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The term Marketeer is used to describe individuals, typically persons or groups of persons dressed in Red Fluffy jackets and having a Chuffin‘ Good Time!! Often engaged in drinking activities that involve all kinds of fun!!

 
     
 
Marketeers Carnival Club Bridgwater EST 1960
Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never, in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in.
 

1982 Land of Make Believe

Last updated 17/12/12

The Information below was Taken from the 40th Anniversary booklet

'THE, "GRAND SLAM" YEAR,

Without doubt this year was and remains to this day the most successful that this or for that fact any other Club has experienced. The Marketeers' Entries: "A Dream Come True" (Stage) and "Land of Make Believe" (Cart) walked away with EVERY Trophy available to a Feature Club at the time, including all the various County Individual "Choice" Category Awards throughout the Carnival circuit, a feat yet to be emulated by any other. It goes without saying that many Clubs have benchmarked from the Marketeers over the years and with much success, We as a Club have, over the past forty years seen many individuals come, go and remain, many of whom, whose names crop up occasionally in the odd tale, that may be at times quite unbelievable.
But if you shave off the slight exaggeration or two they have accumulated over the years they are still as hilarious or inspirational as ever. Of those names, there are individuals who were, or indeed may still be, of great influence within the Club, both founder and more recent members alike. It is to these people, some sadly no longer with us, that we pay tribute, for without their inspiration, vision and sheer dedication I am sure the Marketeers Carnival Club would not be the successful Club that it is today and we hope, well into the future.
THANK YOU ONE AND ALL!!
© GARRY CHIDGEY 2000


