Carnival to go quiet in tribute to Martin

November 02 2019
Carnival to go quiet in tribute to Martin

THIS year’s Wells City Carnival will be dedicated to Martin Coppell.

Martin was chief marshal at the carnival for more than 20 years, but died of cancer in August.

In what will be a moving tribute to him, this year’s parade will come to a halt near the fire station, where members of Martin’s family will be standing, and the first five carts will turn off their lights and music for a minute’s silence.

The carnival programme features a picture of Martin on the cover, and a tribute to him inside from friend Merv Colenutt.

Wells Carnival president Maurice Day, who will blow a whistle to mark the start and finish of the silence, writes in the programme: “This year is turning out to be the toughest year for a long time as we have suffered the sad loss of our Chief Marshal Martin Coppell.

“We were hoping to celebrate together as I have been involved in carnival for 50 years and Martin had been in his 21st year as our main man. I hope you will be generous with your donations in memory of Martin this year and wish you all a safe and enjoyable carnival 2019.”

Martin has been succeeded as chief marshal by Rob Petch, who has been a member of the carnival committee for 20 years.

Globe are dedicating their entry to founder member Gladys Parsons, who also died earlier this year. The club said in their programme notes: “Gladys had a great love for the carnival community, she made lots of friends. She loved the rivalry and competition. Glad never bad mouthed anyone in carnival but did like the Globe to do well. The morning after each carnival she would ring up to ask if everyone was OK then ask ‘How did we do?’

“If some of the local clubs had got in front of us, you could hear the disappointment in her voice so Frank would make an excuse, ‘Lighting or generator failure but can all be fixed, still all to play for at the next carnival, our fortunes are bound to improve,’ which was all she wanted to hear.”

Wells City Band will lead the parade, which starts at 7pm on Friday, November 15, and will continue along the route while the carts come to a halt behind them at the fire station.

New collectors have come forward this year, but more are welcome to join them. Anyone who would like to carry a bucket around the route is asked to register on the night at Wells Film Centre from 5pm onwards.

More committee members are also welcome, as is any individual or business that would like to get involved with the carnival through the committee’s patronage system. More details from Nancy Dodd on 01749 672246.


“LONDON’S calling to our faraway towns, War has been declared and battle come down, Our engines are set and our tracks are clear, the Steampunk Revolution is here.”

For their 51st year the Globe Carnival Club have gone underground as the Steampunk revolution begins. Set deep inside the London underground the entry features members riding on board Victorian-style engines as the uprising against the elite in power on the streets above gains momentum.

Sadly, founder member Gladys Parsons passed away this year. Back in 1968 along with a handful of fellow work colleagues, Gladys was instrumental in the forming of the Unigate Carnival Club based at the factory in the city. Gladys was to become club treasurer, a role she held well into the 1990s.

Gladys was a keen supporter of the Globe and Wells City Carnival right till the end and would always try and make it to the shed for a look/inspection a day or two before the carnival, and make it out for lunch with the club on Wells carnival day.

Glad was the head of the Globe’s carnival family and she will be greatly missed by all, but her memory will live with the club forever.

This year’s entry is dedicated to the lady who 51 years ago had the idea of forming a small carnival club and ended up bringing enjoyment to 1000s. Rest in peace Gladys Parsons.

The club would like to thank CRS Building Supplies Ltd, Jeremy Weare Ltd, MTL Group Ltd, SG Weighing & Controls Ltd, L & V Contract Carpentry, Simon Love Brick Laying, Twilight Zone (Glastonbury), Glastonbury Skip Hire Ltd, Avon Motor & Engineering Supplies Ltd, Mogers Drewett Solicitors and Somerset Forge for their support in the 2019 carnival season.


THIS year we will be taking Cobra Carnival Club to Latin America to celebrate “Dia De Los Muertos”.

The Day of the Dead is a celebration of loved ones who are believed to return on this day to celebrate with family.

Our cart is an explosion of colours and joy, we have incorporated some of our members’ loved ones within the cart design to give it that personal touch.

Cobra would like to thank everybody who has helped out in various ways throughout the year, it is always very much appreciated.

This season our performers are: Charlotte Serpis, Joy Melluish, Clair Melluish, Beth Browne, Kay Townsend, Sarah Townsend, Stacey Harmon, Joe Harris, Simon Harris, Ella Heasman, Samuel Heasman, Matthew Heasman, Jack Heasman, Cliff Heasman and Bev Parsons.

A special thanks to our ground crew, Vince Graham (tractor driver), Simon Melluish, Chris Smith, Jordan Haynes, Louise Heasman, Laura Burfield, Joe Pickersgill, Jon Hael, Carol Plenty, Owen Martin and Alex Cray.

