Core Team

Tom Ferneyhough

Production Manager

Biography

I wear two hats (both fireproof).

Firstly, my job is to help develop the fireworks business side of Walk the Plank by promoting our pyrotechnics skills and artistry to potential clients and new market sectors.

Secondly, I help with the safe running of our fireworks preparation facility, making sure that the fireworks for all our winter season of shows are safely fused and lined up ready for each production.

Blame it all on Richard Babbington

My good and long-time friend Richard Babbington, a well-known pyro technician who had been head hunted by Walk the Plank, gave me the heads up that Walk the Plank were looking for trainee pyrotechnicians. He warned me that it would be cold and wet working outdoors, but seeing as I was already working in this area I was ready for the wind and the rain. All I wanted to do was starting working on some of Walk the Plank shows.

The Return of Colmcille show in Derry 2013 included pyro on every scale imaginable and was a pivotal moment for me. I co-led on the preparation of all the fireworks with Carrie English, one of our expert pyrotechnicians, and learnt an incredible amount from her. The logistics of getting purto to all the right places in Derry for our grand finale show was insane. On site I led the team rigging all of our largest aerial fireworks and was the biggest display I’ve worked on. Truly epic. It was very satisfying to see it go offer successfully, and even more rewarding when The Return of Colmcille won Best Outdoor Event in the 2014 Event awards.

My specialism

Quite simply fireworks. I’ve been working as a pyrotechnician for Walk the Plank since 2009, starting as a trainee fuser and picking up a broad range of skills.

What attracted me to Walk the Plank?

I don’t think I chose the role – the role chose me. That said, it’s been a great journey so far learning so many different techniques – and a challenge too. It doesn’t feel like work, which is a good sign. Working here I can see that Walk the Plank is committed to providing the best shows it can at every level.

What do I get up to outside work?

Aside from enjoying getting into the technical challenges I face at work, I like reading about technology and philosophy of technology and tinkering with electronics (often taking things apart never to return to their original state!) I am a keen cyclist – but only when it’s sunny -and enjoy walks in the great outdoors. Oh and of course people watching is a great sport.

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