Sid Vale Carnival Club on winning streak

Yee Ha Wild West float proves a winner for Sidford-based carnival club

TWO carnival processions into the season and Sid Vale Carnival Club is already on a winning streak.

On Saturday they took best in show at Colyton Carnival with their Yee Ha Wild West float, having already won that accolade the week before at Seaton.

The float, when hitched up to its towing tractor, is nearly 100 feet long and has 16 people on it in costume, aged 16 to 74.

Barry Perry, husband of SVCC secretary Marion, is the eldest and can be seen dressed as a cowboy on the tractor, which has four drivers, including captain Alan Baker, who drove on Saturday.

As well as those on the float, there are eight road crew who walk alongside and someone to navigate, who is in radio communication with the driver.

No club knows what another has chosen for its theme, so this year there are three Western floats in the circuit.

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“The whole club decides on the theme,” said Marion, who said there was a whole raft of behind-the-scenes helpers who design, build and make costumes for each year’s float.

This year those involved are James Tratt, Rob Sleeman, Barry Perry, Nick and Scott Beavis, Neil Austin, Mike Wheatley, Robert Clinton, Alan Baker, Jamie and Matt Baker, Laurie Collins, Richard Board, Paul Merrifield, Jamie Martin and Shane Moulder.

Costumes are made by Karen Baker, Janet Beavis and Karen Wilson.

Thanks to Janet, widow of Paul Hargreaves; who ran Sidford Victoria Laundry and was a great supporter of the carnival club, the float is built in a shed near the former laundry site.

As well as a horse, cactus, sheriff’s badges, saloon doors and turning red wheels, a veranda with horse in front, sports a rocking chair for one of the older members to sit with a pipe and banjo.

“It will be all guns blazing to do well at Sidmouth Carnival on Saturday, September 24,” said Marion.