Mendip Vale

FOR 2019, Mendip Vale CC are heading to the USA where they are “rolling on the river”.

The entry is based on the famous Mississippi showboats that provided entertainment all across the Deep South of America in the 1800s.

The initial idea was brought to a club meeting in mid-January, whereupon various teams worked on what the club could reuse and plan to use for the season.

Joint cart captains Matt Lukins and Arron Phipps undertook a project of overseeing their last year’s cart, The Windmill Club, being stripped down, and starting again to build up the showboat.

Whilst on holiday in America, one of their members even took a trip down the river on the oldest Mississippi showboat, and took many photos to make sure they got the detail of some elements of the boat exactly right.

Chairman Mini Shepherd said: “It’s always a struggle to think of new ideas, because every club out there that you see will be looking to do something slightly different to the other 50 clubs on the road, and also we always want to try something different to what we have done as a club before... we’ve tried to give it an extra special twist.”

The club has the showboat girls, the captain of the ship, and of course the giant paddle steamer wheel, to ensure they float nicely down the streets of Wells on a cold November evening.

Chairman, Mini Shepherd; Secretary, Tara Mulvey; Treasurer, Rosemary Richards; Social secretary, Arron Phipps; Captains, Matt Lukins and Arron Phipps; Designer, Ashley Guise; Costumes and dance routine, the ladies of the club.

The club are lucky to have great support all year, and would like to thank them all, including Vern Hill, Mike Churches, Chick Stott, Titch Masters, Joby Sargent and AJ Luke Contracting.


GORGONS Carnival Club’s 2019 entry is titled The Workshop.

Music: Sparkle Jolly Twinkle Jingly.

Headquarters: The Britannia Inn, Wells.

Idea by Shelly Ford and George Pickford; Design by Paul Pickersgill; Cart captain: Matt Andrews; Chairperson: Harriet Fowler; Secretary: Shelly Ford.

It was the night before Christmas and the North Pole was bustling. Some elves were working hard, and some were hardly working...

The workshop is where Santa’s elves make the toys and presents for all of the good boys and girls of the world ready for Christmas Day, but will they be ready in time? With these naughty elves, who knows. Each elf has their own name, see how many you can spot, and how many cracker jokes are those naughty elves going to come up with?

This year the club has decided to enter into the comic class, in the last few years the club’s membership has decreased, which means the club are only able to pull out a two-piece entry. This year we thought that by entering comic the club would be able to have some fun.

The carnival club are always looking for new members to help fundraise, build the cart and perform. Membership is 7 years old and above (under 16-year-olds must have a family member join with them), if you are interested please contact Shelly Ford through the club’s Facebook page or email

We would like to thank Rob, Karen and the staff at The Britannia Inn for all of their help once again. We would also like to thank all of our sponsors and supporters.

Road closures

• Wells Relief Road (from Dulcote junction at Dulcote to Thompson Road junction) closed to all vehicles from 7.30pm on Wednesday, November 13, to 2am on Thursday, November 14.

• Wells Relief Road (from Dulcote junction at Dulcote to Glastonbury Road junction) closed as necessary at the discretion of the police to all west-bound traffic from 7.30pm on Wednesday, November 13, to 3.30pm on Friday, November 15, and to all traffic from 9am-11pm on Friday, November 15.

• Unclassified road from the western side of Dulcote to Warminster and unclassified roads from western side of Dulcote to road from A39 south of Wells at Browne’s Nursery to North Wootton via Launcherley, closed to all vehicles at the discretion of the police from 6pm to midnight on Friday, November 15.

• Strawberry Way North & South, Durkheim Drive and Sheldon Drive closed to all vehicles except for local access from 6pm-11pm on Friday, November 15 (but access to local businesses to be maintained).

• Burcott Road (east of Coronation Road), Tucker Street, West Street and Wells Relief Road (from Dinder Lodge junction to Glastonbury Road junction) closed to all vehicles at the discretion of the police from 3.30pm-11pm on Friday, November 15.

• A39 Tin Bridge roundabout Glastonbury to Wells and vice-versa closed to all vehicles at the discretion of the police from 6pm-midnight on Friday, November 15.

• Broad Street, Chamberlain Street, Constitution Hill (towards Dulcote junction), Glastonbury Road, High Street, Mountery Road, New Street (south of The Liberty), Portway (Coronation Road to New Street/Chamberlain Street), Priory Road, St Andrews Street (west of East Liberty), Sadler Street, Tor Street and Whiting Way closed to all vehicles at the discretion of the police from 4.30pm-11pm on Friday, November 15.