Carnival club will ride again from new base

The spectacular Sid Vale float-Legend of the Crystal Skull at the Sidmouth carnival on Saturday even

The spectacular Sid Vale float-Legend of the Crystal Skull at the Sidmouth carnival on Saturday evening. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 0303-40-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders. - Credit: Archant

Members of the most successful carnival club in East Devon’s history will be back on the road with a float this year, after they secured a new home.

The Sid Vale Carnival Club’s future was in doubt when it left its long-term base nearly 12 months ago, writes Stephen Sumner.

It kept up its presence on the circuit, but members could only enter a walking entry in 2014.

However, following a successful appeal for help, the club now needs new members to get back to full strength and reclaim its top position on the circuit.

Club secretary Marion Perry said: “Sid Vale Carnival Club is very pleased to announce that, after a year of looking for a shed, we’ve been able to secure the use of a building.

“Many thanks to [county councillor] Stuart Hughes for his financial assistance from his locality budget. We’re looking forward to coming back to Sidmouth and riding again. Everybody is very excited.”

The club vacated its base of 31 years last April. With nowhere to build its famous 100-foot float – crowned the East Devon carnival circuit champion 20 times in three decades – members decided to create a walking entry.

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“We came out really to show we were still alive and still looking [for a new base],” said Marion, who founded the club in 1983 with her husband, Barry.

“We would’ve done the same this year. We had a lot of people saying ‘are you coming out?’ and ‘we miss you’. It was nice to have that support.”

The Phantom of the Opera-themed entry proved popular but seven people who wanted to build a float moved on – leaving the club looking for new talent.

The club normally gets started on the following year’s float as soon as one season ends, so it is now a little behind schedule.

But Marion said the float ‘will be up to our usual standards, very bright and colourful’.

Councillor Hughes said: “I’m delighted to have been able to help the Sid Vale Carnival Club through my locality budget

“It will be really great to see them back on the carnival circuit this year as their spectacular float was greatly missed last year.”

Anyone over the age of 14 who is interested in joining can call Marion on 01395 514244.