Derek Kapowski and his fireworks stash for Southend Fireworks Pillock 2015.


Entries have been flooding in to the 2015 Southend Fireworks Pillock competition, with homes all over South Essex competing with each other for this prestigious crown. In an added twist to this year’s contest, every local winner will receive automatic qualification to December’s South Essex Christmas Light Berk Championships.

In order to score highly with the Southend Fireworks Pillock judges, entrants will receive points in the following areas:

  • Largest amount spent in some explosive products warehouse just off the A127.
  • Longest amount of time between each firework.
  • Largest number of fireworks set off after 9pm, 10pm and 11pm respectively, with a bonus for all that are detonated past midnight.
  • Greatest amount of direct referrals to a local A&E department.

Derek Kapowski, 42, Thorpe Bay, is one of the hot favourites for this year’s title. He said, ‘I intend to really put on a show this year. Nothing demands respect like letting off £860 worth of colourful explosives in front of 80 friends and family members in a 30ft x 10ft garden within a residential area of elderly couples and young families. Naturally I will delay the first firework until 9pm so that it is dark enough.’

He continued, ‘Unlike a lot of this year’s competitors, I am taking safety incredibly seriously. I have purchased a special polystyrene tarpaulin to cover my gas barbecue and propane canisters during the display.’

Marcus Smear is in charge of this year’s contest, and he told the Southend News Network that the competition has never been more competitive.

Mr Smear said, ‘We have never had so many entries, and therefore we have extended the deadline until 30th November – this will allow people to stagger their displays across the month to give them all a chance to shine in their local community. This year’s overall winner will receive £5000 in cash, along with up to £45,000 to spend with our very generous sponsor, Antisocial People Carrier Off-Road Brokers of Brentwood.’

However, with such a huge prize at stake, Southend government officials are appealing for everyone to act with consideration for their neighbours. Spokesperson Darryl Buzhkil said, ‘If you are unable to find silent fireworks this year, we would encourage people to make sure that their home displays have finished by 3pm each day- this will give pets a peaceful night’s sleep as well.’



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