Catherine Wheels – They don’t have to be torture!

Posted by Mark Neville on September 30, 2013 0 Comments

Now here’s a piece of interesting trivia.  The Catherine Wheel firework is named after the instrument of torture on which, legend has it, St. Catherine was due to be martyred, but which miraculously flew into pieces when she touched it.  Now I’ve had my ups and downs with wheels over the years but I’ve never had one fly into pieces before.

Like most pyro enthusiasts I’ve had the odd one that doesn’t turn, (nailed too tight), and the odd one that escapes the post, (nailed too loose), but the effect you can get from a Catherine Wheels is so different from most other fireworks that I always try and include one or two in my displays, particularly if it’s a garden display.

As a lot of you will already know my very favourite wheel is the Fiery Eye and with two of them placed about 10ft apart they provide a mesmerising, almost hypnotic effect.  Sadly, the factory in China that made these wheels has stopped production and no new stock was made this year so when they’re gone, they really are gone.  But don’t despair, although not as ‘trance inducing’ as its predecessor, the Ring of Fire wheel from Cosmic is a pretty decent replacement.

Fiery Eye

Fiery Eye £10

Low Noise
68 Seconds

Multiple colour changing wheel with black eye, blue eye and red eye effects. An excellent wheel and ideal when two are set off together to produce that pair of eyes effect

As I already mentioned, I like a good Catherine Wheel in a proper garden display and the Ferris Wheel from Astra has a decent duration, plenty of colour and good speed whilst Absolute’s ‘pack of three’ Reliant Wheels are terrific value and great fun. 

And whilst you might worry about the ‘it doesn’t spin and scorches the post’ syndrome’ or the ‘it span so fast it ended up on the ground’ syndrome Catherine Wheels really are a great addition to any display.  So next time you’re near our firework shop in Southampton, Hampshire, do call in and have a look at our lovely wheels, grab yourself some bargain fireworks and I promise you won’t be tortured.

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