The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
This film is part of Free
Gangs and masqueraders prepare floats for Guy Fawkes Night and the procession culminates in the unusual act of squibbing.
From the collection of:
Annual Guy Fawkes celebrations featuring a parade of illuminated floats commemorate the thwarted Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Bridgwater use to hold a huge bonfire at the Cornhill but there now stands a statue holding a squib. The tradition of lighting squibs or giant fireworks on sticks occurs after the procession and squibbing – now an official and safely organised squibfest – attracts many visitors to the after dark celebrations. Prize money is on offer for the best floats.
Bridgwater Carnival was revived in 1847 and became the second largest in the UK. In 1883 the new crossing over the River Parrett was officially opened on 5th November sealing the civic importance of the carnival. By the turn of the twentieth century a carnival committee was set up and today the Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnivals’ Association holds competitions in Burnham on Sea, North Petherton, Shepton Mallet, Glastonbury, Weston super Mare, Midsomer Norton, Wells and Bridgwater and a series of concerts help fundraise for local charities. Among the strict rules for entrants are respecting copyright, decency and diversity with an absolute ban on counter marching.