Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival’s entry ‘Jubilation’ caught the hearts of a national and international audience, after taking part in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant in London on Sunday 5 June.
The 100ft long carnival cart and cast of 132 carnivalites performed in front of the thousands of spectators who had lined the 3km pageant route, stretching from Westminster to The Mall and Buckingham Palace. An estimated one billion people across multiple platforms also watched the event, which celebrated the Queen’s 70 year reign, from both the UK and from all around the world.
Mike Crocker, Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival President, and Jubilation cast member, said: “What an absolutely amazing experience it was! The atmosphere, adulation and the reception we received all the way around the route completely exceeded all of our expectations, and it was certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity which none of us will ever forget.
”The cart and the cast looked absolutely stunning, and I would like to thank the carnivalites who have been involved with the prestigious project. It was such a proud moment for us all, and it was great to be given an opportunity to show the world just how special Bridgwater Carnival and the other Somerset carnivals are.”
The carnival cart had been designed to reflect various regal elements of the monarchy, including the royal crest, crowns, royal carriages, Yeoman of the Guard, and the commonwealth. In front of the cart were walkers dancing in the street depicting the scene of street parties, a feature of previous jubilee and royal celebrations in towns and cities throughout the UK Bridgwater Carnival’s entry also caught the attention of the national and international media.
As the final touches were being made to the cart in the morning of the pageant. BBC1, BBC Radio 5Live, Sky News, the Press Association, to name just a few, all wanted to know more about the spectacular entry, the cast, and the people who had built it. The cart and the cast were also featured live on Good Morning America on ABC TV as those across The Atlantic tuned into their TVs early on the Sunday morning.
There was also much positive feedback, and increased traction and engagement on the official social media channels for Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival on the weekend of the pageant. The number of Facebook followers grew by over 4,000, and one of Bridgwater Carnival’s posts on Twitter (a photo of the cart with Big Ben in the background), was re-tweeted by the official Royal Family Twitter account to its 4.7 million followers. Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival’s official website also reported a big upturn in visitors over the Bank Holiday Weekend, with nearly 5,000 hits in a 48 hour period.
Here are some unique facts about Jubilation, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant entry which mesmerised the world:
200 people were involved with the construction of the entry, including – 20 engineers, 10 carpenters, 15 painters, 10 electricians, and 6 costume and dressmakers. It took 12 months to design and build the cart.
Members from 17 different carnival clubs were involved with the building of the entry.
The 100ft long cart contained over 40 engineered moving parts, and 18 spectacularly crafted models, including 12 beefeaters, 4 royal crowns, and 2 royal crests. The cart also had 8 royal carriages made out of wood.
The entry contained 1,500 individual lights, and was powered by a 100 Kva generator.
180 sheets of 12mm plywood, and over 20,000 wood screws were used during the construction of the cart.
Over 200 litres of environmentally friendly water based paint were used to decorate the cart
27 road crew members helped to guide the cart and walkers around the 3km route in London.
It took 6 hours for the cart to travel the 123 miles from Bridgwater to London, and it was transported on the back of 3 lorry transporters supplied by Bridgwater based haulage specialists, Wheeler & Son.
Including those who took part in the pageant, over 500 carnivalites travelled from Bridgwater to London for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant.
The music used on the cart was Celebrate by The Overtones, and it was powered by 43.5 kilowatts of sound through 36 individual speakers.
If you haven’t seen the royal carnival cart yet, please don’t worry. Spectators at Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival and the other six Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnivals (Highbridge and Burnham on Sea, Weston Super Mare, North Petherton, Shepton Mallet, Wells and Glastonbury) in November will have the chance to see the cart in its full glory. Bridgwater based, Griffens Carnival Club, will be taking the cart out on the road during the November illuminated carnivals season, and will be providing the cast and road crew.
Dave Stokes, Publicity Director for Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, added: “Judging by the incredible reception and reaction to our appearance at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant, it is absolutely clear the popularity, appetite and love for Bridgwater and the Somerset carnivals is stronger than ever.
We have found many new friends and supporters from the UK, the commonwealth, and from all around the world, and we are really looking forward to Bridgwater Carnival 2022 on Saturday 5 November.”
Pictures below courtesy of Bridgwater Photographic Society & Andy Bennett