A copy of the Bridgwater Mercury from 12th November 1968 – our first year, the headlines reads Carnival Processions Reaches New Highs- well of course they did the YMCA Carnival Club had arrived. We see the carnival collection raised £500 1s 6d and that the Mercury cost just 8d.
The first year the Club entered as a Walking Comic Feature with props, built on an old car chassis and lit by car batteries. Their entry The Tea Plot gained them 4th place and from then on there was no stopping them.
Their second year saw them as an open feature and on cart with Il Gondolier. 1970 & 1971 saw them win 1st place in the open feature class with Cossack Wedding & King and I.
1972 and we are in the big time becoming a Local Gangs and Features Club – this means as well as being in the procession we also take part in the squibbing and more importantly we are on stage in the Carnival Concerts.
Our first year we took the concerts by storm and we are placed 3rd with Leprechaun Wedding.
1973 and we are really competitive and are placed 2nd with our concert show of Prohibition Chicago Style.
1976 and we are back again in 2nd place with Stars of the Silver Screen and 1977 we were 3rd again with Jungle Rock this was a tremendous start for a new small club.
In 1979 we won 1st place with our stage show A Day at the Grand Hotel a wonderful feeling that is cherished by any club that has reached this position.
While the talent on the stage has won us good results over the years it does not transfer to the road but in saying that since being local out highest place on the road was 3rd (with Gremlins) in 1982 with Graduation Rhythm.
In 2008 the club won the Gordie Howes Cup for best non placed club in Bridgwater with Jazz Time.
The club took the brave decision that while keeping the Spirit of Carnival alive they would reduce the size of its cart until the numbers of members increased and finances allowed us to perform in an economical way.
2011 cart and stage lifted the spirits of all involved with the club with their show of Bug ‘in Around winning 6th on stage and 8th on the road winning the Les Manley cup for most improved on stage.
In October 2011 a group represented the club at the opening of the new Bridgwater YMCA building by the Duke of Kent. Cheryl Long the Gang Captain presented him with a book on the history of the Bridgwater Carnival and he chatted with all the members present taking a great interest in their colourful costumes from over the years.
We meet at the Bridgwater YMCA every Monday’s at 7.30pm unless we have been advised otherwise.
These meetings are very important because this is where the Club makes all of its decisions.
Please bring a diary each time, as at these meetings, dates and times for various activities are given out and please keep up to date with the Club Facebook for reminders etc.
We are a democratic Club which means we are all able to voice our thoughts and feelings on Club matters and depending on the level of your membership you will be able to vote on Club matters.
The rate of Club subscriptions depends on your Membership level and your subs can be paid at every meeting or we have the facility where you can make your payments via Direct Transfer from your bank account to the Club, just have a word with the Treasurer and you will be given full details.