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Updated August 2009- new photos from 1981.

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Inglestone Common Free Festival

( A.K.A Avon Free festival ) 1980-83.

 

Protective bus corral at Inglestone Common 1980 © Igor Malaprop

 

NEW AGE GYPSY FAIR - JULY 4 - 21st 1980

A group of about 150 - 200 people travelled from Ashton Court Festival and camped on Inglestone Common, near Wickwar in Avon. At 7.30 pm on July 3rd, over 100 Police Officers conducted a drugs raid on the camp.
This provoked a confrontation at the end of which two Police officers and at least ten festival goers were treated in hospital. There were 13 arrests, 5 for drugs and the rest for assault, obstruction etc.
The festival goers, who are now commonly known as the 'Convoy' felt that the raid was sheer harassment.
The festival lasted for about three weeks and, other than the raid, caused no serious problems. Trench toilets were dug but were not sufficiently used.This caused some minor fouling of the woods. There was plenty of dead wood and damage to live wood was negligible. Water runs were arranged and kept going constantly.

Bob Nightingale,
RELEASE.

Darrren remembers
Arrived at festival just a few hours after site had been raided by hundreds of Thatcher's Gestapo, lots of people arrested etc.That is why buses are in protective semi circle formation.A few days later an angry mob consisting of local farmhands and what looked like a rugby team attacked and were repelled rather quickly. Alas I did not have my camera handy.
Good festival though.

Hippie keep fit classes - Bus pushing , Inglestone 1980 © Darren 61

Traveller vehicles and Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe marquee, Inglestone common -1980 © Darren 61


The 1981 site as seen from the nearby tower © Dain Obermaier

Erecting the Pyramid stage © Anthony Hewitt

1981 June 22nd-? Inglestone Common Fair

    Inglestone Common 81, the Pyramid Stage, now stageless as some day trippers burnt it for firewood! I used to really enjoy putting it up and taking it down, but bugger all to do in-between!

    Our bus, our being by this time 'Big' Chris Gibbs and me - Anthony Hewitt. It was the PSI bus (later to be the band Nukli - still going), but the band split up just before going on the road. We started looking after Nik Turner's Pyramid Stage about this time, after some numpties broke up the base for firewood.

    There was a big bender fire that year. I can't remember whose it was, but it was a big bender with several 'rooms' right next to our bus. The whole site responded very quickly and luckily no-one was hurt (very lucky if you think about it). In the end the only way to put the fire out was by pulling the bender down.

     I remember being very poor indeed at Inglestone (none of us signed on), and all we had was a sack of oats and a vast tub of milk powder, so we lived on muesli, porridge and flapjacks. It was a good few years before I could look a flapjack in the face again.

    Not too sure (hazy days), but I think we all came to Inglestone from Stonehenge. A few of us had a week or so at the Green Gathering at Pilton during this time, which was like the Green Party Annual Conference. This made a nice break from Inglestone, though we were a bit too hardcore for the Green Party crew, who weren't too comfortable about some of our carry-ons, like this humungous and awesomely powerful earth pipe we made there ( see below ).

   And then the convoy fucked off up north, to what was meant to be Deeply Vale, where all went well wrong. It was hard getting the convoy through the little lanes to the M5, but it was a hell of a feeling to drive the M5 and M6 in convoy, looking forward and back at the line speeding down the motorway (at the pace of the slowest). We pretty much took over service stations.

   However, this sort of backfired, and we got ambushed on the M6 by mucho police, blocking the whole northbound carriageway. Lots of normal folk were stuck there too, and I think they were terrified (I know I wasn't too happy), as things were quite ugly between us and the police and could have been a lot more so.

   We were in all the national papers the next day (I still have some of the cuttings my mum collected!). The further north we got the more we were split up, harried and picked off by lots of police, and then all left on the edge of some dangerous quarry, before relocating to a site on Darwen Moor, another festival altogether.

