A Weston Super Mare photographer is set to continue his 31 year association with Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival.
Peter J Nicholls, who lives in the Bleadon area of the seaside town became the famous event’s official photographer back in 1984, and organisers have confirmed Peter will continue in this role until at least 2019.
Since taking on the prestigious role, Peter has witnessed and experienced some spectacular sights and has taken photographs of well over 2,500 entries at the Bridgwater Carnival processions and nearly 1,000 photographs of acts at the Bridgwater Carnival concerts.
Speaking about the carnival procession, Peter said: “Even though there is a lot of pressure and responsibility on the big night itself, taking pictures of the huge entries is really enjoyable. There are so many people involved with the carnival in the town, and I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet and photograph some of the great carnivalites over the years.”
Capturing the images is a tough challenge and more than one man’s work, and nowadays Peter relies on the support from his nephew Jason Tanner and a small team of people. Their setup on carnival night is aided by rigged platforms on either side of the route to ensure they obtain the best possible shot. “It is quite a complex operation with getting the light angles before the procession starts, but it’s all worthwhile when we get the perfect carnival image which capitulates the tremendous carnival spirit”, he added.
Peter started his career behind a camera in 1977 when he gave up his job as general manager at EM Trevor & Sons Ltd – a famous store which was situated on the land where Weston’s Sovereign Shopping Centre now stands. Before starting work, Peter attended Weston Technical College where he studied for his A levels.
Jason attended Bridgwater College to study Photography, he then went on to obtain his degree in photography from Salisbury University. He started helping Peter in 1983, and has been taking pictures at Bridgwater Carnival now for 21 years.
Dave Stokes, publicity officer for Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, added: “Peter and Jason have captured so many different carnival memories over the years, and we are in the process of displaying some of their carnival work in the archive section of our official website. Their photographs are used in our publicity material and on our popular official souvenir carnival calendar, and they really do capture the energy and colour of our carnival.”
With Bridgwater Carnival’s Gangs and Features, Peter and Jason will be selling over 2,000 of their Bridgwater Carnival photographs featuring both the procession and concerts (club, dance troupes and front of curtain acts included) from over the years. The photos will be sold at a significantly discounted rate to carnivalites and the sale is taking place at The Admirals Landing Pub, The Docks in Bridgwater, on Sunday 13 September between 10am and 4pm. The proceeds from the sale will go to Bridgwater Carnival’s Gangs and Features. The event is a must for all carnival enthusiasts.