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Renegades Carnival Club

The Renegades outside their favourite Bridgwater pub

1966 and all that as the Renegades Carnival Club were formed in Bridgwater

This brief story was originally written in 2015 by Harry Mottram for the Bridgwater Mercury with some updating in 2020.

It was the year that England won the world cup in football but more importantly in Bridgwater it was the year that the Renegades Carnival Club was founded.

Put to bed in the shed – where the carts go in the winter

From humble beginnings the club has grown to be one of the largest and most attractive clubs in town with a site at the famous Carnival City, on Bristol Road in Bridgwater where vast sheds store the carts in the winter and spring months. And where the amazing lightbulb overtures are created.

There are around 60 members including life members and supporters including extended families and life long carnivalites based around their spiritual home of the Vinos Ale and Wine Tavern.

Wild West entry back in the day. INFO People on cart: Aron Whiting (cart captain), Paul Rooke, Matt Lewis, Paul Barker, Josh Pimm, Scott Gibbs, George Bishop, Paul Radford, Scott Hooper, Katie Williams (club captain, stage captain), Kate Saunders (chairman,fundraising co-ordination), Jodie Higgins (treasurer), Laura-Jayne Hooper(secretary), Sophie Butt, Rachel Rooke, Chloe Taylor, Shannon Bishop, Robyn Attewell, Charley Rooke, Chloe Kearle, Maddi Hill, Alice Quinn, Rowen Duddridge, Jo Hall, Emma Fursland, Tiff Elliot, Louise Radford, Kirsty Withers, Jo Elson, Kate O’Brien, Bec Morris, Pippa Renshaw, Claire Boxall. People not on the cart and their role: Ann Palmer president; Chloe, Kelvin & Karen Landlords; Steve Davidge Electrician and Road crew captain; Barry Dennett- tractor Driver; Mattia Dinner 2015 main club sponsor. Members, Life members, Vice-presidents and Supporters- Becky Nailor, Roxi Watts, Vic Haysham, Sally & Robin Williams, Jackie Handel, Roger Evans, Steve & Bev Young, Jackie & Ginge, Debbie Ward, Carol Jordan, Pat Milton, Clint & Donna Carter, Nick Burge, Dave & Mary Holman, Stu Sykes,Vikki Butt, Ryan Williams, Adrian Butt Dan &Serena Prosser, Michelle Sparrow, Gemma Deane, Gemma Brooker, Ami Ward, Katie Johnson, Amy Rowley, Elaine & Gary Tizzard, Steve Jordan, Pat Dennett, Hannah Hellings, Martyn Wheeler, Sarah Biffen, Harry Winchester, Emily Searle, Clayton Hobbs, Ashlee Rawles, Simon Wells, Trevor Greenslade.

The club was originally called the Wellworthys Carnival Club before the change of name to celebrate their rebel credentials. In 2019 they took on the theme Ranesh, the second century Hindu Elephant deity who is revered as a God who can remove obstacles in life. Something that all carnivalites can understand considering the challenges of creating a cart each year.

A super photo showing one of the Renegades’ carts at night

1966 was the year of the world cup and England’s only appearance in the final. They beat West Germany 4-2 in extra time at Wembley but it was also the year that Liverpool won the old First Division in football and Everton beat Sheffield Wednesday in the FA cup by 3-2.

Outside of football it the year that Harold Wilson’s Labour Party won a second general election in row with a larger majority than Boris Johnson’s Tories enjoyed in 2019. The first Action Man toy went on sale, The Beatles released the album Revolver and on TV the first series of Til Death us Do Part was screened making Alf Garnet famous.

There are several videos on YouTube of the club’s various carts including this one from 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl0LUmSdUmA

You can also follow the club on Twitter and Facebook. More details of this year’s carnivals at:
https://www.somersetcountycarnivals.com/dates

Whether your memories are from way back in time or in the last ten years then do write in with pictures if you have them to Harry by email at: harryfmottram@gmail.com

For more features and news – and much else visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

Follow Harry on Facebook, Twitter as @harrythespiv, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn

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