 

Right: Possibly a poster from 1980, as the dates are wrong for 1981, but who knows, these things were always pretty fluid anyway . Poster courtesy Anthony Hewitt

 

Dain at the tower overlooking the festival site © Fred

I went down for a few days once, have a few photos of the fest somewhere, some of two friends me and by some weird tower/folly, I'll look them up. All very hazy now, I remember getting a lift back from the pub in an old ambulance, there was something about a fire but I can't recall it now. We scrounged a lift home in this van that dropped a load of friends off, they left at daybreak one morning a day or so later after one of them, sent out at night to find firewood, came back with what turned out to be the stage. Apparently, at daybreak some little but really annoyed guy came along, got physical with a few of them (after dragging one of them out of his tent by his foot) then got physical with his own missus who was with him as she commented on something and then, outnumbered, went to get help to press his cause home further. The lads thought that it was a good time to ship out and immediately did, across country leaving tents and whatever else behind.....I knew there was going to be trouble, they all piled out of this tranny van in immaculately clean and ironed jeans/t-shirts, Inglestone common was a little more than they were prepared for, if you get my drift.

All the best


Dain

Chris cleaning his feet and my sister Sarah. Lying down is an American guy whose name I can't remember. © Anthony Hewitt

PSI bus © Anthony Hewitt

A rare picture of Rico of Rico's bar fame, one of the famous Waggy Poo brothers © T Tortoise

 

The photos are of the 1981 festival - courtesy Mr T Tortoise, who quoth thusly regarding the festivities

This is a view of Inglestone common 1981, a great festy that happened after stonehenge in 81 and lasted for over three weeks. This was in the days before the anti convoy hysteria when the locals were friendly and used to buy freaks drinks in the pub and brought their lurchers down to race ours etc.The main venue was the Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe marquee - lots of stuff on them if you can winkle it out !. Put out an APB.

2- Main street on a hot afternoon.
3 - This is a girl called Min (sans pants)

Right - The e-pipe.

Click on the images to see an enlarged version


Inglestone 8th -31st July 1983

Guy Rowe remembers

   Inglestone 8th july 1983 took place on a village green which had trenches dug all round but which someone had filled in sufficiently of a vehicles width so you could get on it, I think there were maybe 20 vans or so on the Friday and we got there through deep fog on the wolds and had to wait for the sun to lift the fog off before we could find the place.

   It got dead hectic on the Saturday, people were parking a way off the field down near the shop which was quite a trek down through the woods, there was a bear in the air who was filming the field who had a knack of rising up from behind the trees and um trying to make like he was out of apocalypse now only with the camera pointing out filming pissing speedheads who’s willies had shrunk to nothing. Can’t remember who was on since with many others was gnashing teeth and furiously carving a piece of wood.

 

Left: Heavily retouched poster for the 1983 festival courtesy Gopher Wood .

Restored by Great White Shark

The mustering of the tribes © Gopher Wood

Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe Embassy © Gopher Wood

"The surrounding countryside waits innocently , little knowing it is about to despoiled by hordes of marauding hippies.

See how they have already stripped the trees of their foliage !

Next comes the bark, the trunk, the roots - is there no stopping these evil bus hopping fiends and their immense arsenals of deadly thermo-nuclear devices ? Is hanging too good for them ? We think so !"

The Daily Demoniser July 1983

Photo © Gopher Wood

hi

my name is mandy and i travelled with the convoy in the early 80s, i note you are asking for info about inglestone common, i went to inglestone about 81 or 82, it was a realy peaceful place on a lovely common, the sunsets were amazing, i suppose every ones experiences are different but i felt it was a realy laid back place, i used to help rico out occasionaly, selling bacon butts , what i can remember is people chilling out, a quiet jam here and there, a bit of entertainment and lots of sunshine, i remember the welsh boys doing that, offering food to all, gypsy dave mellowing out, i fell in love with little chris that year, think hes prob happy married somewhere now, he was lovely natured, mind you everything had a golden glow.

think following year was different and obstructions were everwhere stopping vehicles , things started to change and peace was over. my e-mail amandacrompton@yahoo.com, love to hear from anyone from those days.

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The festival was revived in the late 80s

Inglestone 1989

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Free rock festivals of the 70s and 80s

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