IT'S full speed ahead in Bishop's Castle as final preparations are put in place for this year's carnival on Sunday, July 2.

The first recorded carnival took place in 1897 so this year will be the 120th and many celebrations are taking place in carnival week.

There's a town treasure trail on Friday June 30, starting from the Castle Hotel at 6pm and finishing at the Six Bells at 8pm.

The trail is suitable for all the family and the idea is to follow the clues and get to the prize at the very end.

Carnival day will start with the decorated floats gathering at Church Bank at noon, ready for judging at 12.30pm. The walking classes will be judged on the carnival field this year, and this will take place in the main ring after the crowning of the carnival queen Emma Gwilliam and carnival princess Megan Morris. The walking characters are very welcome to join in with the traditional procession which leaves Church Bank at 1pm, led by the parade marshal Bernard Edwards,who will also be officially opening the carnival when the procession arrives on the playing fields at 2pm.

Bernard's family have a long association with Bishop's Castle carnival, his grandfather Walter Edwards being the very first parade marshal. The outfit Bernard will be wearing on July 2 was originally made for his grandfather in the 1930s by a local lady, Mrs Alum. She was the wife of the local tin maker and lived in Union Street, Bishop's Castle. After the carnival the outfit will be returned to Bishop's Castle Heritage Resource Centre for safe keeping until next year. Bernard's mother Rita Coxall is also a great supporter of the carnival and has been on the carnival committee for 69 years. In 2012 she was the Bishop's Castle Diamond Jubilee carnival queen. Karen Bavastock, who is the carnival press officer said, "I was so pleased when Bernard agreed to wear the parade marshal outfit once again and to open the carnival. It seems very fitting that on the 120th anniversary that we have someone whose family has a long history in helping to organise the event. Bernard himself is always available to lend a hand which is what the carnival is all about. We will also be remembering other marshals from the recent past who have been named as Dennis Hatfield, Harold Bramwell, Bert Wellings, Harold Bentley, Bill Steed and Leslie Wadsworth."

Karen continues, "As well as the procession, there is something for everyone on carnival day . Children can enter the craft competition and there's a chance to win £100 in a mystery mobile telephone number competition, so remember to bring your mobile phones on the day. We also have a team from SpArC who are performing a Maori style Haka in the main ring. We are welcoming back many of the traditional stalls as well as our raffle with lots of prizes on offer. The three top prizes are an MOT from Union Street Garage, an original painting by Ludlow artist Diane Jennings and a Sunday carvery and pudding for two at the Inn on the Green in Wentnor. We also have vintage vehicles and a steam engine to entertain along with music and much more."

The proud 120 year history of Bishop's Castle carnival will also be marked by a display of photographs in the secretary's tent. This will include pictures of carnival kings, queens, junior kings and queens from the past, as well as some of the parade marshals. In addition, the final book on the history of the carnival will be launched at the event , together with the sale of a commemorative carnival tea towel, designed by Karen Bavastock and Amanda Houghton. Karen explains, "I asked local people to come up with words about what Bishops Castle means to them and have gathered these together and combined them with a illustrations by Amanda of buildings in the town. We hope people will like what we have done and buy the towels as a carnival souvenir. The only thing which cannot be organised is the weather, however that has never stopped us yet and the people who love the carnival have always come up trumps. It is amazing how, year on year people surpass themselves with floats and costumes and get involved in the spirit of our well-loved carnival".