MEMBERS of Bridgwater Carnival committee celebrated last week as the carnival centre reached an important milestone.

On Friday (October 9) the committee celebrated the centre's 10th anniversary with a socially distanced photo shoot at the centre with Pete Bastin, Mike Crocker, president of Bridgwater Carnival, Dave Croker and Anne Middleton and tucked into 40 celebratory cupcakes arranged into a figure of ten.

The carnival centre was formally opened on October 9, 2010 by the carnival committee’s president at the time, Pete Bastin.

The former Sedgemoor District Council cash office at the town hall in High Street has been transformed into a very successful ‘one stop shop’ for all things Bridgwater Carnival related.

In the past 10 years, people have come from far and wide to visit the centre and see the vast array of carnival photographs, costumes, and other memorabilia on permanent display and to purchase tickets for carnival events and official merchandise.

The carnival centre has also played host to small groups from schools and organisations in the town who have been interested in finding out more about the history of Bridgwater Carnival and the local area.

Dave Croker, chairman of Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Committee, said: “The carnival centre is a well-established and popular facility in the town, and I would like to thank Bridgwater Town Council for their continued support over the last 10 years.

“I would also like to thank Chris Hocking and all of the other committee members and volunteers for their effort with helping to keep the centre operating all of this time.”

The carnival centre is open from Monday to Friday every week, and all of the memorabilia has been kindly donated by carnival enthusiasts over the years.

Some of the rarer items include a squib case from 1900, a costume dating back to 1921 and a carnival poster from 1899.

Chris Hocking, project director of Bridgwater Carnival, said he has enjoyed seeing the carnival centre change over the past ten years and loves speaking to people about the event's history.

"It has been a great ten years at the carnival centre and there have been a lot of changes," Chris said.

"When I first arrived here we didn't have anywhere near as many carnival items on display but over the past ten years people have brought in items for us and now the carnival centre is really full.

"It is great to have the carnival centre here for the community and for tourists. We have some wonderful stuff here.

"Often people who are visiting from other countries will pop in for a chat to find out more about the carnival and its history.

"It has been brilliant seeing how much it has changed over the past ten years."