A New Beginning
A New Beginning
It’s an emotional yet exciting time for Standard and Black Cat Fireworks. Earlier this month, we closed the doors of our distribution site in Huddersfield, which has been home to Standard Fireworks for 113 years.
Established in 1891, Standard Fireworks was the brainchild of Yorkshire wholesale draper James Greenhalgh. Always the entrepreneur, Greenhalgh had seen that there was money to be made selling fireworks through his drapery business in the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night. The fireworks were mainly made by outworkers, usually local coal miners supplementing their income. Supplies for the fireworks were also brought from China by sea and arrived in Huddersfield by barge.
Continued success led to the birth of a fireworks manufacturing business. In 1905, the business relocated to the Crosland Hill site in Huddersfield where it covered over 100 acres! Initially an old stone quarry, the site provided the space required for making fireworks and had purpose-built gunpowder stores used previously in the quarrying business. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Standard Fireworks become a major employer in the Yorkshire region with a 500 strong workforce.
1998 saw the purchase of Standard Fireworks by Li & Fung, becoming part of Black Cat Fireworks, part of the largest manufacturer of fireworks in the world, and moving all firework production to China. Since 1998, the Huddersfield site was the UK headquarters for Black Cat Fireworks UK, and the team coordinated the sales, logistics, warehousing, technical data, marketing and design from the on-site office. Over the years, the team have worked tirelessly to ensure that Standard Fireworks remains the leading family favourite firework brand in the UK and have developed the Black Cat Fireworks brand to be amongst the best firework brands in the UK Independent sales market.
As we say our goodbyes to our Crosland Hill site, the team now looks forward to a bright future ahead. Our new 50,000 square foot warehousing premises at Dunnington, York provides 7 interconnected warehouse buildings and will serve as the facility for all future distribution. Following the successful process of site licencing and assent, all stock and equipment has already been transferred to the new site in York.
To celebrate this huge moment in the history of the business and our significant history at the Crosland Hill site, the Fireworks team held a party for all staff and their families on Thursday, April 27. In true Standard and Black Cat style, they had to go out with a bang!
There was food, drinks, laughter, history and… we couldn’t forget the fireworks!
It was amazing to see colleagues and their families across different generations come together to share memories and to look forward to a bright new future.
Keep an eye on our social media sites or sign up to receive our email newsletter to keep up to date with our latest news. Planning is ongoing to find a location for a Factory Shop in the Huddersfield area in time for Bonfire Night!