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Updated November 2008
The Elephant Fayre
Port Eliot .
St Germans. Cornwall.
July 29th - August 1st .1982.
Siouxsie and the Banshees,
John Cooper Clarke,
The Albion Band,
Arizona Smoke Revue,
Chas and Dave,
Dizzy and the Doormen.
Organizers : l to r : Sue Abel , Peregrine Eliot, Richard Abel, Bob Butler,Lesley Sheppard, Richard Worthy, John G Newman .
Images Courtesy Bob Butler
"Psst , I don't want you to get worried or nuffing, but theres a bloody great Elephant watching us .."
Photo© Justin Warman
Labeled" The Peace Convoy" by the esteemed Convoy Steve in 1982, " As you know , it was I - the brave and fearless Convoy Steve , who originally coined the name 'Peace Convoy' when we were all at Stonehenge in 1982 - I made the one and only Peace Convoy stencil and went round spraying it onto everyone's vehicle before we went to Greenham - the stencil went off to Tipi valley in the care of Tipi Jean who had an old ice-cream van but I am afraid she has since lost it. "
However ,there were others who had joined the convoys ranks who were not as peaceful or as together as the original convoy members. But as Steve labeled the Convoy in summer 82 and did not ever attend the Elephant Fayre , its safe to say that the " Peace Convoy " was not in attendance at the Elephant Fayre in 1982 as they all buzzed off to East Anglia after the Greenham festival - there to be demonized by a very willing tabloid press who merrily began sowing the seeds of outrage that eventually led to the mass persection of ALL travellers by the authorities during the 80s and beyond.
It was in fact rather difficult to say just who WERE the members of the "Peace Convoy " as the years progressed .As traveller numbers increased in the early 80s, there were numerous convoys traversing the country at any one time and many of the original members dropped out, to be replaced by some less idealistic elements.
As Convoy Steve says " I left the convoy in 1982 after realising that the anarchistic energy that fuelled it was never going to be predictable and it was attracting elements that I did not want to be associated with. I went on to travel with a smaller bunch of close friends who were not thieves/junkies/twats and who had a positive outlook on the traveling scene. The 'Peace Convoy' as an entity didn't really last for more than that year then became just the 'Convoy' "
Banshees' Set list
Unfortunately , it seems that some of these less scrupulous elements tended to gravitate towards attending the Fayre. Their disruptive presence eventually led to the demise of the festival. But that was several years in the future . After the success of the 1982 event the organisers were encouraged to plan towards establishing an even more ambitious lineup of bands for the 1983 festival.
Images courtesy Bob Butler
Ticket and postcard courtesy Justin Warman
I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the web site at http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/
In particular, I was pleased to see the page about the Elephant Fayre (1982, especially) as I spent the summer of 1982 travelling around England attending different music events (I'm American). I started at The Hacienda in Manchester the first week it was there (purely by accident) and I ended at The Elephant Fayre. In between, I attended a lot of events including a very large one at Roundhay Park in Leeds (about 80,000 people we were told).
the atmosphere at The Elephant Fayre was pretty special and I am so sorry to
hear how it got ruined along with a good number of other things from the time.
It should be a lesson to us all: enjoy the good times while you have them.
I took a pretty good number of pictures while I was on that trip (including while being crushed against the barrier, front and center, at Siouxsie and the Banshees) but I have moved several times over the years and I've not seen them in a while. If I find them, I will scan and send them to you. I should also have some ephemera from the event in the same place, if I can only find it.
When I arrived at the festival I was carrying a seabag of my stuff and had nowhere to put it. Some nice people with a B&B let me stash it there while I attended the event as I couldn't afford any lodging at all (I actually arrived back in the US with no money at all after sleeping my last two nights in England at the airport in London).
As a result, I slept on the ground the first night which wasn't too bad but it was pretty damp. The next day I met a couple of French girls who had a little caravan and, in exchange for helping with some translations, they let me sleep on the floor which was a big improvement.
One thing I remember was that the food was quite good. A lot of it was new to me (I'm not a vegetarian) but it fit the mood perfectly.
Thanks again for the site, it is bringing back some really good (but faded) memories!
Roger Hutchinson, was as usual , there and sent this report .
