Looking back at Castle Cary carnival in 1988
FOLLOWING the success of Castle Cary’s Illuminated Carnival last weekend, this week’s Looking Back focuses on the event in 1988.
A rush of enthusiasm and a balmy autumn evening helped make Castle Cary Carnival in 1988 one of the best the town has ever seen.
Many impressive floats that could have chosen Taunton Carnival the same evening, decided instead to go to Castle Cary, and organisers were swamped with more than 100 entries.
“It made a lot of last minute work, but naturally we are delighted to receive such good support,” said Cary Carnival Society’s chairman Gordon Stockman at the time.
“Big crowds turned out to watch, and the weather was on our side.”
Switching carnival day to Saturday gave local youngsters a chance to enjoy their own children’s events in the afternoon, although many got full value from the day by appearing in both the afternoon and the evening processions.
Mrs Ann Davies flew the flag for the less young, occupying the carnival queen’s throne at the age of 50.
Younger contenders for the title were prepared to raise funds, but were too shy to ride on the float.
Mrs Davies had no such qualms, and she was enthusiastically cheered as she passed by in regal fashion, flanked by her attendants, Jenny Meacham and Joanne Higgins.
It was a triumphant homecoming for the Cary Comedians, whose roisterous float Cigarettes, Whiskey and Wild, Wild Women had already taken numerous awards all over the carnival circuit.
They continued their prize-winning run by taking cups in the open comic and local comic classes, putting them well on course to win the Wessex Grand Prix circuit trophy.
Another popular local entry was Al Capone and his Molls, entered by the George Hotel in Castle Cary.
Also from Cary was one of the most colourful and ambitious floats, Temple of the Fans, from the Brittania Carnival Club, winners of the feature, local feature and licensed trade classes.
The Cary Crackpots, an all-female group of carnival enthusiasts, had it all wrapped up with their zany Egyptian entry Mummies, but were just pipped to first place in the masquerade classes by Castle Cary Wives Group.
Their Locomotion entry took top prize in the open and local masquerades.
Carnival spirit gripped all ages, and the lads of the 1st Cary Beavers picked up two prizes with Pick Up a Penguin.
In the juvenile class they came in just ahead of the 1st Cary Cubs with their Olympic Spirit, and in third place were the Cary Scouts with their blue-faced float of canoeing smurfs.