Burnham-On-Sea carnival club unveils 'eco-friendly' cart
A Burnham-On-Sea carnival club's cart will be illuminated with thousands of low-energy light bulbs for the first time in its 35-year history this autumn.
Burnham-On-Sea.com took an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the huge float being constructed by Hillview Carnival Club this week as the annual Highbridge and Burnham Carnival approaches in six weeks' time.
Hillview's cart, which is called The Show, has a theatrical theme and is being decorated with over 10,000 lights, including thousands of environmentally-friendly bulbs.
Hillview's Chairman, Mark Bishop, pictured right, said half the cart's bulbs will be low-energy ones.
"We've made our cart as 'green' as possible by buying a huge quantity of low-energy bulbs which will be used by us for the first time. It has meant a few changes to the design, but because the cart will use less power overall, we've been able to downgrade our power generator from 500kv to 300kv, saving money."
Mark added that the club has had to watch every penny it spends this year. "The float is costing us almost £12,000 this year. During a recession, that's a lot of money to find and without the strong backing of our local supporters and businesses it would not have been possible."
"Fundraising has been tough - we were down to our last £100 at one point earlier this year and we wondered whether we'd have to considerably scale back our entry."
"Fortunately, though, several successful fundraising events have been held in the Burnham area, including at Burnham's Somerset and Dorset pub and The Railway, which have helped raise the money."
The cart will be on show to the public for the first time at Bridgwater Carnival on Friday November 5th and it will then come home to Burnham for the town's carnival on Monday November 8th.
Hillview has high hopes of repeating its success of last year, when it won the County Cup, after wins at every event on the Guy Fawkes Carnival Circuit.
But Mark is keen not to build up expectations too high. "Last year was an unbelievable year. We all want to win again, but above all we just enjoy building the cart and experiencing the excitement of taking part."
The team of fifteen have been busily painting large sections of the cart's sides this week, as pictured, as the woodwork starts to take on the theatrical theme and it all takes shape.
The cart is being built in a shed at the Bristol Bridge Inn - and the club is grateful to the pub's licensees for their continuing support.
Behind the scenes, Hillview's volunteers are also creating costumes for the group's sixteen youngsters who will be performing on the float throughout the season.
Guide to Burnham-On-Sea Carnival 2010