Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

October 20, 2005
Highbridge-based carnival club puts finishing touches to its monster float

Hillview Carnival Club's Ashley Galley puts the finishing touches to their carnival float

The finishing touches are being made to one of the largest-ever carnival floats to be built in Burnham-On-Sea or Highbridge.

Members of Highbridge-based Hillview Juvenile Carnival Club are adding the final light bulbs and applying a final coat of paint to their giant 100ft long float, which is 17ft high and 11ft wide.

Ready for Carnival! Ashley Galley, Andy Galley, Neil Bishop, Stuart Carpenter and Roger Cross from the Hillview Carnival ClubBurnham-On-Sea.com visited the team behind the monster float this week (pictured), who have taken a year to build the vehicle at a cost of £12,000.

The group has chosen fireworks as the theme this year - which is particularly apt, as the club's Stuart Carpenter explained: "This year is the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot and the carnival circuit is celebrating, so we thought it would be great to mark the occasion with a firework themed float."

"This is by far the biggest float to be built in Burnham or Highbridge for at least 15 years and it's certainly the biggest float that we have ever built."

"There are 9,000 light bulbs and it will use enough power to light up a whole housing estate!"

The club's 18 members and 12 builders have raised money to build the float from scores of successful fundraising events during the year.

"The money's come in from everything from raffles and barbecues to summer marshalling at events, such as the Glastonbury extravaganza," said Stuart.

The group has high hopes of scooping prizes at this year's carnival processions. It will be on parade at Bridgwater on Friday November 4th, North Petherton on Saturday November 5th, closely followed by the Burnham and Highbridge Carnival on Monday November 7th, plus all of the other big carnivals on the circuit.

The group uses an area at the rear of the Bristol Bridge Inn for the construction of its float. "We're very grateful indeed to the pub's owners, Margaret, Jackie and family, for their incredible support," said Stuart.

The group is always looking for supporters, builders and other volunteers who want to get involved. To help, call the club on 07889 114872.


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