You've all heard me bang on about how much fun Somerset's best kept secret is (and if you want to know what I'm on about and you haven't already read it, click here for more info). You probably don't want to hear me waffle on any more (possibly ever) so instead I'll just leave you with some shots and a bit of info from this year's Carnival season.
Winners of the 2014 tableau trophy, Huckyduck Carnival Club with their WW1 themed entry - 'In Flanders Fields'. Tableau floats depict a still life picture with all the people on the float holding completely frozen in their poses for the duration of the procession, usually about 2 hours. This club used the hymn 'I Vow to Thee, My Country' as their music.
One of the performers in full swing from Harlequin Carnival Club's pirate themed entry - 'Tortuga'., Feature floats like this one are all singing and all dancing for the whole procession and they were performing to 'Shiver My Timbers' from the soundtrack of Muppet Treasure Island.
Even though every Carnival club tries to keep that year's theme a secret until the last minute, inevitably you always end up with more than one club doing the same theme. This year it was Brunel with two of the biggest clubs both taking it as their inspiration. This club, Masqueraders Carnival Club called their entry 'Brunel's Vision' and used 'One Vision' by Queen as their music.
This is the middle of Pentathlon Carnival Club, another tableau club, with their entry 'Roll Up, Roll Up'. They achieved a little bit of fame earlier in the year when Somerset was engulfed in floodwater as their float ended up 9 foot underwater and could be seen in those aerial shots which appeared all across the national newspapers. If you look at this BBC picture, in the top left of the photo you can see a greeny-yellowy thing in-between the houses - that was their 2013 entry. Full credit goes to all the club members for actually managing to take part in Carnival season this year as they only had a few months to build their entry once it had dried out and been cleaned.
It's not just all about the big Carnival floats, these two lads are called Jiggles Carnival Club; it was their first time taking part this season and their 2014 entry was called 'Bones'.
Some of the cast on the floats really are excellent performers; everyone in this club is pretty brilliant and this float was the other portrayal of Brunel this year - 'Brunel's Kingdom - The Shipyard' by Gremlins Carnival Club. They won all the trophies and awards for feature clubs this year and had a fab piece of music, 'What Have We Got' by Sting from his musical, 'The Last Ship'.
This club, Marketeers Carnival Club, did something very inventive and new this year - nowhere on the float would you be able to find an actual light bulb. Each float usually uses thousands of them but instead this underwater themed entry used tiny LED bulbs, over 87,000 of them in fact. 'Battle of Atlantis' got a lot of respect from other Carnival clubs for trying something new but sadly, didn't really take home much of the silverware.
This is the float that the smiley guy above was on, you can see Brunel at the front where it says 'Shipyard'. What you can't tell is how much movement the float had; all the performers on the bit where Brunel is were on a moving platform which swung from side to side in a perfectly steady movement, plus every cog, crane and boat moved as well.
Another walking entry and quite a favourite with the crowds, especially the children; these two (A & A Carnival Club) have been performing in Carnival for years. In 2013 they took part as the slinky dog from Toy Story, this year they decided to be Mr and Mrs Potato Head.
This club, Ramblers Carnival Club, took home all the prizes back in 2013. They weren't so successful this year although their entry, 'Freeze' did have a awful lot going for it. They were dancing to the excellent 'Immigrant Song' by Led Zeppelin.
As well as floats, people walking on their own and in pairs, you also have people walking in groups. This club, Xtreme Carnival Club, took home all the prizes for groups with their tiger themed entry, 'Hear Me Roar'.
Of course none of these pictures really do the Carnival processions justice, you do have to be there to experience the lights, energy and music for yourself. So...see you next autumn? ;-)
All these pictures and more can be found on my other website - Somerset and Wessex Carnival Photographs
(If you spotted the driver on the Transformers float, top marks to you! If you didn't, don't worry, most of the spectators didn't either - he's the guy sat in the black car at the front with both his hands in the air, just behind the chap lying on the bonnet.)