Cambridgeshire

Kimbolton Fireworks: Rev Ron Lancaster honoured with plaque

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe Reverend Ron Lancaster started out as a chemistry teacher

A vicar has been presented with a plaque in honour of his "services to pyrotechnics" over 50 years.

The Reverend Ron Lancaster, 82, who runs Kimbolton Fireworks in Cambridgeshire, received the plaque from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

The firework manufacturer created displays for the 2012 Olympics and London's New Year's Eve celebrations.

Mr Lancaster said he was both "surprised and delighted" by the award.

Founded in 1964, the Kimbolton-based pyrotechnics company has also been responsible for firework displays marking the Queen's Silver Jubilee and the Hong Kong handover in 1997.

'Pyrotechnic experiments'

Mr Lancaster said his "fascination" for fireworks and chemistry developed from his early years in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

He said he experimented with pyrotechnic devices and helped organise displays for the local community during World War II, at a time when fireworks were not readily available.

Mr Lancaster moved to Cambridgeshire in the 1960s to take the post of chaplain and chemistry teacher at Kimbolton School.

Image caption Mr Lancaster is known as the "master blaster pastor" by the Royal Society of Chemistry

In 1963 he began building fireworks in a small workshop and started Kimbolton Fireworks the following year.

He continued teaching at the school until retiring in 1988.

The plaque was presented to Mr Lancaster by members of the RSC following a talk and a fireworks show he gave to pupils at the school on Tuesday.

It was awarded for the vicar's "contribution to fireworks research, developments, professional displays and for services to the pyrotechnic industry for over 50 years", the plaque read.

Mr Lancaster said: "I was gobsmacked.

"My mind was full of the lecture and then suddenly to be faced with this delightful award - I was lost for words."

Edwin Silvester, from the RSC, said the organisation referred to Mr Lancaster as the "master blaster pastor" and the decision to award the plaque was taken because "fireworks are all about the chemistry".

The plaque will hang in Kimbolton School.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites