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Updated Jan 2016

This site is dedicated to the memory of Roger Hutchinson, who inspired me to delve deep into the magic of the free festival and who passed away Sept 3rd 2010.

R.I.P. Roger .....

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The Trentishoe Whole Earth Fayre.

Barnstaple, Devon - July 1973.

R.I.P Greg Haynes

one of the organisers of the festival who sadly passed away on Nov 26th 2006.


    This sounds a really nice concept - a holistic festival that intended to make all the aspects of a festival important -not just concentrating on getting bands on-stage and to hell with all the other infrastructure. It was also designed to be an event that children would enjoy , not just the adults. The site was huge-50 acres of farming land, situated 800 feet above sea level - on the cliffs facing the Bristol channel- in short - lovely country . The organisers were lucky enough to have hired the site for the princely sum of £25 and better still - they had the place for three weeks. Although only 1500 people actually attended, it appears to have been a success - as it achieved a number of its aims - which were .....

"The idea of the Fayre is to bring together as many people as possible that are involved in living alternative life-styles. In one place, to do their thing. To build an alternative campsite that, as far as possible, is ecologically sound, existing in harmony with the environment."


'Obviously we cannot utilise every alternative on a large scale for just a few days -but we can demonstrate their practical use on a small scale for all to see and experience. We will organise the facilities to make the event functional, then contact alternative organisations and individuals. Inviting their help, ideas and :- energies. Example suggestions are:
(1 ) To utilise natural sources of energy, e.g. windmills. Water wheels, solar stills,
methane gas from recycled sewerage, etc.
(2) To recycle waste products where practical, e.g. sewerage, paper, grease, glass, etc.
(3) To provide cheap alternative structures for shelter, living, working, etc.,
e.g. domes, teepees and other tent forms, paper or card houses, earth shelters, etc. thatching.
(4) To make whole food available in free food kitchens, and for personal preparation, e.g. organically grown
vegetables for the event, local market garden produce, bulk whole grains and flour, untreated local milk, scrumpy, spring water (on site) etc.


Activities:
(1 ) Music: buskers, minstrels, flamenco, a sitar, drummers, etc.
(2) Theatre: e.g. natural theatre, mime, children's pantomimes, Cornish folk theatre.
(3) Morris dancing.
(4) Children's adventure playground, kites, potholing, swimming, walking, exploring.
(5) Yoga and metaphysics.
(6) Environmental experiment: e.g. plant- human, animal - human relationships, monitoring plant and -
natural cycle reactions.
(7) Communications. e.g. free discussion, site news-sheet, information centre, free surplus exchange centres.
(Night-time): Stage and entertainment- four performances a night, light shows, D. J. sounds, films, stargazing, telescopes star-chanting.

According to the account in the long out of print book " Tomorrow's People , by Jeremy Sandford and Ron Reid the festival managed to achieve a number - but not all - of its aims.


"There were plenty of cheap alternative structures and very good free food. There was good music, very good stage equipment, and some free dope. Most of the other things envisaged didn't happen.
It was a small ecological festival, the groups arrived and the water supply was supplied by the Pot Dealers of the South West laying on a water tank; a 20 ton water truck brought water from a village a few miles away to the site .
For bogs they hired a trench digger and I think there were four trenches around the site, and they just put poles along above the trenches, and a canvas cover up.

 

    Many of those who attended the festival constructed their own shelters out of wood and polythene, as they had at Glastonbury, Phun City and Windsor.

Free organic food was also an important part of the festival - a change from the revolting over priced synthetic hot-dogs and burgers washed sown with Coke that was all that most festival goers were offered at commercial festivals. People also improvised ovens for baking free bread. Old gas stoves were covered by earth , fired by wood with a chimney added to provide a draught for the fire. Free food kitchens ran continuously , providing the hippie staples of brown rice and vegetables and staffed by volunteers. More on this aspect of the festival in the BIT newsletter if you click on the image on the right .

    Apparently the police were no problem , keeping an eye on things from an abandoned farmhouse in which they played endless games of darts and cards - more interested in their board games than busting freaks. So the whole atmosphere was remarkably civilised for a change.

