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

One picture 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!"

Each group was photographed before the night in their costumes and the overall feel is real attention to historic detail. Costumes were home-made and props such as swords were often made of wood.

The carts themselves were horse and carts and lanterns were the only illumination - how things have changed.