Fired his first professional show in 1999 and has successfully combined his love of music and fireworks ever since. Toby designed the Tower Bridge displays and managed the firing locations within the Olympic Park during London 2012. Most recently he designed Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the display on the River Clyde for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. A self-confessed perfectionist he has become the simulation software guru in the team.
Q&A with Toby Alloway
Favourite career moment to date?
I can’t single out one – every time you watch a show that you’ve designed and see it come to life exactly as you envisaged in such a rewarding feeling.
What do you most enjoy about your Job?
Having the opportunity to fire some once in a lifetime displays in such a range of incredible locations.
What aspect of your job do you least enjoy?
Our industry understandably involves a large amount of health and safety . Writing risk assessments is a necessary part of what we do but can get rather tedious!
Favourite Project to have worked on?
Although it was three years ago now – London 2012 is still fresh in my memory. Sitting at a desk in the middle of the Olympic Park waiting to fire 4 tonnes of fireworks across a mile of the river leading up to the Stadium was an incredible experience – the assault on the senses was something I will never forget.
Favourite photo from the Titanium Fireworks Portfolio?
I love this photo of the opening barrage of the display we did for the 500th Anniversary celebrations at Hampton Court Palace earlier this year. The colours are so vivid and complement the projection on the palace perfectly. The photo was also taken by my father which I am very proud of.
How would your colleagues describe working with you?
A reassuringly complex experience
What is one thing you absolutely will check off your “bucket” list?
Being brought up near the Wimbledon Tennis Club I have always wished I could play the game properly. I took a few lessons at school but music always took precedent. I would love to learn how to play one day – maybe I’ll have to take lessons at the same time as my kids and be an embarrassing dad!
If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
Back to the Grand Canyon. My fiancée and I went there for a couple of days a few years ago but weren’t prepared for the scale of it (naive I know). When we left we said we would have to return in the future for at least a week to properly venture inside it. I’m used to man-made wonders but the Canyon is one of those places where you realise that humans can’t compete with nature.
One of your proudest moments?
At 11 minutes past midnight on 1st January 2014 we had just simultaneously fired the two largest displays in the UK (London and Edinburgh), only 7 months after forming Titanium Fireworks. It was quite a feat to have scaled the company up from nothing in that timeframe to pull that off!