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W. Harbot fireworks Leicester


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#1 Rip Rap

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:47 PM

Can anyone shed any light on the firework company W.Harbot of Leicester?

When did they start producing and for how long?

I have recently acquired 3 W. Harbot bangers like these - 1 2 3 so just wanting to find out more about the company.

Thank you for any info.

Edited by Rip Rap, 11 May 2011 - 08:17 PM.

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#2 Firefiend

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:16 PM

Hi Rip Rap

Nice find. I've found information about most firework companies but never this one. I do have one picture to add though.

W. Harbot & Co. - Spitfire

#3 Rip Rap

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:23 PM

Cheers Firefiend - at least I know they made more than bangers! ;)

They obviously liked red touch paper. The banger tubes have crimped and wax dipped ends (under the labels) instead of plugs or clay.
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#4 crystal palace fireworks

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:01 PM

Yep nice find Rip Rap, to be honest I ve never heard of them, but you might like to try and make some enquiries with the Leicestershire Industrial History Society.

http://www.lihs.org.uk/

#5 Rip Rap

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:02 AM

Yep nice find Rip Rap, to be honest I ve never heard of them, but you might like to try and make some enquiries with the Leicestershire Industrial History Society.

http://www.lihs.org.uk/


Thanks. I have contacted lihs.org.uk - no reply yet.

I also contacted Steve of http://www.fireworkmuseum.co.uk/ . He could shed no light on W. Harbot & suggested that I contact John Bennett of http://www.fireworks-mag.org/

Amazingly, even John Bennett knows as little as the rest of us about Harbot fireworks. However, he has very kindly said that he will print the email which I sent him in issue 60 of "Fireworks", in the hope that one of the readership may be able to give us some information about this illusive firework manufacturer.

Edited by Rip Rap, 13 May 2011 - 08:03 AM.

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#6 crystal palace fireworks

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 04:00 PM

Thanks. I have contacted lihs.org.uk - no reply yet.

I also contacted Steve of http://www.fireworkmuseum.co.uk/ . He could shed no light on W. Harbot & suggested that I contact John Bennett of http://www.fireworks-mag.org/

Amazingly, even John Bennett knows as little as the rest of us about Harbot fireworks. However, he has very kindly said that he will print the email which I sent him in issue 60 of "Fireworks", in the hope that one of the readership may be able to give us some information about this illusive firework manufacturer.


Might also be worth contacting Companies House to see if they were a limited company or look for the old online ordanance survey maps for the area.

Let us know how you get on!

#7 Firefiend

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 04:22 PM

I may have found a small lead when I was searching the web for various combinations of Harbot; Fireworks and Leicester and came across this:
Durham University Library Special Collections Catalogue

Part way down this huge page is:

Deposited personal collections
Parkinson scrapbook
Reference: UND/F6/H1
Dates of creation: 1951 - 1953 Scrapbook of Christine Wood's time as a student at Neville's Cross College 1951-1953 recording mainly her social life, but also occasional work activities in the form of programmes, invites, cards, letters, photos, newspaper cuttings, beer mats and two fireworks. Some of the items are captioned. Some other items are no longer present. There are also some notes of other social events attended. Apart from Christine Wood (later Parkinson), her friends featured are Valerie Dove (later Moffat), Lesley Smith (later Aynesley), Audrey Cree (later Bell) and Marjorie Smith (later Grant).

Item 64 is:

64. W. Harbot & Co Demo indoor firework.


Also:

63. Standard Roman Candle indoor firework.


It may be worth contacting Durham University to find out more but at least it looks like they also made indoor fireworks.

#8 Firefiend

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 05:49 PM

Just found another interesting W. Harbot item although picture quality is very poor:

W. Harbot & Co. Flying Saucer

I used to keep details of eBay firework sales until they became too frequent and had the sellers comments on this item roughly as:

'These are among the strangest fireworks I have in my collection and are very rare. Their origins still remain a mystery although they are British made and date from the late 50s. Made by W. Harbot & Co. of Leicester. They were recovered from an old shop in rural Northumberland a few years ago. Flying Saucer 3d is strangely tapered with instructions to "Tie string to the end and attach it to a washing line"!! The item would the spin presumably.'

