Final preparations for Wells Carnival

October 31 2018
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PREPARATIONS are in full swing for this year’s Wells Carnival.

Committee members have been finalising arrangements for the big night, and the clubs are putting the finishing touches to their carts.

“It’s going to be a good show,” said carnival president Maurice Day.

“Once again a very small committee have been working hard in the background to facilitate a lovely carnival night.

“We’ve had a good year weather-wise and we hope it will be good again on carnival night.”

Wells City Band will lead the parade, which takes place on Friday, November 16.

Starting from the Sherston Inn roundabout at 7pm, the circuit takes in Strawberry Way, Tucker Street, Chamberlain Street, Sadler Street, High Street, Broad Street and Priory Road, finishing back at the Sherston Inn roundabout.

The rest area, where the performers take a break from performing, is from St Joseph & St Teresa Church on Chamberlain Street to the layby on Sadler Street.

Unlike last year, there will be no official sellers of light-up novelty toys on the night. These can still be bought in advance from St Cuthbert’s and Stoberry Park schools.

There will be programmes for sale, and for the first time they will contain lucky numbers with four winners getting £25 each.

An appeal has been made for collectors who would be willing to go round with a collection tin on the night. They can turn up at Wells Film Centre from 5pm onwards to pick up a tin.

There will be 32 hot food vans around the circuit, and a Smiths Coaches coach will again be parked at the Esso service station in Chamberlain Street for older people who want a good vantage point to watch the carnival.

ROAD CLOSURES

• Wells Relief Road (Wells to Shepton Mallet), Wednesday, November 14, 7.30pm to 2am on Thursday, November 15, to allow carts coming from Shepton Mallet to Wells, then it will open to a one-way system until Friday, November 16, 9am to 11pm.

• Wells Relief Road (Shepton Mallet to Wells) shall be closed in this direction Wednesday, November 14, 7.30pm to 11pm on Friday, November 16.

• Dulcote to Worminster (Dulcote Quarry to Scarlett Withes Farm), Friday, November 16, 6pm-12am.

• Dulcote to road from A39 south of Wells at Browne’s Nursery to North Wootton via Launcherley, Friday, November 16, 6pm-12am.

• Strawberry Way North & South, Durkheim Drive, Sheldon Drive, Burcott Road, Tucker Street, West Street, Broad Street, Chamberlain Street, Constitution Hill, Glastonbury Road, High Street, Mountery Road, New Street, Portway, Priory Road, St Andrew’s Street, Sadler Street, Tor Street, Union Street and Whiting Way, Friday, November 16, 6pm-11pm

• A39 Tin Bridge Roundabout Glastonbury to Wells, Friday, November 16, 6pm-12am.

MENDIP VALE CC

FOR the 2018 Wells Carnival, Mendip Vale CC are heading across the water to 18th century Paris, to visit the famous cabaret Moulin Rouge. While they can’t guarantee they will be a racy as the original can-can dancers, Mendip Vale are hoping to bring the flavour of Paris to the winter streets of Somerset this November.

High-kicking their way through the city will be… Ashley Guise, Andy Wickham, Tania Kinnersley, Zena Sheppard, Sarah Stott, Lauren Charles, Mia Jones, Zoe Jones, Abby Morley, Aaron Phipps, Kayleigh Sharp, Louise Guise, Luke Coward, Mary Hollingshead, Matt Thorne, Romey Richards, Tara Hollingshead, Zoe Penny, Harrison Kitteringham, Katy Herring, Kirstie Drew.

The behind the curtain team is… Neil Kinnersley, Liam Guise, Mini Sheppard, Tom Sheppard, Andy Bennett, Toby Appleby, Mark Boardman, Scott Langton, Matt Lukins, James Loxton, Gerald Burch, James Clarke, Jason Nuttycombe, Nigel Jones, Adam Hopper, Kev Wickham, Jodie Bea Galway, Lauren Harvey, Paul and Jo Baker, Rachel Whitcombe, Tina Smith.

As always Mendip Vale are always grateful for their supporters… The club wish to thank for their support in 2018 – Carole Turk, Mike Churches, Adrian Guise, Wainwrights (Moons Hill Quarry), Vern and Liz Hill, Jeff Puddy, Zoe Guise, The Venue Club Wells, Jane Emery, Adrian Mitchell, James Perkins, JF Pearce & Sons.

