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Red Army


The term Marketeer is used to describe individuals, typically persons or groups of persons dressed in Red Fluffy jackets and having a Chuffin‘ Good Time!! Often engaged in drinking activities that involve all kinds of fun!!

Marketeers Carnival Club Bridgwater EST 1960
Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never, in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in.

Marketeers cc 40th Anniversary
Dinner and Dance
was held at the Chilton Trinity School in May 2000

The Information below was Taken from the 40th Anniversary booklet

40 years

By Garry Chidgey
The scriptwriters for classic soap opera entertainment are always looking for new ideas and interesting themes. The theory is to compel viewers into watching their creations and to keep the plot simmering enough so that viewers will keep watching, and listening to what in the main are tales of


every day life, of normal run of the mill folk, living in their own environment with all the individual trials and tribulations that run along side the characters.

From what I have seen of many of the soaps on offer today I can only suggest that an element of staleness has drifted into many of the beloved programmes, admired by the masses and despised by the more cultural critics within media entertainment.
I have often wondered where the scriptwriters for these programmes get their story lines, and upon investigation it appears the B.B.C. and I.T.V. in

particular have set up forums where the actual scriptwriters sit down with a congregation of personnel to discuss and to generate topical and


interesting story lines. I suppose it would be fair to say that some of the more popular soaps have had some classic television moments. Remember when poor Tiffany was flattened by Frank, and when Ken Barlow connected a right hook with Mr. Mike "slimy" Baldwin. Apart from moments like this it is essentially the same old stuff over and over again.
Bringing this theme forward into the carnival perspective, it is interesting to find that we have a lot in common with the dear old soap opera. I can only speak for the Marketeers C.C. but is it not interesting when you look back over the years and drag up the memories, that you find there entrenched in the past, a whole range of characters that have contributed towards our own little soap opera. Some of the story lines that have been thrown up over the past years would have provided more than enough material to keep a soap interesting, and basically a script writer securely in employment.
The Rovers Return, or is it the Old Market next door to the Queen Vic, or is it the White Hart. The common link is the dear old local. The congregation of the central characters link uncannily to the dear old pub.
The church of carnival is, one has to say, the chapel of the beer keg, where falling down water and the packet of crisp is the holy communion of the traditional Marketeers. (And many other carnival species)
And as the Marketeers head into their filth decade it is with a sense of pride and satisfaction that I myself can look back at over 22 years of my involvement with a club that has firmly stamped itself into the annals of carnival history.
Of course one particular member has been there from the start and is still going strong, if not a little slower these days. Chunk (the punk) Dunster who proudly sits on the backbenches and heckles from afar is still a maim contributor to the fabric of the club. It must be interesting for Gerard (chunk's real name) to recall all the changes of personnel that have passed through the club over the 40 years. We have had our fair share of characters, some still with us some sadly not. But the contribution of all the past members has been recognised and gratefully received

Fangs for the Memories.

Whilst reminiscing about the past I must apologise that the following memoirs account for the last 22 years of the total 40 the Marketeers have been in existence. I am sure that a certain Mr. Dunster could help me out for the first 18 years. However the last 22 years hold enough soap operatic material to enthral the masses and frighten the many.
My earliest recollection with the club is walking into the Market House/valiant Soldier (now Remedies Bar) as a new member. I can recall Paul Elson and Dave Bell who were playing darts carefully surveying a potential new member. A very young Andrew Bawden informed me that before I became a member, I would be interviewed by the Club Secretary (Rod Stoodley). What I hear you cry an interview to join a Carnival Club?
Oh yes, how times have changed, the club did indeed at that time conduct interviews to assess potential new members. Anyway I passed my audition and entered the world of the M.C.C.
It was the year of the "Horr-ient Express" and the 1st ever stage win for the club with "X.Cert". Interestingly enough in that year I was cast as a Dracula character with 11 other of the younger members. It was during the summer that the 12 of us sat in a dental surgeons waiting room to have dental casts taken so the counts famous fangs could be moulded to the gums of the prospective vampires. Trying not to giggle with a mouth full of polyfilla was a chore and a half. Adrian Clapp had failed miserably in this task and as the tears rolled down his cheeks the harder it was for the rest of us to keep control. Any way the fangs were all fitted and the club walked away with the White Hart Cup on stage. Not so good on the cart results but a magical result at Weston super Mare resulted in the club not winning the non-winners cup.
Which at the time, the club had a phobia against winning.