 

Music

   Hawkwind played at the festival on July 1st . Magic Muscle ,Keith Christmas, The Pink Fairies ,Camel , Chilli Willi & The Red Hot Peppers & Norbert The Guru were other bands that played but I have no set lists for any of the bands . There is a recording of Hawkwind labelled 6-28-72- (possibly a typo) supposedly from Trentishoe festival -which is only 8 minutes long , which is a pity , as Chris Church - who attended , mentions an epic jam session that would have been nice to have preserved for posterity to grok over ....
"on a cliff in north Devon - clouds rolled across the stage while Camel were playing, and a unique set by the 'Muscular Pinkwinds' - Magic Muscle, Pink Fairies, Hawkwind ensemble.."

This was apparently Magic Muscle's last gig . A nice way to go out .

   The festival was also enlivened by copious amounts of pink microdot , of which the assembled company liberally consumed and as a result , many silly things happened, The ubiquitious Boss Goodman has given an account of the happenings

Some of the weirdest bands you could conjure up played over the days, the Bath arts workshop supplied us with a show called Rocking Ricky and the Ricochets or the something and something whom I couldn't begin to describe, but they did bring on three dancing, gum-chewing, going-to-a-Rock-show girls who were dynamite, Larry Wallis and myself who were at the time on Planet Zero having eaten of the aforementioned micro-dots followed these polka-dotted wonders off the stage, over the wall, across a field, past a hot-dog van and eventually to their truck where we spent time peering through the windows watching them changing - - wow! The global village truckin' co scored well and blew an excellent set one night, The Pink Fairies, Magic Muscle, Chilli Willi in fact every band on was fucking good!

 

You can read the rest of Da Boss's account by cyber travelling to Rich Deakin's site

I used to run an outfit called Greasy Truckers with Pete Adam. Greg Haynes approached us for £25 to pay for the site which we coughed up – he also asked us to book bands etc………….hence the likes of Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, Keith Christmas, Global Village Trucking Company,.

We arrived in deep fog and as we approached the brakes gave out on our van. We got to the site and found that Greg Haynes & Co had got the generator on site but had failed to buy any diesel to run it. There was no amplified music happening. So having had the brakes repaired Pete took the van and purchased diesel – unfortunately for us the diesel leaked over the inside of our van leaving our mattress and bedding ruined.

When I was finding my way round the site I lost my contact lenses, had no spares with me or glasses. So the whole event was seen through a fog of short sight. Tony Andrews came with a great sound system. Greg thought we would forget to book any bands so had asked local bands to play – so I ended up running the stage with nearly two bands for every slot! This was the first time I had seen Rocky Rickette and the Jetpilots of Jive + the the Rockettes who were quite sensational – Their manager Rick Napp would not take no for an answer and how glad I am he did. Rocky & co became a regular fixture of Greasy Trucker’s gigs after that event – I set the Rockettes on people who were being unkind to us another time. Due to the wreckage of our camper van we ended up living under the stage with DJ Andy Dunkley (who sadly died earlier this year).

Pete was prone to leaving his post as stage manager due to taking loads of acid – and after he had been missing for a particularly annoying change over – Global Village as part of their set incorporated words to the effect of ‘Pete, where the hell are you, you are need on stage’ – not that it had much effect. Another resident of the stage was a sweet guy called Simon with long blond hair who had only the skimpiest of a silk dressing gown as his clothing – we had a rota of lending him our coats.

I pleaded with Boss to help us out – but no – the Fairies had set up their tent (a pub) and they were on holiday……Fairies tent got raided by the ‘attitudes squad’ -eco hippies who thoroughly disapproved of them selling beer!! Boss used to do a fair bit of stage management for Truckers and he and I shared a flat for a while. We are still firm friends.

Anyway this is just a bit of hazy memory of that festival for which we received no credit in spite of paying for the site, providing the fuel, most of the music, all the stage management etc – but then we were not in it for fame and fortune – just the music!!

Louise FitzGerald known as Lou of Greasy Truckers or Greasy Lou!!

Richard Alywin remembers it thus


"I attended this event in July 1973 shortly after I had taken my A levels. It was held at an amazing site high on the cliffs overlooking the Bristol Channel - great for looking down on the continuously moving sea hundreds of feet below which, with the help of whatever psychedelic substance you were on at the time, allowed one to exclaim, quite unself-consciously, "Wow, far out", and it was far out whether you were tripping, stoned, or just getting off on the view.

Three of us had hitched down from our posh private school in Sussex, and being terribly hip, or thinking we were, sat in the fields en route skinning up whenever we got the chance. We arrived on Exmoor and, as I recall, slept on a bleak, derelict and disused railway platform, before making our way to the site the following day.

