The Ashes Demise
the bizarre – not to mention somewhat suspicious – short-notice
cancellation of Tallington 2007, there was a temptation to knock the whole
thing on the head and write the event off. Let’s face it, planning
and organising a festival, even on such a small scale, is a handful at
the best of times, and doing it with children in tow is simply silly.
The complete farce that saw the loss of the Whistle Stop as a venue really
put a damper on the experience, and the attitude of sufferance we had
frequently had to contend with there in the past was something we could
do without. Should we bother? If so, why, where, and how?
Ashes From Ashes
whole thing worked out splendidly. One or two qualms were experienced
when it was discovered that the BNP were having their family weekend away
in a field less than two miles away, and there was some anticipation of
trouble, but as things turned out it simply added a degree of interest
and comedy to the proceedings. Arriving at the venue on the Friday afternoon
we were pleased to make the acquaintance of a riot van full of constables.
It seems our campsite was beside a footpath that led across the fields
directly to the BNP site, and this was closed and guarded for the duration.
This meant we had a police presence the whole weekend, but as we are all
good and virtuous, this was not a problem, in fact as things happened
it was a positive attraction, as on the Saturday morning they allowed
all the children to play with their riot shields, megaphones, CS gas,
cudgels, and assorted law-enforcement equipment, and the site of small
children hurling rocks at the lawmen caused some of our eyes to well-up
with emotion. It’s a strange world.
No less than three police officers of varying rank interviewed Mr. Porter that day, eager to find out who and what we were. They rather suspected we were going to be an armed camp of anti-BNP protesters, and were possibly expecting an untidy phalanx to issue forth in the direction of the frolicking Nazis at any moment, bearing brickbats and Molotovs. We were able to persuade them that this was not so, and that the worst felony they might concern themselves over from our direction was trespass on the railway tracks at the nearby Midland Railway Centre, where some fine old diesels have their home.
Ashes On Fire
Saturday dawned early, with breakfast, showers – nice communal sporting ones – and all facilities available courtesy of the venue, which establishment did a nice job of making everyone feel like they actually wanted them there. Music kicked off at eleven with The ReEntrants and Verbal Warning overlapping with the junior cricket – which was fun but something we won’t arrange formally this year, as there seemed to be plenty of things going on around the site without it. Cracktown and the very lovely Rachael Pantechnicon followed, and brought matters up to the cricket match, which kicked off at 2.00pm. This year we were pleased to welcome a new adversary, and even though we lost, we don’t mind too much, as it was a good game and we are jolly good sports. Congratulations to Jessi Adams on his lucky and completely undeserved victory, and we’ll kick his ginger backside this year in the rematch. Nice to have a bit of room to play in again as well!
Ashes On Fire
Your correspondent missed most of this, of course, as he was in a huge tent putting a confused child to bed. Thus, the distant crooning of Wob and Pog served only as a faint balm to counterbalance the outraged howling of his affronted daughter, while the timeless Mark Astronaut’s performance was but an echo of a dream…
The policemen were wrapping things up having had a busy Saturday afternoon.
Our campsite had been a little island of virtue in a sea of riot vans,
bussed in protesters, Nazis, helicopters and wailing sirens, and by comparison
Sunday was a day of rest. Mr. Henry Lawrence opened proceedings and was
followed by an hour of children’s music and colouring, during which
many of Mr. Brian Cant’s greatest hits were played. This was followed
by Mourning for Autumn and the final set from Blyth Power, after which
we all packed up and went home – eventually.