Core Team

Sammy Samkin

Fireworks Operations Manager / Project Director

I’ve been working in the outdoor events industry for 34 years, 14 of which have been at Walk the Plank during which time I’ve worked on a wide range of fascinating shows.  In 2012, I was seconded to work as Fireworks Production Manager for the London Olympics and Paralympics which was as exciting as it was challenging – and a fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity to bring my experience to such an iconic event.

People often think firework shows only happen on Bonfire Night (Nov 5) and New Year’s Eve, but we work on creating displays all year round.  From the opening of new buildings to important historic celebrations, our displays are designed to do more than just light up the sky.  Here at Walk the Plank we use fireworks to tell a story, often linked to a creative soundtrack.

Firework Firsts

I’ve been involved in quite a few firework ‘firsts’, including the first ever firework show fire from railway trucks pulled by the Flying Scotsman across the Tay Bridge; and the first time fireworks were ever allowed at the Pyramids in Geeza for a Shirley Bassey concert.

What attracted me to Walk the Plank?

Glitz and glamour aside, what I really like about Walk the Plank is the way it engages with community-based projects.  They attract interesting and talented artists who come up with some truly incredible pieces of work.  So it’s great to be part of what they do.  I also like being part of the wider international firework community with its incredibly rich and diverse history and traditions.

My role is to lead our team of pyrotechnicians to work on a wide range of shows in different locations, both in the UK and internationally.  From fusing in our dedicated fusing sheds, to designing shows for clients, no two days (or indeed firework shows) are ever the same, which is why this is such a fascinating job.  It takes me and my team to interesting locations for a wide range of occasions.

What do I get up to outside work?

Away from Walk the Plank, I used to have a small café in north Thailand.  I love cooking and also learned the fine art of traditional Thai massage while I was living out there. My other passion is Chelsea FC for which I’ve dedicated 50 years to supporting.

What could I not live without?

I’m beginning to think it might be fireworks. ‘A Life up in smoke’ might be a great title for my autobiography.

Related Projects