Meet the Merlin Fireworks Team
Andrew Goodwin started his career in the pyrotechnic industry in 1984 assisting display crews in the setting up and firing of displays. In 1988 Andrew became part of the full time staff at Pains Fireworks and on leaving them in 1998 joined Merlin Fireworks.
Merlin Fireworks is now managed by Andrew. His organisational expertise and eye for detail are crucial for the day to day running of the company and all the different elements essential for Merlin Fireworks to create spectacular presentations. Andrew thoroughly enjoys the preparation and firing of displays and can often be found working out on site with the rest of the team.
Andrew has designed and presented hundreds of displays throughout the UK for Celebrations and events of all types and Internationally has worked on displays in Nigeria, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Kuwait, Oman, Hong Kong, China, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Andrew is a BPA Qualified Senior Firer and Trainer and holds a European ADR licence to drive vehicles carrying explosives. He also has an IPAF qualification to operate Scissor Lifts and Booms giving a new dimension to display elevation!
A founder member of Merlin Fireworks, Jon Webb has been designing and firing displays professionally since 1990 and he now sits on the Management Committee of the British Pyrotechnists Association. (BPA)
Among Jon's most memorable displays are the World Firework Championships held in Oman, The Montreal International Fireworks Competition, celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Liberation in Kuwait, the Opening Ceremonies for European Capital of Culture, New Year's Eve firing from the top of the Canary Wharf Tower and a dazzling show for the FA Cup Final held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Jon has presented a number of high profile, high impact multimedia displays for corporate clients including product launches, new property developments, vehicle launches and the spectacular Southampton launch of the World's largest Cruise Ship's for Royal Caribbean.
Jon has extensive knowledge of multimedia systems and often works alongside entertainment professionals from laser, lighting, sound, film and broadcast companies, adding an extra dimension to many of Merlin Firework's displays.
Jon is a BPA qualified Senior Firer and holds a European ADR Licence permitting him to drive vehicles carrying Fireworks and Explosives.
Robert Denman's experience of firing professional firework displays proved invaluable when founding Merlin Fireworks Limited in 1998. While constantly looking for ways to improve the installation and safety of the displays he is adept at designing and creating bespoke structures to compliment a specific environment, a particular event or a designer's dream. Alongside Jon and Andrew he has fired hundreds of displays throughout UK and Internationally for events and celebrations of all kinds.
Launch of the World’s largest cruise ship for Royal Caribbean;
European Capital of Culture Opening & Closing Celebrations Cork 2005;
Celebrating the 800th Anniversary of Riga in Latvia;
Roof top display Cardiff’s Millennium Stadiumt;
Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day Skyfest;
The 10th Anniversary of Liberation of Kuwait;
London’s Millennium Eve on the River Thames;
Launching the Worlds largest Oil Exploration Rig for British Petroleum in Azerbaijan; and
For the BMG Entertainment convention held in Crete.
Robert is a member of the International Special Events Society; BPA qualified and holds a European ADR licence to drive vehicles carrying explosives. Robert is also one of Merlin's IPAF qualified Boom and Scissor Lift operators.
Pierre-Yves Angoujard joined French firework company Pirotecnia Féérie in 2000 and rapidly gained experience of firework display design. He has worked on some of France's most prestigious firework events such as the Nights of Fire Competition at Chantilly Castle and the Cannes International Firework Festival.
After a short visit to Merlin in November 2005 Pierre-Yves decided to return and work full time and we have kept him busy ever since!
Pyromusicals are Pierre-Yves' specialty, he has designed several musical displays with Merlin, most notably our International Competition displays for Oman and Canada. Never one to turn down a challenge, in 2006 he choreographed the exploding paint sequence for the Sony Bravia advert.
Pierre-Yves is BPA qualified as a Senior Firer and holds a European ADR licence to drive vehicles carrying explosives.
Andy Firkin has worked with Fireworks since 1991 when he joined Dragonfire and since then he has fired displays Nationally and Internationally, whether on land, on rooftops or floating barges, Andy has been there and done it! Andy joined the Merlin team on our acquisition of Dragonfire in 2009 and now manages our HSE licenced factory site in Herefordshire.
Andy is a BPA qualified Senior Firer and holds a European ADR licence to drive vehicles carrying Explosives.
Debra Samways started firing firework displays in 1987 and has been addicted since then! A former solicitor, she gave up law to join Merlins' full time staff in 2009. She has fired displays all over the UK and Internationally, is a BPA qualified Senior Firer and holds an ADR certificate to drive vehicles carrying Explosives.
Her display highlights include being on the Thames for Millennium Eve where she was the spotter on a barge outside the Houses of Parliament, working on large scale Irish Celebrations in Cork and in Dublin, several visits to the Valencian Festival of Fallas, and huge displays in the Middle East in Kuwait and Oman.
Deb is behind the camera at many of our displays that can be seen on our video page. She looks after much of the organisation of the Company and makes sure that our Crews are all in the right place at the right time.
Ben started working with fireworks in 2000 with Sandling Fireworks. He has worked for a time with Fotis in Australia and has traveled extensively to learn and to experience display work around the world.
After many years at Sandling we were delighted to have him join us at our Herefordshire factory base where he looks after our HSE licenced storage magazines from which he gathers the fireworks to be prepared for each of our displays.
Ben also looks after and maintains our electronic firing systems. His personal favourite is our Parente Firemaster system ( we think because he hates rolling the cables our other systems use!). Firemaster is a superb wireless system ideal for large multiple site shows such as the Jounieh Festival in Lebanon where fifty firing points are spread around Jounieh Bay.
Ben is a BPA qualified Senior Firer and he holds a European ADR licence to drive vehicles carrying Explosives.
Our Display Technicians
Keith is a professional firework technician in show production and rigging. He has worked with Sandling Fireworks and with Australia's Syd Howard Fireworks International before joining Merlin in 2000. Since joining Merlin, Keith has fired hundreds of displays at home and Internationally. Some of his display highlights include:
- Sydney Harbour Bridge for the Sydney Olympics – and several New Year's Eve Shows;
- Dublin, St Patricks Day 1999, 2000 and 2001;
- Australia Day, Sydney;
- Skyshows in Canberra, Brisbane and Wellington Oval;
- London Millennium Eve;
- Saudi Arabia – multiple Skyshows
- Royal Easter Show, Sydney;
- Latvia – 800th Anniversary of Riga; and
- Kuwait – 10th Anniversary of Liberation.
Keith Hill is a BPA qualified Senior Firer and holds a European ADR licence to drive vehicles carrying explosives.