Formatted at 1280 X 1024 or higher - created Feb 2002.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Main street on a hot afternoon.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, love to hear from anyone from those days.
The festival was revived in the late 80s
Any info to add ?-well don't just sit there , Contact us