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THE FLOATS

1991  - Cleopatra's Barge

The Stag Carnival Club's first float, with music from the opera Aida, won Best In Class. Effectively, though not strictly, a tableau it was built in the shape of a boat painted black and gold. Many of the construction techniques that were to be used in future floats were debuted here (as well as some that were never tried again.)

1992  - Rocky Horror Show

A controversial choice of theme at the time, this float won Best In Class in Hastings Old Town Carnival and also took second prize in The Staplecross Bonfire Parade. The trailer had been given a smaller set of wheels and new steering gear earlier in the year thus enabling a taller structure to be built in the form of castle turret with a high platform clad in stone effect moulding. The theme brought with it some of the strong choreography that was set to become a feat ure of later floats.

1993  - Jubilee Jazz Band

The float this year was moved into the open air - a rather exposed field at Fairlight Place Farm.  This unfortunately coincided with some of the worst spring and summer weather for years.  1993 was the twenty fifth Hastings Old Town Carnival and the theme was therefore fairly predictable.  The structure from the previous year was largely retained with the cladding removed.  An innovation was the creation of stilt walkers, actually sat on bicycle seats attached to the rear towers.  The float did not meet the expectations that had been built in previous years: gaining Second in Class.

1994  - The Blues Brothers

This year marked the first of the Old Town Carnival's "free themes".  The design for the float was somewhat of a compromise - the cylindrical constructions were originally intended to be drums and the theme "Puppet on a string",  however the club members were enthusiastic to recapture the success of the "Rocky Horror Show" and the strong music and visuals that came with the "Blues Brothers" theme were seen to be the clue.  The simple design of stepped cylinders painted with a cityscape provided a platform for some eye catching choreography.  The float won Best in Class in Hastings Old Town Carnival and was also taken to Staplecross bonfire procession on a particularly wet November night where it won a Second. 

1995  - Space Raiders

There have always been some striking SciFi floats in the West Country circuit and this float was largely inspired by those.  The well known music from Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds provided a starting point for this startling float.  The colour scheme was entirely black and red with all of the crew in identical costumes. The float marked a turning point in the use of technology: a remotely controlled smoke generator provided the exhaust for two animated spaceships (which unfortunately broke soon after setting out from the Stade ) and a rotating aerial.  Unfortunately there was some controversy regarding the judging of the float and despite the wide acclaim no prize was won. 

1996  - A Pirates Life

Another winning boat and with the strong music from the film Pirates this float is perhaps the greatest technical achievment thus far.  The massive clinker built ship with masts and rigging won Best in Class in Hastings Old Town Carnival and on invitation to Rye won Best in Show carrying hundreds of light bulbs.  The clinker built construction was achieved with precut strips of hardboard attached with impact adhesive and pins.   

1997  - The Inter-Galactic Circus of Wonders

Last years float won best in show with this colourful display inspired by the Las Vegas show E/FX.  The bright costumes and animated choreography brought a spectacle to Hastings Seafront on a particularly sunny Carnival Day.  The structure of the float itself was largely adapted from that of the previous year but adorned with colourful shooting stars and circus big tent motif.  

1998  - Flowers In The Rain

The first rigidly themed Old Town Carnival for a number of years ("Thirty Years of Carnival - Past Present and Future"). This bright and deceptively simple float won Best in Show.


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Last Updated : 09/Nov/1998