1973"Bulldog Breed"
The Clubs first win in
Bridgwater Carnival

How we achieved that highly recommended 4th place at Weston was quite intriguing as the W.S.M. Carnival has never awarded the Highly recommended 4th place position since.
I have often wondered if this result was anything to do with a certain Mr Stoodley who was seen at the Winter Gardens lobbying the carnival judges at the rear of the hall. But surely the club could not stoop that low would it?
The following year was another reasonably successful year with "Splendour of the Aztecs". The idea came from Tarry Picket and the club picked up 2nd both on stage and road. Again 2nd places were gained on the road on the county circuit and a joint first place with Vagabonds at Weston unfortunately robbed Vaggies the chance of winning the County Cup. This of course was back in the bad old days of carnival politics, which have thankfully gone away. (Whom am I trying to kid)? Events that year other than the actual carnival activities stuck in the mind as Steve Paynters stag night in Illminster. Hands up all those of you who can remember Dave Stone (Hummer) drinking disgusting fluid substances from his beloved stein glass on the return coach journey.
It was also the year that gave birth to the now famous annual Marketeers cricket trip to see Somerset in action, And what a first trip that was. All dressed in smocks a hoard full of Marketeers headed to Lords to watch Somerset play in the Gillette Cup semi final. Highlights of the day were the sound of the last post echoing around the ground played by Dave Stone on his bugle every time an opposition wicket fell. Another was Chunky Dunster's one-man invasion running across the pitch whilst play was still going on. Richie Benaud recorded the moment beautifully live on telly when he announced "we have an Idiot on the pitch". A young Greg Dunster cried at home watching the TV. Quick mum dads on the telly"." Don't he deft" replies Suzette as she wanders into the front mom to see a man on the box perform a tumble on the hallowed grass of lords, and as his hat fell of revealing the flesh coloured beacon Suzette realises that yes indeed that head could only belong to one man.
It was just as entertaining after the match with yours truly walking around London with a dead cat slung over my shoulder. Bob Tozer decided to step offs London bus going along the Edgware Road. No harm in that except the bus was travelling 30 miles per hour! After approximately 15 somersaults later Bob got up, dusted himself down and said, "Right where are we going for a drink".

1978 "X.Cert"
The Clubs First ever
winning stage show
(White Hart Cup)

The best sight after the match was Chunk having a rollicking for running across the pitch, what made the event even better was the fact that the rollicking came from Sir Garfield Sobers. (Absolutely true, would I tell a lie)?
The cricket trips are now well embedded into the Marketeers yearly calendar. And though many trips were memorable that 1st year was the pinnacle of madness, which has not been surpassed. Other memorable moments are captured below which are worth a mention.



1. Lords aging 1983. Greg Daughton and another who shall remain nameless try to break into the Lords long room and steal the ashes. Didn't get the ashes but managed to get 8 trays of cakes and sandwiches.
2. Hove 1989. Adrian Horne falling asleep in the stands under a pile of newspapers, Then Mike Smith setting the papers on fire. Later that day 20 naked Marketeers seen running around Brighton promenade.
3. Trent Bridge 1988. After the winning run hit by Vic Marks yours truly in a. drunken stupor following Vic right into the Somerset dressing room only to reappear minutes later on the balcony flanked with Viv Richards and Joel Garner on either side of myself (please let me have my moment of nostalgia)
4. Bath 1990. The Marketers interviewed live on Sky TV. dressed as Romans.
Soon after, Gandhi went swimming in the Beer Tents' (by then overflowing) Rainwater Butt when rain stopped play. (In fact as I recall, play didn't even begin!)
5. Glamorgan 1992. The Marketeers goes to Wales dressed as Morris Men. With
Daryl Taylor posing as the manger of the Morris Men, he gets the whole lot into the ground for nothing under the pretence we were half time entertainment?
It is possible to go on and on about the cricket trips with many other amusing moments, but we must move on.


Black Friday must appear to the uninitiated as some kind of tribal ritual that allows grown adults to behave in various kinds of modes. The general drunkenness is tempered with adolescent type behaviors and the acceptance that dressing up in unusual clothing is acceptable.
I believe it is fair to say that to any person in and around the town of Bridgwater on Black Friday would spy the odd red fury jacket.
The beloved Rat Jacket as it is known has become the trademark of the Marketeers and has been with us since 1979. The story behind the birth of the Rat Jacket evolves around 2 members at that time, one being Steve Wood and the other a young Martin Hodge. Punk rock was in it's prime that year and the younger members led by Steve were heavily into the punk scene. So much so that trips to Bristol were often made to see top punk bands live. Out of all these bands there is no doubt that that Steve had a particular favorite which was the Boomtown Rats led by the irrepressible Bob Geldof.
As Steve was the figurehead for the younger element of the club, a generalisation began to take form from the senior members when talking about the youngsters. Before to long most of these youngsters were christened the Boomtowns.
This terminology was derived as a pure link to the ringleader's obsession with the Boomtown Rats. It was just approaching carnival season that year when Martin Hodge approached many of the Boomtowns with an idea he had formulated.
It appeared that Martin's mother Wendy was quite adept with the needle and cotton. And somehow Martin convinced his mother to knock up some jackets.
The design was quite simple, based upon a part costume from the "Xanadu" idea. But instead of the blue furry material notorious with "Xanadu" , it was decided the red material would give the jacket it's own identity. Enter Mr Woods who added the quirk of the Boomtown Rats motif emblazoned across the back of the finished article.
Approximately 20 jackets were made embroidered with each young members name. All this work was achieved under a cloak of secrecy away from the senior members. It was the first Sunday of concerts 1979 that as usual the Marketeers made an early start drinking at the Valiant Soldier. It became apparent that all at once the younger element of the club disappeared. All those members headed towards the secret stash of jackets stored at a location in behind Town Hall. And as the Jackets were donned the triumphant throng flocked back to the Valiant in full chorus of some disgusting rugby song. Low and behold the Rat Jacket was born. It is now tradition that as new members join a Rat Jacket is made and long may it continue.


