiment, though the composition for such explosives might be manufactured under this exemption. Yes ? this means it is legal to mix small amount of composition to test its qualities ? but not to place it inside a firework. The HSE will still probably except the placement of some composition in confinement to see how they behave ? but the ?testing of many configuration? to see the change in effect is considered a ?trial? and is an offence.

2.3 ? The occupier of a small firework factory shell not be required to obtain a license under part one of this act for such factory if he has obtained a license from the local authority under this part of the act. ? This is a most important point. It seem like one does not have to obtain a license to a manufacture site if he is a small firework factory. This basically means you skip 1.1 ? but still require obtaining a license from the local authority and standing the HSE regulation. Small is actually a good size ? up to 250 kilos of chemicals, compositions and finished or partly finished items. However ? small site seem also to refer to very few people on the site ? as a single person must be responsible for it.

The HSE completely ignore the point in his clarification document ? so it might be discovered later that this section was mended. This also suggest it might be easier for an individual to register a site rather then a full group :(

BigG

#83 The_Djinn

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 03:38 PM

2.1 ? The definition for the word small is not given ? but the HSE clarify it to be no more then a few ounces or the minimum required for the experiment in question ? still leaving some ground to argue the word small. 300grams is probably too much.


Explosives act 1875 (38 Vict. c. 17) Ammended 1923 (13 and 14 Geo.5 Ch. 17)

Section 4 (g) No definition of the word "small" is given, but obviously this has relation to the only purpose for which, explosives may be manufactured under this proviso, viz:- For chemical experiment, for which purpose not more than a few ounces would generally be requiered. If larger quantities are manufactured, the onus lies on the person manufacturing to show that the amount is not more than requiered for the purpose.[/

Most amature pyros dont tend to mix up a mass amount but tend to make up requiered amounts of composition to suit the project that he / she is currently working on.

Most sections are open to interpretation and it does state within some of the areas that certain cases have to be dealt with on a case by case view.
Hence the concept of putting together a draft proposal by utilising areas from existing legislation and exeptions combined with our own input.
The idea is to come up with a sollution that will keep everyone happy and hopefully avoid major setup costs that would be requiered for a full blown fireworks factory as we would then cross over the threshold from Amateur to proffesional to warrant the costs.
At the end of the day it will boil down to us satisfying those concerned that this would be easily policed and would provide a safer way forward by having controls in place over the hobby rather than than secretive operations going on behind closed doors.
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#84 BigG

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 10:10 PM

Please note 2.2 from my previous post. It does not matter how much you make, if it?s for fireworks ? its doubtful that it can be called a ?chemical experiment?. I actually asked the HSE if we can get away with minimal mixing and they basically explained that this will be a nightmare to supervise and they are most likely to still ask to get our building for approval as explosive storage. Under that, together with the small firework factory, you don?t need a full-blown factory license.

Of course, I do agree that it?s all open to interpolation, and we can negotiate a lot ? but I was made to understand that even with a minimal set-up, we will need the authority to approve us and our site to provide required protection to the area around us. Some fireworks weight easily a 3-4 pound ? and that packs a lot of explosives.

#85 tajmiester

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 10:04 PM

On the subject of insurance rather than factories for a moment. What sort of insurance will we need to cover the clubs members? Will we declare the club as a sort of pyrotechnic business? I was just thinking I know someone who is a pyrotechnition and his business covers him, allowing him to buy cat 4 fireworks, do public displays and presumably buy things like viscso etc... What sort of insurance will we require for all this and the manufacture of fireworks? Surely a good start toward a club would be a club that met, used consumer and cat 4 fireworks and met up for joint displays etc... I know its not the same as making and launching your own creations but it might be a start. It would be similar to the high power rocketry clubs and might generate some capital to be put towards a club centre will a factory license.

Tris

#86 The_Djinn

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 01:35 PM

Tris,

The insurance will depend on which way BPS proceeds. At the moment there is a few things floating around in the pipeline behind the scenes which once some structure been put into it, it will be posted on the forum for discussion. As you say, the UKRA guys are covered as UKRA is a branch of BMFA hence all members are covered for 3rd party and public liability up to a few million quid by the umbrella organisation for a very nominal annual fee.

The idea of a BPS Display firing team is a possibility no matter which we proceed whether the team would fire purely for BPS or be available for other companies who from time to time might find themselves short handed and require a couple of individuals to buffer up one of there own teams even if it is just to assist during set up or whatever. Obviously all members on the firing team would need to be accredited and complete any relevant examinations / courses pertaining to the industry.

Possibly Richard has some thoughts on this ?

Mark
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#87 Arthur Brown

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 09:56 AM

OK, I've found a willing farmer in Leicestershire, any interest?

Separately, if anyone is near Alconbury, The airfield is up for rent as units and they poss had charge-dumps for their RAF purposes -- could anyone find who is the agent. Seems as if there is a ready made factory and store complete with earth embanked buildings.

OK the word filter doesnt like me The RAF may have stored TONs of HE so perhaps we could get a licence to store a few kilos of pretty pyro.

Edited by Arthur Brown, 16 May 2004 - 10:03 AM.

http://www.movember.com/uk/home/

Keep mannequins and watermelons away from fireworks..they always get hurt..

#88 spawned

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 09:59 AM

Leicestershire? i would be very interested i mean it cant be that far away this is the UK after all. :D
HHHHEEEEEEEEERRRRRRREEEES JOHNNY!!

#89 Richard H

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 10:33 AM

That sounds very interesting Arthur. I know that one firework company actually stores a large amount of pyro at Alconbury already.

More about Alconbury:
http://www.bunkertou...f_alconbury.htm

#90 spawned

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 10:36 AM

Could it be Kimbolton?
HHHHEEEEEEEEERRRRRRREEEES JOHNNY!!




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