For the 82 Fayre, I was going to act as tent technician for the Centre Ocean Stream company who were appearing there on the old grass tennis courts above the Elephants adventure playground. I had conceived and built them a large theatre tent during the previous year and for a couple of hours work to erect the tent, Gill and I got in for free.
We took our good friend Jeff and shared the cost of his ticket so he could afford to go and we camped on the performers field under a giant orange and white striped parachute to shade us from the constant sun. On arrival I shot off and scored the necessary weed and wine from some enterprising guy in an old bell tent and we were quickly blotto so sat in the middle of site, watching it come alive as the sunset faded to dark. The weather was hot and so the riverbank was like a spaced-out Skeggy where punters cooled off, joyfully in the buff, as it isn't considered normal behaviour to pack a bathing costume for a music festival!
The only band I can remember by name was Siouxsie and The Banshees and I only took in two numbers before finding something else more in harmony with the surroundings. Experiencing life as a couple really blunts it's intensity and the way you interact with what's going on - if it wasn't for the photos I would have hardly remembered anything.
Festival Welfare Services Report.
FIELD WORKER'S REPORT
The first aid and medical services were run by a local doctor, who organised a very impressive unit in the main part of the site, on 24 hour duty. The unit was busy over the festival, dealing with a range of ailments and accidents. Medical personnel were on duty near the big top for the evening concerts, but they were not very obvious and should have had a more visible unit there. We recommend next year a temporary first aid post if large events are to take place at a distance from the main site. The same would apply to the campsite, which was separated from the main arena, and where we would recommend emergency overnight first aid cover.
also recommend a small specialist counseling service to be present on site,
such as could be provided by the local social services dept. or the Samaritans
Festival Branch, to work with the medical service .
An Information Point was provided at the main entrance and had all the basic information necessary and provided an access point between festival visitors and the organisers. We recommend a large site plan (this was eventually provided but not until Sunday). There was a site shop at the entrance selling a range of basic provisions, mainly for campers, at reasonable prices. This was a very good idea, although only open limited hours.
Public telephones were installed near the entrance and were well used throughout the festival.
Food and Drink.
A very wide selection of food and drink, hot and cold, and vegetarian food was provided at reasonable prices. There was a large marquee housing the bar and many eating places were under cover, which was fortunate as the weather was rainy. Most food was good quality at reasonable prices, except near the big top in the evening, where the choice was limited to more expensive "fast foods". Supplies of drinking water were insufficient, and we recommend better arrangements for next year, with accessible drinking water taps clearly marked.
Constructed wooden units with seats over deep pits, partitioned and covered, were provided on site. There seemed to be plenty, but they were not obviously marked for people not used to recognising these constructions. They were not lit at night therefore difficult to use in the dark and got messy. They were insufficiently filled in with earth or lime during the festival, so started to smell. The units would have been ok if better maintained and illuminated.
There was plenty of dead wood in the area for campfires, so there was little destruction to the local environment. Oil drums for litter were scattered around the site and emptied regularly, so the site was kept reasonably clean. The festival program was very reasonably priced and contained information about events on site, although it was a little confusing, as so much was happening in different parts of the site and events were not often running to time. It contained a site plan showing most facilities and also local transport arrangements. There was a wonderful children's play area with all sorts of fun structures and many entertainments.
© Mick West
Fake aristocrats © Mick West
"A traveller peeling spuds lurks next to his car , waiting to pounce on unsuspecting punters after lulling them into a false sense of security.
Is this the first step on the long downward spiral of drugs, rock music ,booze and std's for these innocents ?"
( story continues page 4 beneath picture of girl with huge knockers )
Photo© Justin Warman
staff were friendly and helpful, although they were not given enough details
of the location of facilities and the accessibility of passes. There was some
stop and searching by the police on the approach roads to the site, but these
were not obvious and police in uniform were not present on site. Many generators
were used around the site, which were noisy and hopefully next year better sound
baffling can be organised.
It was an extremely good event, enjoyed by many people. It was very well organised and hopefully It will take place again next year, with some of the suggestions for improvement included here.
7-31- 82 40 mins Aud tape
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Port Eliot Literary Festival 2007
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