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 homemade 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 over 150 – form a spectacular parade of pyrotechnics.
Squibbing-spirit-of-the-carnival Squibbing is the sensational finale to the Bridgwater Carnival, which is just one of the many illuminated carnivals of the South West.
Hundreds of spectacularly lit floats parade through the towns of Somerset and neighbouring counties.
The tradition of squibbing in Bridgwater, Somerset goes all the way back to the Gunpowder Plot.
The squibbers – mostly members of the local carnival clubs – parade up the High Street and hold their flaming squibs aloft. This video, taken in 2013, is in High Definition, bringing previous coverage up to date.