I’m a Norrf Laanden lad myself. Well sort of. Mainly a Stevenage boy but you can’t write that with a mockney accent. There was a short spell in the Midlands while at college in Derby and then I came to the West Country. It was here I came across the spectacle that is the Somerset Carnival season, and oh how I hated it. This has nothing to do any aesthetical criticism, it merely comes down to the fact, that my only experience of the numerous carnivals has been that of work. Firstly in the darkroom, where reams of film would have to be processed; Sunday after Sunday after Sunday after… it was endless. Then as a photographer, either freezing or drowning (sometimes both) depending on the weather.
So imagine my joy when as a favour to a so called mate (yeah Mike), whose shift I offered to cover, I found out I was doing this years Weston Super Mare Carnival.
However, the weather was rather clement for November (although this is now becoming the norm). Therefore I was not preoccupied with keeping my kit dry or anxious about mild frostbite, so I actually had moments where I could watch the floats. Whether they’ve got better at building these bulb laden behemoths in the years since I last photographed them, or I was just to busy to notice them before, they are undoubtably very impressive. My cynicism completely waned though as I photographed the crowds. Bathed in the tungsten glow of the floats, they were genuinely made happy by the parade. All that warm light and smiles rubbed off a bit. So when I left I was certainly feeling far more convivial than when I arrived.
(Mike still owes me big time though).
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