I remember little detail of the festival, except there were probably only a couple of thousand people in the audience at the very most; the weather was indifferent, but I recall seeing the Global Village Trucking Company who used to attend all those small free festivals and Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies, who, at some stage, combined to play under the name of "Pinkwind". It was a great little festival and we were transported out of the site by a bunch of south Wales hippies in their ex-post office van which nearly didn't make down Polperro Hill or up the other side.

Any further revelations about Trentishoe would be much appreciated as would Stonehenge 77 or 78 - can't remember which one I was at.

Cheers

A nostalgic fan, now turned serious London businessman (well, not very serious but remembering fondly the great days of festival going)
.


Keith Christmas has these fractured memories


I was at trentishoe in 1973 - I had Magic Muscle living in the farm I had rented at the time

I thought someone called Louise Fitzgerald was somehow involved but I could be wrong

I don't remember a thing about any set I did and maybe that's a good thing but I do remember it was very cold and misty and the 'court' that MM's Bristol hangers-on were holding became very wierd indeed.

my car clapped out trying to get up some monster of a hill nearby


keith christmas


Nasher, who now runs a music store in Bath , was there and he has FILM of the event

.also have footage of Trentishoe Earth Fayre,1973.....site was discovered by West Coast Hell's Angels who told Greg Haynes about it as ideal festival site....Greg ran N.Devon Snail (underground mag in Barnstaple).....site was put together by freaks from Bath,Bridgewater,N.Devon....ex Earth Star Structures crew built stage /domes...(I propped up the stage with my head whilst Lorrie swapped swivels for clips)......."rival " free kitchens Cosmic Carrot and Mystical Munchies....living on brown rice with rat shit in it plus nettle soup and winkles and scrumpy....Pink Fairies selling beer, Globs played, massive state of the art PA.....the Chemists giving away bags of acid....(thanks)....Ron Reid taking pix....Magic Muscle/Pink Fairies/Hawkwind playing en masse as Muscular Pinkwind.....Rocky and the Jets with naked compere (Phil Shepherd) proclaiming "Peace and Profit"....and the rest !!?

I ran half the Trentishoe stuff the other night,on a crap projector.....Globs,Keith Xmas.....stage building,freaks,tents,Natural Theatre Co.(as of Rocky and the Jets),including them entering the van
Dave Goodman remembers letching into whilst tripping !! Shots of Laurie the scaffolding gaffer,and Lenny ,the guy behind Earth Star Structures (later financed by British Intelligence and the CIA to run "Peace through Security" in opposition to CND !!) (He's also visible in the "Glastonbury Fayre" movie,ligging on the Pyramid stage.) Somewhere I have more of Trentishoe,and some synch sound tapes of the bands.(Not Muscular Pinkwind unfortunately.....I left during their set,when all the punters arrived ). It's gonna take some time to plough thru it all, as there's dozens of hours of film altogether,plus all the sound.

....cheers

Nasher.


Recently discovered in the depths of the overloaded mailbox, this post from James Cooper

An Experience of Trentishoe 73.
With a group of friends,we wound our way up through Exmoor in a bright yellow Commer van,filled with the smell of soggy Afghan coats,Patchouli oil,and the smell of a resin that I have never been quite able to find again. We stuffed our van full as we came across "Freaks" on foot, caught in our headlights in the dark...To the cry "There's another one!"...the side door would slide open issuing out a thick cloud of resinous smoke over the happy wanderer,before revealing the rows of grinning faces within.

As we drove along,a sudden cry went up (short bursts of squeaky laughter from the girls).."Its a Fairy!".."The Green Man!"..."Oberon!". Reversing,and aiming our headlights on the hedge containing the mystical creature.We emerged,and formed a half circle...the bravest reaching out with a stick to part the branches. Suddenly..the hedge spoke! "Fuck Off!" Our half circle soon became a line..each holding each other at arms length,one behind the other...as half the hedge detatched itself..and stepped forward..."Fuck Off!..I'm on a three day exercise!".

To the sound of exhaled breath's,and a distant "I need another joint man!" We strained and focused on a perfectly camouflaged..soldier,leaves and sticks all over..his face covered in hues of green!. "We're going to Trentishoe man...why don't you come with us?" One of the girls stepped forward stroking his leaves in wonder,"You're our Green Man". Someone handed him a joint and he stood there..slowly breaking down to our requests of "COME TO TRENTISHOE MAN!" Suddenly,with a sharp grin, he emptied out his full oratory skills with an inhaled "Fuck It!" and jumped in the van amidst cheers from all.

