A service which helps the dead to go out with a bang is celebrating rocketing business.
Stanway-based Dynamic Fireworks gives grieving relatives the chance to scatter their loved ones’ ashes by blasting them skywards in an explosion of sound and light.
The unusual idea has proved so successful, it has formed a separate company, Heavenly Stars Fireworks, solely to look after it.
Boss Nigel Claydon said: “More people are gradually finding out about it and we are getting more orders all the time.
“In response to that, we have created the new company, which now handles it all for us.”
Heavenly Stars offers mourners a choice of fireworks to have cremated ashes packed inside.
There is the “Celebration of Life”, which soars to 100ft and produces two minutes’ worth of bangs and flashes, and the quieter “Eternal Stardust”, which emits gold and silver bursts of light.
Families can even buy a frame with giant letters spelling a farewell message, which can be lit at the same time as the firework and will burn and sparkle throughout the display.
The firm makes up the devices at its base on the Peartree Industrial Estate and sends them out by post all over the country at an all-inclusive cost of £249.99 for a single firework.
Tina Wilson, 42, of Stanford-le-Hope, used the services of Heavenly Stars to have husband Paul’s ashes put inside a firework. The 47-year-old died unexpectedly in May.
Tina will set off the firework at a farewell party for Paul on November 6. She said it would be worth every penny. She added: “Paul always really enjoyed fireworks night as a kid. When he worked at the Ministry of Defence he was always blowing things up at work too, so it’s quite fitting.
“We spoke about doing this with his ashes before he died. He loved the idea.”