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24 September 2014
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Fireworks over Plymouth, Photo: Rich van Rooijen
Fireworks over Plymouth (van Rooijen)

Rocket man sets record

By Ben Pascoe
A record breaking 56,000 firework rockets were launched simultaneously in a spectacular opening to the Plymouth based UK Fireworks Championships.

Plymouth's so-called rocket man is celebrating, after official confirmation that he set a world record by firing off more than 56,000 rockets in five seconds.

In a breathtaking opening to the second day of the National Firework Championships in Plymouth in August 2006, Plymouth University professor Roy Lowry successfully launched the rockets simultaneously.

Roy Lowry
Record breaker Roy Lowry

Professor Lowry co-ordinated an attempt to set off more than 40,000 rockets in five seconds to break the record previously held by Terry McDonald from Jersey.

The verification by the Guinness Book Of Records came two months later.

"We had  56,649 rockets loaded by 6pm and it took around two and a half hours to check them," said Prof Lowry.

"When we went back afterwards only four rockets were left. You don't have to be a great mathematician to work that out.

"I am really pleased that the attempt succeeded, not least for all those people who helped load the rockets or to count them, and the various sponsors. It was truly a team effort."

last updated: 02/11/06
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