COBRA CC

THIS year sees Cobra travel through the enchanted wilderness as the new Ice Age grips the land. As glaciers roll, humans struggle to keep the earth habitable. Fighting wind, snow and freezing conditions the warriors struggle to stay alive, with frozen creatures and land thawing after thousands of years, every day brings new adventures. Soon to be faced by the Ice Princess and her tribe of polar bears, little did they know they were about to embark on a whole new journey...

Performing on the cart are Joe Harris, Stacey Harmon, Charlotte Serpis, Emily Loxton, Clair Melluish, Tom Rayner, Laura Burfield, Julie Coward, Chloe Griffiths, Kay Townsend, Sarah Townsend, Paul Addicott, Joy Melluish, Joel Langley, Donna Graham, Amy Purchase and Beth Browne.

Our dedicated ground crew members are Vince Graham (tractor driver), Steve George, Chris Smith, Simon Melluish, Jordan Haynes, Mathew Graham, Carol Plenty, Louise Heasman and Vicki Graham.

As always Cobra would like to thank all the non-members who have helped throughout the year. Whether it’s been cart building, fundraising or simply making the tea they are very grateful for all your support.

Last year saw Cobra celebrate its 25th anniversary, and although they saw their fair share of setbacks, the club worked hard in Santa’s workshop with their entry Twas the Rush Before. The club had a very enjoyable year and carnival season.

GORGONS CC 

GORGONS Carnival Club’s 2018 entry is entitled Engine Room. The cart is based on the Titanic’s engine room.

The Titanic was one of three Olympic Class liners commissioned by the White Star Line to be built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Construction began on the Titanic on March 31, 1909. These magnificent vessels were the industrial marvels of their age and Titanic was to be the biggest, fastest and most luxurious liner yet.

The Engine Room occupied an aft section, which was towards the stern (rear) of G-Deck, the seventh and lowest deck on the Titanic. It is where the engineers maintained the elaborate steam engines.

Gorgons are going to take you back to the time below deck before the tragedy happened and have a look and honour the real pride of the White Star Line.

The Gorgons club is based at the Britannia Inn, Bath Road, Wells, but builds in Glastonbury.

We would like to thank Rob, Karen and all of the staff of the Britannia Inn for all of their support throughout the year.

Gorgons run a monthly quiz at the Britannia Inn. This is held on the third Sunday of every month and starts at 7.30pm.

GLOBE CC

2018 marks the Globe Carnival Club’s 50th year on the Guy Fawkes carnival circuit. The club origin dates back to 1968 when the Unigate Carnival Club was formed by employees at the Unigate factory in Wells. Their first entry was entitled Valhalla (Hall of Dead Heroes), a small affair compared to today’s entries, powered by a 4kVA generator and constructed with a budget of just £36.

As the years passed, the number of Unigate employees diminished and the club was asked to leave their site behind the factory. In 1975 the club found a new home at the Globe Inn and became The Globe.

The size of the club and its entries grew over time, and in 1980 the club’s cart Guardians of Shangri-La caught the eye of the organisers of the London Easter Parade. The Globe were invited to the capital to take part in the famous parade; this was not to be last trip along the M4 with the club being invited again in 1984, 1985 and 1991.

1984 was something of a stand out year for the club with the entry Stand and Deliver taking top place in results across the circuit and finishing the year as runners up to the County Cup.

There was further success in 2001 with the entry Automaton based on a musical clockwork organ. After picking up a handful of trophies on the road, the club was contacted and asked if they could keep the cart together for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. The following year the club took the cart fully illuminated to Wells market square and represented the Somerset Carnivals in front of the Queen and Prince Phillip during her tour of Britain.

RJCC

RJCC started life as Crazycrew Carnival Club, founded back in 1997 when some members started off on the carnival way of life after being with a club from Clutton.
The club was based in Bristol, but the number of members dwindled until in 2014 it was relaunched as RJcc by James Webber and Rachel Baker, though still taking part in carnivals from Bristol

They decided to become more of a Somerset club and wanted more people to take part, so relocated this year with the help of new friends from Wells. They joined up with James Petvin and Mandy Dyer and their families and are now based at The Globe Inn. They have been hard at work fundraising and have found a place in Glastonbury to build for this year’s entry, with other help from CISPP member Mike Webber and Martin Dyer plus Mike Daniells and Ryan Pepe who is helping to get it up and on the road.

The club hope to have the entry ready by the start of the Bridgwater carnival circuit on November 3 – a small walking group with a big heart.

• Thanks to Wells Carnival Ltd for their help in compiling these reports.

Picture: Wells Carnival committee members, from left, Rob Petch, Charlotte Broom, Martin Coppell, Maurice Day and Nancy Dodd