The Information below was Taken from the 50th Anniversary booklet

1982 and All that – Land Of Make Believe and A Dream Come True

Yes, I know I talked about this in our 40th year, but what I would like to do is to talk about some of the finer points of that year and some of the stories associated that perhaps many of you do not know.
When the ‗81 carnival season was over the club called an idea meeting in the clubroom. As I had previously put ideas forward in previous years I decided to attend just to see which way the club wanted to go for the ‗82 entry.
After much discussion and changing of ideas, Toys was suggested and seemed to spark the inspiration missing in some of the other talked about ideas. At the next club meeting the idea was carried.
The general feeling was that Teresa, as usual, would mastermind the stage production in her usual unique and professional capacity. The million-dollar question was, who was going to design the cart and is there anything spectacular you can do with toys as a idea.
I believe Paul Elson piped up and said perhaps ‗Biscuits‘ (Mike Biddescombe) might design a cart for us, with that, I said I would ring him. Subsequently I made the phone call. As Mike ‗ummed and erred‘, I played my trump card, ―Mike if you don‘t do it, it will probably fall in my lap, and I am not capable of designing a Marketeers cart of any standard!‖ When I reported the situation back to the club at the next meeting, rightly or wrongly most members assumed that Biscuits had been recruited as cart designer and were very happy.
Fast forward to spring ‗82. Teresa had already been back to the club with her vision for stage; a long list of characters with costume designs, a stage set and songs had all been scripted. We were all happy, however, the next obvious question came ―but what about the cart, we haven‘t seen anything yet from biscuits‖. So with all eyes on me for some reason I said ―I‘ll give him a call to see how it‘s coming along‖. I spoke to Mike later and he told me, ―I‘ve started drawing, but it‘s nothing to look at yet‖. I explained that the club needed something to look at quite quickly and could you kindly get your ass in gear please.
With no promises from Biscuits I was beginning to fear the worst. However to my shock and amazement at the following Monday‘s meeting, in walks Mike Biddescombe with a roll of wallpaper tucked under one arm. ―Is that what I think it is?‖ I asked as Mike sat beside me. ―Well it‘s something to look at if you can build it‖. Subsequently as the meeting closed Mike piped up and said, ―I have a cart design here if anyone wants to have a gander‖. With the clubroom two-thirds full Mike unrolled his wallpaper plain side up with this drawing and went through the components of the cart from front to back including, three Chair-o-planes and twelve small trains.
―How‘s that going to work?‖ was the question mostly being asked. ―Well, there are no electric motors I want all moving parts to be moved by manpower alone. I don‘t trust electric motors they break down to easy‖ he smiled. He didn‘t hang around for long and was gone as quickly as he came leaving most of us in the clubroom
scratching our heads.
During the following discussion the apprehension and guarded scepticism was slightly justified. However, enter Mr Tony (Admiral) Blake a long serving V.P. with a very good motor mechanical brain. He uttered the immortal words, ―I think I could get the chair-o-planes working by man power. By welding three rear axles fixed upright off different vehicles, you could attach a fly wheel to the prop shaft connection on the diff and by turning, the whole axle would revolve‖. Keith Witts (another motor mechanic) piped up, ―Yeah I see what you mean, that would work‖.
Going into the cart building the shed at Halfway resembled more of a scrap-yard than a carnival shed with numerous old pushbikes and car axles littering the shed. But slowly, bit-by-bit, the cart was taking shape. The bare chassis had three axles welded upright and a butcher‘s meat slicing flywheel was welded onto the diff, Admiral had a grin a mile wide as he turned the handle and revolved the axle all in one ―There you are, a doddle, I told you so‖.
To the stage show, the show (A Dream Come True) depicted a child‘s bedroom scene whilst he slept, his toys coming to life and playing on his bedroom carpet. The highlight of show was when 6 toy soldiers entered the stage with full sized rag dolls attached to their feet as they waltzed across the stage to the song ‗Glad Rag Doll‘. I think even Bruce Forsyth would have been impressed with the feet co-ordination; certainly the audience loved the show.
You can always tell if you have a good show, when that town hall curtain closes and you can still hear the audience cheering and the general buzz you know you have something pretty good, fittingly our final song was ‗I‘m into Something Good‘. But were the concert judges at one with the general public, we had to wait until carnival night for the results.
Back to the cart and it was looking good with the help of the numerous vice presidents who were constantly building whilst we enjoyed the delights of the concerts. However Biscuits, in his usual cat amongst the pigeon‘s manner, had decided he wanted coloured perspex in the roof of the chair-o-planes, not bulbs. Perspex was a relatively new concept in carnival at that time and a reason for this was the price, however, because Biscuits wanted the cone of the chair-o-planes in coloured perspex and lit from behind, the electrical team were happy to avoid the slip ring system to light the cones.
Without mentioning names at this point, one of our long-time serving members came out the shed one night and informed us that he had on good authority been told that we had won the stage. How he found out no one dared to ask, but a level head was needed and we should all wait for carnival night for the official results before any premature celebrations could take place. However, the fact was that a Bridgwater feature club had not achieved the double since 1977, when Vagabonds did ―Ragtime Rhythm‖.
The weekend before carnival and the Halfway site was packed with virtually 100% attendance. Biscuits wandered into the shed and remarked that it seemed to be coming together well, however he raised an eyebrow and said ‖So where are the pedal trains?‖ I said, ―You‘d better come out the back and look‖.
His face dropped when he saw 12 metal box framed chassis, with pedals cogs and chains laid out across the yard and nothing to suggest a shape of a train of any kind, anywhere. He quipped, ―5 days to go and this is our trains, oh dear oh dear‖. The engineering team had got over the self driving function of the trains by assembling these all box metal contraptions, but how the hell are we going to turn that into something that looks like and old style American railroad train, complete with cow catcher funnel and cab?
We needed a miracle, and one happened in the shape of Brian Slocombe. Brian asked, ―What‘s the problem‖? I told him that we had to ―turn this heap of metal into a mini something like this,‖ holding up a picture of our desired train look. With a scratch of his head, Brian reached for his wooden rule and began to pace around the individual chassis measuring up bits and pieces. ―Right‖ said Brian, ―get one of those frames into my workshop and let‘s see what I can knock up‖.
Approximately 2 hours later Brian appeared in the main shed and called Biscuits over, I being as nosey as ever, hovered as Brian led Biscuits outside to look at this magical looking mini train that stood before us, fixed to the metal chassis and even without paint it looked the part and more. ―That‘s it‖, exclaimed Biscuits, ―perfect, now all you have to do is build another 11 by Thursday‖ (carnival).
