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Red Army


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.

1990 Rocking Wild

Last updated 30-12-12

Stage 4th position

From the Carnival Concert ProgramSong Scena: "ROCKIN' WILD"
1. Twisting The Night Away
2. See You Later Alligator
3. Let's Twist Again
4. All Shook Up
5. Grease Lightning
6. Do You Love Me
7. Hucklebuck
8. Shout

Cart Disqualified

The Information below was Taken from the 50th Anniversary booklet

The Mysterious Expanding Rhinos Head

Early 1990 and the carnival committee, who had been working closely with the police, had come up with some mandates to revise the rules regarding cart dimensions, namely; · Maximum train length—100ft · Maximum height—17ft 6 inches · Maximum Width—11ft As a precursor for these rules it was decided that the carnival committee would hold an open night in the town hall with all club representatives, the police would be represented and there would be a question and answer session. So I went along to this meeting to listen and learn. A committee rep started the evening and explained the general format of the new rules and why.

The obvious questions began from the audience about the parameters set out. “What happens if the carts are outside the agreed measurements?” asked one carnivalite. “All carts will now be measured at the top of parkway, any cart outside the box will not be allowed to participate,” came the reply from the committee representative. My gears were working overtime and I had a question I was dying to ask, “If a cart comes into parkway, is measured and falls within the limits of the rules, what happens if in procession the cart goes outside of those parameters?” I think both committee rep and the police rep had not thought of this issue. “If the part of the cart was controllable and could be brought back into the maximum parameters, then I think that would be acceptable”, replied the P.C. Something was still nagging me what did he mean by controllable? My hand went up again, “please define controllable. Does it mean mechanically controlled, i.e. hydraulic or electric motor controllable, or could a part that could be quickly taken off and on.” The answer I received was “I think both methods would be acceptable.” I was completely happy when I left the town hall that night believing I understood the rules.

During cart building it became apparent we had a problem. The macaws wing movements would stretch out beyond the maximum width but as they would come back in, (i.e. controllable) there is no issue. However we were too long, we had nothing retractable to keep the cart within 100ft long. Biscuits then asked me to explain the rules again, “Ok”, he said, “we’ll make the length controllable, “make the rhinos head portable, so it can be lifted on and off at any time”. It was soon Carnival day and the cart was on its way into town. The rhinos head was removed from the body and placed onto the front of the cart ready to be attached later just before the procession. I went into town then to await our cart and to see that it got through the measuring station ok. I sat on the wall of Pig and Whistle car park watching carts come in and sail through the measuring station. Next, a major Bridgwater club pulled into Parkway, wow this looks good I thought, I watched with interest as the cart slowly crept under the maximum height marker (a piece of string stretched between 2 scaffold poles over the road) no problem, but the cart looked extremely long, as the cart parked on the frontroad marker the committee buzzed around looking at overall length, an odd tape measure came out, eventually a thumbs up.

As I later strolled along parkway I came to the aforementioned club. The road crew were hovering around the space between the tractor unit and cart; they then disconnected the tractor from the cart and attached a large piece of metal box to the tow bar thus extending it by some distance. Watching this with me were two committee marshals, I casually asked, “Does this mean you will now re-measure this entry?” I was told to mind my own business. Twenty minutes or so later our cart turned up with a headless rhino leading the way. Well I say headless, in fact just before we pulled out of Halfway someone had got hold of a rubber rhinos head and fixed it onto the body (it looked ridiculous). As the cart manoeuvred into position for measuring, the height was fine and passed ready for width and length measurements. I walked across to the rhino and yanked this rubber head off leaving a gaping hole. “What goes on there?” asked a Marshall, “A rhinos head” I replied, pointing at the head resting a couple feet away. “Are you going to put it on?” “Yes tonight when the procession starts”. Subsequently we were measured and well within length allowing us to take our place ready for procession.

We completed the procession and after a beer made our way to town hall, it was then we began to hear rumours of a bit of a dispute going on in the town hall. It was approaching midnight and still no results, something was up but what? Suddenly I was tapped on the shoulder upon turning I recognised a fellow carnivalite, he said, “Gaz expect some bad news mate, I’ve just seen Fred Snow storm out of the charter hall shouting, “I’m having nothing to do with the disqualification of a Bridgwater club”. So I asked him, “Are you telling me we are disqualified?” To which he walked away saying “Sorry mate I’ve already said too much.” Just then the PA system came to life and started announcing the results. When the commentator reached 5th without mentioning Marketeers, the club were happy with at least a top 4 finish, however we were not prepared at all for the next announcement. “And in forth place pending a stewards enquiry, ‘Rocking Wild’ the Marketeers carnival club”. No cheering, just an almighty ooh! Outside town hall we were all left in the dark, what does a stewards enquiry mean? What have we done?

I trudged off back to our headquarters bemused. Surely someone from the committee would contact us. Back at the White Hart the mood was sombre; at the back of my mind was the Fred Snow incident I had heard about. Obviously putting two and two together I thought we must be disqualified but it was dressed up as a steward’s enquiry to stop any potential outside the town hall. Slowly the official position started to come to light. It appeared that the committee felt the club had bent the rules and were over length in procession, therefore after the carnival with the cart back at Halfway some of the stewards had gone out there and measured our cart (in some kind of half assed S.A.S. mission, conducted in total darkness). I sat there thinking and then it struck me, I asked one of the road-crew “did you take the rhinos head off before going back to Halfway?” I knew immediately from his look they hadn’t, I thought that we must have been disqualified for travelling in transit mode over length back to the Halfway, but during the procession we were perfectly legal and within the rules (controllable length).

Again I was wrong, we had been disqualified for being over length during procession. It took a lot of persuasion for me to venture out on Black Friday, my heart wasn’t in it, I felt I let the club down and was embarrassed by it all. Eventually I succumbed, as I walked into the White Hart Simon Wood stepped forward and said don’t worry Chidge, we’ve got something for you and subsequently pinned a piece of cloth measuring tape to my rat jacket, I noticed all the boys had these pieces of tape pinned to their jackets too as some form of tongue in cheek protest. As we toured round the town that day it was interesting that when we encountered any committee members who happened to be in the same establishment as ourselves, they couldn’t wait to either get away as quickly as possible or to shrink back so far into their seats so much they became almost invisible. To this day we have never officially been told by any one that we were disqualified back on that fateful night and I guess now we never will.

By Garry Chidgey


What a Black Friday!!!!!!!!

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