FIFTY years ago, a carnival club hit by a devastating fire rose from the ashes to take part in the Chard parade just on week later.

At the 1970 event, Tatworth Youth Club's 'Neolithic Man' went up in flames at Ilminster Carnival, but the members came back seven days later with a replica of their original entry.

Here is the full report from the Chard & Ilminster News of October 14, 1970...

'CARNIVAL magic' brought all Chard and the surrounding districts out of its houses on Saturday night to line the two-and-a-half mile tour of one of the biggest and best processions ever seen in the town.

Even the fog, which had hung about all day, did not dampen their enthusiasm. In fact, it added a dramatic back-drop to the light and colour of the 50 floats punctuating the mile-long stream of entertainment, but may have deterred some outside visitors from attending - and provided problems going home for those who did.

"Brightest and best yet," was the way chairman Gerald Quick described Carnival '70.

"It was certainly better than last year in terms of quality," he said.

"Although there was one less entry than last year, the overall standard was the best we have had.

For the first time in its history the carnival procession started from Henson Park instead of from Victoria Avenue - the reason being that the length of the queue each year was creating road hazards.

The judges, operating from Avishayes School, cannot have had an easy task picking the winners from the floats - 12 feature, five historical, 13 comic, 10 children's, seven trade, nine foot groups, five couples and five individuals.

But in the end it was the visitors from Taunton, who had already carried off the main award at Ilminster last week, who won the grand challenge cup, with their impressive entry 'A Challenge at Camelot'.

The Taunton 1888 Club was made up of members of the Clerks Dept. at County Hall.

The Baulch Challenge Trophy for the best local entry went to the Chard Inner Wheel for their colourful and dramatic tableau of 'The Coronation of Elizabeth I'.

A float that got a round of applause was the Tatworth Youth Club's 'Neolithic Man', whose entry was almost gutted by fire at Ilminster Carnival last week.

By working almost non-stop ever since they had managed to produce a replica, just as good as the original, and earned the crowd's admiration.

'The Runaway Train', which won at Ilminster last week, made it a memorable 'double' by carrying off first prize in the comic section and fully deserved their success.