Carnival eve and most of us were standing in the shed looking at this work of art and feeling pretty good about what we saw before us. Stan Hodge remarked, ―I‘m going to light up, so please look for duff bulbs‖. Lo and behold the gennie fired up and after a few minutes the first few circuits were switched on. As the cart grew brighter and brighter, soon the whole cart was ablaze and the music kicked in, can this get any better, then a flash of colour caught the corner of many peoples eye, ―What the hell was that‖ someone declared, then another flash, this time blue, then another, green and another, pink. Something was wrong. Pieces of coloured perspex segments from the chair-o-plane cones were hitting the deck one by one. Behind the perspex segments were hundreds of 100 watt bulbs lighting the segments, this was subsidised by additional 500 watt halogen flood lights, however with light comes heat, a lot of heat. As the temperature inside the cones rose, the black cloth tape holding the segments in place began to wilt until it sagged and finally let go of the precious coloured plastic.
What to do. Step forward Den Gore and Brian Slocombe, the two of them put their heads together, then after making a few measurements of the cones Denny said ―see ya later and don‘t panic‖. At about 3am on carnival morning, a lorry backed into Halfway car park and delivered length after length of aluminium strip, shaped to fit the spines of the perspex cones from the outer perimeter to inner perimeter. The next 4 hours saw many personnel frantically fitting this channel to the cone spines and wiring the fallen segments back into place whilst strengthening the pieces that were still in situ. I think it was 7am when we switched the cart back onto full power. As we waited with eyes gazing upwards, nothing fell, it was fixed.
What many people do not realise is that we came really close to not having the song land of make believe on the cart. You must understand at that time in ‘82, Bucks Fizz were perceived as a bit of a naff group, although our cart was called, The Land Of Make Believe, the song was not appreciated by the Club Captain, Steve Woods, in fact he hated it. Therefore, during the cart-building phase Steve had started a bit of a campaign to dump the song in preference for another. However common sense prevailed and the song chosen was indeed the now renowned carnival classic.
So to carnival night itself, we all boarded the cart and the moving components slowly dropped into gear as the magic came to life. However, we had another problem. Teresa had taught us the cart movements, which were basically a series of hand signals, left and right, up and down etc. These were perfect movements for those sat in the chair-o-planes, however for those of us sat in trains, we were all in routine until we reached the arch at the back of the cart where we had to tuck our arms in to get through the narrow arch, of course as we emerged out of the arch our hand movements were out of sync.
As we pulled into Bath road from Parkway and not at the procession start line yet, I thought this is no good all the train personnel looked in total disarray. As I was a committee member I shouted forward to a fellow committee member in front of me, Keith Witts (he was dressed as the laughing policeman), ―We need to change the movements‖. Keith agreed to the sentiment but said, ―Well you can tell her‖, gesturing at Teresa (who always walked with the cart).
After another circuit it was plain to see the train characters were all out of sync after emerging from the arch and following the train in front that was also out of sync. As I emerged from the arch I swayed my arms to the left then swayed to the right in time to the music, not a complicated sequence and easy to follow. The person behind me, Fred Mead (dressed as a teddy bear), followed suit, thus starting a chain reaction throughout the train characters. It worked and it did not look out of place.
I (as most personnel on the cart) did not realise what effect this cart was having on the general public. My first indication was as we dropped down the bridge towards the Bath Bridge Inn (now The Sportsman). As I pedalled my train through the rear arch, there stood in the crowd was Suzette Dunster. As I caught her eye I mouthed the words, ―Is it alright?‖ Sue, smiling from ear to ear nodded and raised her forefinger and mouthed the word ―First‖. I was amazed you can‘t predict first this early on in the procession can you?
There was continuous applause as we made our way along the procession. As the cart turned right from Monmouth Street into Eastover, there was a clear anticipation amongst us on cart knowing we were nearing our beloved headquarters, The White Hart. As the White Hart came into view it appeared as if a riot was taking place, people were jumping up and down and basically going ballistic. Wow.
A few yards further up the road the official carnival video team SWIFT were waiting. Malcolm Jones, the commentator, started describing the cart on commentary and said all of a sudden ―do you know what, I think we are looking at the county champions here, this is a work of art‖.
After we completed the procession, we made our way back to the White Hart, for what felt like a heroes welcome. At 11pm, a larger than normal Marketeer crowd were outside town hall awaiting the results. As the P.A. system crackled into life the concert results, as tradition dictated, were read out in reverse order. You are anxious not to hear your own clubs name too early, of course when we heard second place announced and still no mention of our name we knew we had won the concerts.
The double was certainly on now, next the procession results started to broadcast, until finally the announcer declared, ―now for features local‖. Again, in reverse order the results were read out. Again, no mention of Marketeers up to the second place cart, so we knew, for the first time ever Marketeers had won the double!
Pandemonium!
I remember grabbing a W.P.C. who was on duty and was completely shocked when I planted a full kiss on her, I‘m not sure if she wanted to arrest me or be violently ill but it was too late. I, like many, was running full pelt back towards the White Hart where the celebrations could begin in earnest.
After 1st place followed by 1st place, we reached Weston. It now seemed the county cup was in the bag providing we made it around the procession with no problems. As we were in mid procession everything seemed to be going ok we were still getting the wild ovations, but all of a sudden there was a cough and splutter from the gennie, the lights visibly dimmed and the cart just died. Darkness, no lights & no music. 100 yards up the road a feature judge was looking back at this event unfolding, he subsequently jogged down to our cart and enquired as to the problem and could we get it back up.
The road crew scrambling around at the back of the gennie trailer informed the judge we will be up and running shortly, armed with this news the judge said, ―I wont judge it here then, I‘ll judge it further up the procession‖. He then shot off up a side street only to be seen later on in the procession standing in the middle of the street judging us with all lights and music up and running.
At the Winter Gardens later that evening, cup after cup was awarded to the ―Land of Make Believe‖, and the county cup crowned our fabulous year.
I have heard many times since ‘82 that Marketeers ―Land of Make Believe‖ heralded the dawn of the all-moving carts. I think there may be other clubs who would dispute this. But the fact is that this cart won every cup it could possibly win in every carnival, and that is undisputed. Was it the best cart ever? It may well be, although I‘m sure the Gremlins would also have a claim to this title after ‗GHOST SHIP‘. However, I do think Biscuits vision gave carnival a cart ahead of its time, a glimpse into the future. As indicated above, we rode our luck a lot on a number of occasions, but for those of us involved in that one spectacular year it is one we will never forget.
1st Place Local Feature—The Ker Cup
The Hardy Spicer Championship Cup
1st place on Stage—The White Hart Cup
© GARRY CHIDGEY 2010


The Stage 1st Place

1982

Cart 1st Place

1982

1982

1982

1982

1982

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