Rival carnival clubs join together to create float for Platinum Jubilee Pageant

A total of 15 carnival clubs from Somerset joined together to create the Bridgwater Carnival float.

05 June 2022

A group of rival carnival clubs have come together to create the float for the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

A total of 15 carnival clubs from Somerset joined together to create the Bridgwater Carnival float.

The float celebrates the pomp and splendour of the monarchy and features the Crown, Beefeaters and the royal coat of arms and is part of the “Jubilation” section of the pageant.

Bridgwater Carnival float
Daniel Cullen, of Marketeers Carnival Club (Isobel Frodsham/PA)

Flagbearers carried the flags of the four nations, and the flags of the Commonwealth are represented on the cart.

The 1980s hit Celebration by The Overtones also played as the float made its way through the parade.

Daniel Cullen, of Marketeers Carnival Club, said it about nine months to create the float and it was finished on Wednesday.

Mr Cullen, 45, told the PA news agency: “Nine months ago we converted a lorry unit, which we stripped down, put some weight on it and converted it to our needs.

“About 200 people have been involved in the whole thing.

“On the build side, it was probably about 50 or 60 people and then we have all the costume makers, dancers and choreographers.

“There’s different people from different carnival clubs who have all worked together on this.

“We are rivals, but we’re friends.

“There’s people which we would have just said hello to and that’s about it, but now we’ve got to know them really well, we have a drink with them and have become friends.”

Simon Male, 35, of the Harlequins Carnival Club, said the project has helped the different clubs all bond together.

Bridgwater Carnival float
Simon Male, of the Harlequins Carnival Club, is pictured in front of the float (Isobel Frodsham/PA)

“It’s been really good to be asked to get involved in this,” he said.

“We compete in the whole circuit but it’s been really good working with so many people than what you normally do.

“It’s been brilliant working with other clubs.

“We’re learning different skills of how people do stuff, it’s a whole next experience and is a once-in-a-lifetime.”

He added: “I always see carnival as two different sides.

“You have people who go on the cart and road crew who are out on the circuit.

“The road crew have the relationship that if someone’s got a problem, we help them.

“It’s just the way it is.

“But with this, for example Jamie, who is one of the drivers, we wouldn’t have got to know him as well as we have done.

“I know him from the circuit but over this we’ve had a really good laugh and got on well.

“Working on this has been tiring, but you do what you can and I’ve got a lump in my throat when I see it now.

“This is one once in a lifetime thing, isn’t it?

“I can tell my kids, they can tell their kids.

“It’ll be a long, long time before this happens again.”

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