Thus we entered the site,with our"Green Man" fully groomed for the occasion!
He wandered off into the throng....I did catch occasional glimpses of him...The star attraction at one of the free food camps...another time,right up at the stage..arms in the air dancing to Hawkwind. The last sighting was not so auspicious...
in between two "peak caps to nose" MPs!...but he was still smiling.............Fuck it!
These are from my own notes towards a book I am writing about my Festival experiences from 68/79...and there are many...hope you can use it,

Cheers
Regards,
J.C (Enfield UK)


Rob Bond was there from start to finish .....

I won’t be as memorable to the Trentishoe punters as Bessie my three legged dog despite the fact that I was first in the site (by a couple of weeks) and the last to leave. Rumours of the event were in the air when picked them up in Brighton and I hitched over to the place pronto and arrived the same time as Leam -another denizen of the Brighton crash pad scene. The organising lot, Greg Haynes, Mike Tanner, Dave Mackay and Norman who was the son of the farmer whose land it was were all there doing a sort of site visit. That night we all camped down at the hunters coomb place. They all left the next morning and Me and Leam took up residence on our ownio’s

           Bit by bit folk began to arrive, quite a few of the early ones being Brighton muckers. We built ourselves a residence out of materials that began to turn up and found roles for ourselves. Leam got squads together to dig toilets and I established a tool shop in a wee plastic shelter.

           After a while Lawrie turned up and built the dome and after a great deal of searching everybody realised that my lot had made our living quarters out of the covering for the dome. There was an attempt to squat but it was at last admitted that there was a greater good involved so we abandoned our cause ( Incidentally the tent inhabited by Dave MacKay and George of the global villagers was also made of the same material but we didn’t know that then). Anyhow revenge was obtained because while the dome was being clad in our erstwhile roofing material I was asked to try and keep the hordes out of the dome as the powers that be wanted to reserve it as ‘Headquarters”. Talk about King Canute, you couldn’t have held back the golden horde from getting up into the balcony in the dome with their sleeping bags any more than he could have held back the sea. I had moved myself into my wee tool shop so I watched the debacle with glee.

            As for the festival proper I cant remember too much, I was much too stoned and probably spent more time round the free ice cream van consuming the dope laced cornets. I can’t say I can remember a single act it was just the experience of the camp that has stayed with me for so long. That and thrashing Mike Tanner at chess in the Kingston club over at Combe Martin which I found myself going to more often as the site filled up.

           Well once it was over and done with a squad of us stayed on with Greg Haynes to help tidy the place up. I can’t say I remember noticing any tree damage, in fact being so windblown and all the trees there weren’t up to much by firewood standards, mainly hawthorn. In fact I’ve just remembered right at the beginning we got hold of a truck and went to some glen and brought in tons of dry wood so there was a real thing in our heads about not hacking live trees about.

            Anyway once the site was returned to it’s original state and Leam and I were last to leave. I went back a few years ago and met Norman who let me and missis camp there. What struck me most was how small it all was. It has always loomed so large in my mind that I’ve always thought it bigger than it is.
            From the pen and lingering memory of Rob Bond (E-mail if you remember me or if you just want a chat about our salad days


Hi
I was sorry to learn from your site that Greg Haynes has passed away. He and I were friends in the early seventies, we shared a house in Parracoombe along with his girlfriend Cathy Apps and a guy called Mick Hennessy in the winter of 1972.
I remember Greg as being very laid back and tolerant in his relationships with others. (Especially me) He was also full of mental energy always having some project on the go.
In 1973 in his parents retired and sold their hotel (Shelly’s cottage hotel in Lynmouth) and moved out and allowed Gregg to live
in the family cottage at the back of the hotel .I stayed there from July to December that year along with an American guy named George who had an ear operation to avoid the draft to Vietnam. And was now desperate to stay in England for reasons that need not be mentioned here.

For such a tiny place, Lynmouth had a real scene going on in the early seventies. (Percy and lord Byron would have felt right at
home) Greg persuaded his parents to hire his friends to work in the hotel as waiters, chamber maids, and Chefs ect, it was common to see a very stoned long haired hippy in a very cheap short haired wig serving soup to very straight holidaymakers. Greg even got his parents to let him organise a live acoustic Gig in the hotel one night. The band was headed by a guy name Spix (Steven Spires) the place was full of freaks from all over North Devon, who knows what the residents made of it all ! In the summers of 1972-3 the afternoons were free to take trips to the beach or up the river. The nights spent in Jam Sessions in somebody’s room in the staff quarters, visiting friends or in the Stag & Stable or the Bath Pubs.

