WITH the countdown to the carnival season underway, old photographs have emerged of Bridgwater’s carnival in years gone by.

The President of Bridgwater Carnival, Rita Jones, has allowed the Mercury access to some of the precious archives containing images of floats from a world now lost.

The first of the pictures is from a period when the Labour Party barely existed and Britain was ruled by the Liberal Party.

It dates to 1905 and shows the White Lion Carnival Club with their entry, entitled Courtiers of the Period of James I.

Looking back at the Mercury’s coverage, the words have an almost tongue-in-cheek tone.

In our write up, we stated: “The courtiers were all men of fine physique and several portly men which seemed to suggest that the early 17th century must have been of a sumptuous character!

“The handsome costumes of the nineteen gallants presenting a spectacle of much beauty in the procession.

“They were staged on their car to the best advantage, and like the nobles furnished one of the most attractive items in the procession.

“The costumes were of the richest coloured velvets, the tunics and breeches of nearly every courtier being of different colours, beautifully blended, gold trimming enhancing the effect.

“Deep collars matched the colour of the tunic, white gauntlets were worn and also brown boots with tight fitting tops of the same colour reaching to the knees.

“A scarf of vivid hue encircled each waist, flowing black hair and cavalier hats with short red or white feathers gave them a handsome appearance.

“The courtiers were armed with swords.

“The costumes were made by Miss Downing of Barclay Street. The courtiers consisted of Messrs. J. Hallett (capt.), S. Jennings, T. Jennings, A. Heal, J. Heal, H. Godfrey, C. Godfrey, F. Scott, W. Scott, W. Legg, F. Thomas, S. Thomas, S. Taylor, J. Taylor, J. Chick, C. Culverwell, F. Baker, C. Baker and L, Marchant. The Courtiers were supplied with 185 squibs.”

Do you recognise any of the names or faces? Email harry.mottram@nqsw.co.uk.