Conscious of revealing my age, does anyone else remember when Glastonbury came to Lincolnshire?
Actually, the hamlet of Tupholme near Bardney to be precise! It was the bank holiday weekend at the end of May 1972, fields full of cars, tents, caravans and VW camper vans. The event – The Great Western Express Festival l fronted by a consortium led by the late Sir Stanley Baker (actor) and Lord Harlech and with a line up to envy any current day event. With the likes of Rory Gallagher, Nazareth, Roxy Music, Wishbone Ash, Helen Reddy, The Strawbs, The Faces, Spencer Davis, Lindisfarne, Average White Band, Slade, The Beach Boys, Genesis, Status Quo, Don McLean; Humble Pie,and Joe Cocker, the three day event was a boy’s dream 12th birthday present!
With the festival being held on farmland worked by my grandparents and uncle’s, access to ALL area’s was a status granted to my sister and I. Whilst our home was in Bardney, where reaction was divided about all the anticipated damage and it’s about time something good came to the area, we stayed that weekend at our grandparents home on the Tupholme farm. What an experience. Stanley Baker’s son Martin had breakfast with us each morning and used to turn up with a tray of yoghurts. Surprising what silly little bits you remember. Like his father he was a gentleman and treated my gran like royalty. Sir Stanley called at the house daily with some item or another, be it flowers, chocolates or bottled refreshment or a mixture of all, but stayed in a Billy Smarts Circus ‘caravan’ – well a mobile home to die for – parked in the entrance to Tupholme Hall farmyard. I was privileged to visit his caravan and to a boy of 12 it was like nothing I had ever seen before and I guess never will again.
Then there was the festival itself. WOW! I was allowed to enter the back stage area and introduced to various acts as they came off stage or were going on, names I had no idea who they were or how famous they were or would be in the music industry. But the highlight had to be being on the back of the stage on Sunday 28th as my 12th birthday treat, whilst Slade performed their set. What a memory! BRILLIANT! Even now it gives me goose bumps thinking about being so close to the band and then at the end Noddy Holder shaking my hand wishing me a happy birthday and asking whether they’d performed well enough!!!! Errr, what do you reply to that? I know I babbled out a few words but was so excited I know I wouldn’t have made any sense. To see all of this going on in the surrounds of our childhood Tupholme Hall grounds was unbelievable and what dreams are made of.
I could write on about many other memories of that weekend, but I know Ian will be counting the amount of text, so I’ll end here! But thanks Noddy and the guys for that day of wonderful memories and thanks to Martin for being so kind to our family and giving us all wonderful memories of Tupholme’s own Pop Festival.