As regards Trentishoe:
One memory I have is seeing a very wide-eyed Greg, giving a guided tour to a group of Local Businessmen and dignitaries- I wonder what they made of the toilet facilities, and the ice cream?
I recall going with Greg in the winter of 1972 to meet with someone (I think it was Mick tanner from Combe Martin) who had some land as a possible site for the festival but was turned down for the Trentishoe site. I didn’t realise that it was an Hells Angel that put him on to it, not surprised though because Greg had made friends of the Bristol (or Tauton) chapter in winter of 72.
One day we went to the NORTH DEVON SNAIL office in silver street Barnstable(I think the editor was called Pete Blake) and the front room was full of Hells Angels, they had come to invite us to spend Christmas with them in and write an article on their "alternative life style" great idea but who would go? (“Heavy Scene Man”)
Well to his credit Greg went and wrote it all down in the snail for us to read. It did turn out Heavy in parts but Greg took it in his
stride.

The summer before Greg died I had a holiday in Lynton, and hoping to make contact with him again, and talk over old times I sought
out his cousin, Peter, who gave me his address, which I promptly lost before I could copy it down.
We think there’s a time for everything but that’s not always so.

I would be grateful If anyone has any info on Greg and friends from back then
Tony from Birmingham
March 09


Hi,
I probably went to half the festivals in the UK from the IoW in 1969 to Watchfield in 1975, when I left the country, ending up in Hong Kong where I still live..

My memories of Trentishoe strangely don't include any of the music - probably because the same "usual suspects" - Global Village Trucking Co., Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies - played all the free festivals, so the memories of them are blurred into one. What I chiefly remember is running into two sisters I knew from my local pub back home in Hemel Hempstead and climbing doen the cliffs with them and a few other people to skinnydip off the beach (if it can be called that - it was mostly rocks) below.

I also recall trekking down to the nearest sizeable village (Combe Martin, I think) with several other people from the site, picking and eating wild strawberries from the hedgerows along the way. The barmaid in the pub kept charging us less for each successive round as she got drunker and drunker!
One other memory is sneaking a photo of a pretty red-haired girl as she washed herself nude. She turned round and spotted me but just smiled. I still have those photos somewhere, but it wouldn't be fair to her to post them here. She's probably a grandmother by now.
Cheers,

Rod


Hi,
I was very sorry to hear (very belatedly) about the sad passing of Greg Haynes. I have been trying to get in contact with him again for some years and never seemed to find the correct links until now.

I played in a band (The Wild Winds) with Greg in the mid 1960’s in Lynton/Lynmouth. We were mostly crap but had tremendous enthusiasm and a loyal local following. We really enjoyed the few gigs we played apart from the disasters at Combemartin and South Molton, but we were only 15 at the time!
We used to rehearse in the dining room at Shellie's Cottage Hotel in the off season, and annoy the Plymouth Breverin in the then adjacent chapel when we
rehearsed on Sundays. At that time we had all of 15 Watts at our desposal!!!

Kindest regards

Eddie Sheppard

 



 

Free Festivals List

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Free festivals and small fayres held in the United Kingdom between 1967-90.

1967-69.

 1970-79  
1980-92

 

  • Windsor Peoples Free Festival 1972-74
 
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Pay Festivals- Benefits for Travellers aid.
 

Main list of Free festivals 1970-1985

Free rock festivals of the 70s and 80s

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Many, many thanks go to Roger Hutchinson , Big Steve , Roger Duncan, Celia, Will , Chazz, Jeza ,Chris Hewitt ,The Fabulous Time Tortoise , Peter Piwowarski - ( 70s music site/photos ) Martin S, Steve Austin ,Traveller Dave, Herb, Tim Brighton, Vin Miles, Haze Evans , Noddy Guevara, Chris Brown, Janet Thompson, David Stooke, Gary Gibbons , Nigel Ayers, Rich Deakin ,Glenda Pescardo,Justin Warman,Brian F, Steve Bayfield, Kev Ellis, Paul Seaton and many other minor contributors for their help in providing the archival material related to these free festivals which has at enabled us to construct the site .

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