On the carnival scene the club went through a purple patch of results both on the Road and on the Stage. Winning the road with the Chelsea Pensioners was the start of the period that saw a successful streak in a short period of years. The double was achieved twice with "Land of Make Believe" and "Just Clowning Around". It was during this period that the club began to get the tarnish of Manchester United syndrome. There is a trait amongst this nation of ours to knock successful people or functions if they are perceived to be top of the pile. I believe the Marketeers went through a stage such as this around the time the club was having good success on the carnival front.
I always think back to the period when we were coming out of the purple patch most symptomatic when the club did Christmas.
That year the club gained 2nd both on stage and the road. A very successful year one would think, however it was for me very amusing to see the reaction of the other carnival club fraternity about the perception that the Marketeers had been knocked off the proverbial perch. At the Bridgwater presentation dinner that year it appeared that every speech made by the Gangs and Features clubs had a pop at the Marketeers. Now personally I found a lot of the remarks amusing and flattering. But what did amaze me was the fact that the overall perception was that we were as a club crying in our beer about not winning?
This scenario puzzle's me more than anything, as one thing I can honestly say about the club is that I have never experienced in my time the club crying about the results.
I would go on to say the complete opposite has been apparent on a number of occasions, as socially, I believe the club is one of the best around for having a good time. I think it is Fair to say that Black Friday for the club would not be tire same if we were ever to win the Road again. The Black Friday tour is special to the club and to be firmly entrenched at the headquarters for the day would somewhat go against the grain.
It is now over a decade that the club has not won the road you would think that Manchester United syndrome would not apply anymore. But low and behold it does still appear to be affecting the club even now.
Therefore my interpretation is that we never had Manchester United syndrome in the first place but indeed Millwall syndrome.
As the song says, "No one likes us, we don't care" springs to mind. Actually we probably don't care. The club does and will go on enjoying it self whilst doing the best we can on both Road and Stage.
The club getting disqualified on the road within the rules was not enough to send us into tears, but if that thought about the sobbing provides comfort for others then it is a cross we will probably have to bear!

The Final Episode In This Series

As we enter a new millennium the Marketeers are looking strong and well equipped to take the club forward. The last ten years leading up to 2000 has been a testament to the resolve of the club, not much success but hanging in there. 1999 was a particular rough year for the club as membership fell and the finances were not too rosy.
However recognition that the club was struggling a touch has refocused the many out there who hold the M.C.C. in their hearts, and it is inspiring to see many of the old faces coming back to strengthen the club once again.
It is difficult to identify what the next ten years may hold. I suppose a Headmaster marking his pupil could use the words " has a lot of potential, and could do better" and I feel that this is the current situation regarding the M.C.C.



1985 Just Clowning Around

The 'nearly' club may well become the 'have done' club. One thing for sure is that the main players in the soap opera will be leading the role in driving the club forward. It is after all one big episode of interactive characters playing out their own creative production. Characters are what the game is all about. The interesting factor is that we have a strong element of youngsters breaking through into the major roles within the club. In a way the resemblance of the current club compared to the club I first joined is not at present too dissimilar.
The soapsuds have not gone pop yet and I do not think they will. We have a long way to go to beat the longevity of the folk from Coronation Street but I believe ours is a Ear more interesting story line with stronger forged characters and with more potential for the unexpected

Without doubt this year was and remains to this day the most successful that this or for that fact any other Club has experienced. The Marketeers' Entries: "A Dream Come True" (Stage) and "Land of Make Believe" (Cart) walked away with EVERY Trophy available to a Feature Club at the time, including all the various County Individual "Choice" Category Awards throughout the Carnival circuit, a feat yet to be emulated by any other. It goes without saying that many Clubs have benchmarked from the Marketeers over the years and with much success, We as a Club have, over the past forty years seen many individuals come, go and remain, many of whom, whose names crop up occasionally in the odd tale, that may be at times quite unbelievable.
But if you shave off the slight exaggeration or two they have accumulated over the years they are still as hilarious or inspirational as ever. Of those names, there are individuals who were, or indeed may still be, of great influence within the Club, both founder and more recent members alike. It is to these people, some sadly no longer with us, that we pay tribute, for without their inspiration, vision and sheer dedication I am sure the Marketeers Carnival Club would not be the successful Club that it is today and we hope, well into the future.



Marketeers Carnival Club would like to thank the following people for their hard work, help & assistance in making this evening possible.
The 40th Anniversary Dinner Committee:
Chunky Dunster
Carry Chidgey
Paul Brazewell
Kenny Rogers
Lee Savage
Jon Horsey

Peter J Nicholls
Malcolm Jones
Nicki Rogers
The Bar Staff
The Band

Chilton Trinity School
Teresa Moretti
Kay & Andy
The Caterers
Apologies to anyone omitted your efforts are greatly appreciated
40th Anniversary Souvenir Programme Designed & Published By
Jon Horsey ©




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