Seems like it was a very unusual firework.

Edited by Firefiend, 13 May 2011 - 07:41 PM.


#9 crystal palace fireworks

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:36 PM

Just found another interesting W. Harbot item although ppicture quality is very poor:

W. Harbot & Co. Flying Saucer

I used to keep details of eBay firework sales until they became too frequent and had the sellers comments on this item roughly as:

'These are among the strangest fireworks I have in my collection and are very rare. Their origins still remain a mystery although they are British made and date from the late 50s. Made by W. Harbot & Co. of Leicester. They were recovered from an old shop in rural Northumberland a few years ago. Flying Saucer 3d is strangely tapered with instructions to "Tie string to the end and attach it to a washing line"!! The item would the spin presumably.'

Seems like it was a very unusual firework.


Facinating firefiend, I love this sort of unusual find & puzzle, and some good research there too!

But I can`t quite get my head around how it might work without seeing it up close, my limited guess is it would spin in a dangling cone shape motion come waterfall?

I would love to see the forum pyro experimenters have a go and make one!

#10 Firefiend

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:08 PM

Hi Crystal Palace Fireworks.

The Spitfire appears to be exactly the same shape and size as the Flying Saucer. The casing of the Spitfire is 147 mm long and tapers from a 6.5 mm top down to an 11.2 mm base. It was priced at 3d which points to the 1950's for a firework of this size.

As I have the Spitfire I thought I'd check the instructions which are Lay flat on ground. Light touch paper. Stand quickly away. Do not hold in hand. I can only think that this was a Squib or Flyer as they were referred to. I think that if the Flying Saucer was a Waterfall type firework than it must have had an entirely different filling to the Spitfire despite being exactly the same shape. If it did have the same filling as the Flying Saucer I would think it would have would have darted about all over the place if it were attached to a washing line by a string (and managed to stay attached!), as a squib is just like a rocket head.

Edited by Firefiend, 13 May 2011 - 08:10 PM.


#11 Firefiend

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 09:27 PM

Just found another possible lead. If you do a search on the Companies House website, apart from one dissolved building company, there is only one company which includes Harbot in it's name. Interestingly it was incorporated far back in 1936 and is still going! Even more interesting that it is in Leicestershire. I can't really tell what it does now from the entry but at some time in it's past it could have been the company we are looking for. Companies House

Companies House link to Harbot's Limited keeps timing out, so just search for the company itself on their WebCHeck service.

Edited by Firefiend, 15 May 2011 - 10:26 PM.


#12 crystal palace fireworks

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 07:11 AM

Thanks firefiend,

Yes it could very well be a wingless flyer/squib, perhaps the attachment to a washing line was in fact just a extra safety measure for containment given its unpredictability?

Unfortunately the companies house link you posted has timed out, if I get a chance I will look later!

#13 Firefiend

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 07:21 AM

Not sure what the problem is but I have updated the link and the company name is Harbot's Limited.

#14 Arthur Brown

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 08:57 AM

Well a simple google search yields three companies with Harbot names, two in Leicestershire and one in Preston Lancashire. None have obvious reference to fireworks, but any of them could be based on the company that once made fireworks or maybe not either! Maybe the Society would care to enquire whether ant of the current companies are related to the fireworks company?

http://ukdata.com/a-z/Ha-188.html gives several Harbot and Harbott companies.
http://www.movember.com/uk/home/

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

#15 dr thrust

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 11:03 PM

Thanks firefiend,

Yes it could very well be a wingless flyer/squib, perhaps the attachment to a washing line was in fact just a extra safety measure for containment given its unpredictability?

Unfortunately the companies house link you posted has timed out, if I get a chance I will look later!

in the back of my mind ive heard of this type of firework before ," fireworks on strings hanging from trees" is a quote somewhere ...
so ill stick my neck out and say its designed to be hung and fired




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