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An ancient fireworks tradition at the annual Bridgwater Carnival.
The word 'squib' has, over the years, been used to refer loosely to any of a variety of fireworks. It has been imprecisely applied to bangers, roman candles and mines, and even to a type of firework which used to be applied to sooty chimneys to loosen the worst of the deposits before the sweep pushed up his brushes.
mouseover pic to see moreThe town of Bridgwater in Somerset though, knows only one type of squib. Squibbing is permanently commemorated in the statue 'Spirit of Carnival' and it's history is explained on the plaque:
"For centuries, on 5th November, the townsfolk of Bridgwater gathered around a bonfire, sited here on the Cornhill to celebrate the failure of Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Throughout the course of the evening the revellers would light their home-made Squibs and make merry around the flames of the bonfire and so the famous Bridgwater Carnival was born."
"The last bonfire was lit in 1924 but the Bridgwater Squibs still play an important role in the carnival celebrations when a large simultaneous squibbing display brings the festivities to a sparkling, spectacular close."
Each squib is attached to the end of a stout pole. When fully alight the assembly, known as a 'cosh' is held aloft. The double line of squibs - usually well over150 - form a spectacular parade of pyrotechnics.
Statue 'Spirit of Carnival', sculpted by Dave Faulks to celebrate the centuries of Carnival and squibbing.
Squibbing is the sensational finale to the Bridgwater Carnival, which is just one of the many illuminated carnivals of the South West.
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