Standard at War

Li & Fung

Introduction

The arrival of World War 2 in 1939 had serious consequences for fireworks manufactures. Magazines were full to capacity and the fireworks were prepared for distribution for Bonfire Night, however they had to remain there until the end of the war in Europe. This resulted in many financial problems such as insurance for storage, the need for more storage and creation of jobs for employees who had not been called up for war work. Standard Fireworks still made indoor fireworks and sold them for at least a season but also made blinds and lampshades out of black paper for the mandatory “blackout” for protection against aerial attack. The Ministry of Defence contracted Standard Fireworks to manufacture items such as practice ammunition, Very pistol stars, Thunderflash sticks and parachute flares.

Li & Fung

First World War

1914 saw a set-back to trade with the start of the First World War. The Greenhalgh entrepreneurial tradition came to the fore and soon production had been switched to munitions work. In 1919 came a national feeling of euphoria with the end of the war, and the post-war period saw the rejuvenation of the firework business. Despite the depression of the 20s, trade remained buoyant and was brisk until 1939

Second World War

The Second World War broke out in August 1939 and fireworks which had been produced throughout that year were put into storage. During the hostilities, production once again turned over to munitions work and the factory became an essential part of the war effort.

Li & Fung

Peace Time Expansion

1945 once again saw peace and during the run up to 5th November, the pre-war fireworks were brought out to light up the sky in the first bonfire night celebration for six years, interestingly, none the worse for their period of storage. The post-war years brought further expansion and factories were set up in the mining towns of South Elsmall and South Kirkby where there was an ample and excellent labour force available.