Priddy Pool Free Festival

July 1979, near Wells, Somerset

Chris and myself were doing a motorbike holiday of the West country, we'd been down to Cornwall and had now made our way back to near Glastonbury, having heard rumours of a free festival in the area. It was getting a bit late when we met up with the convoy as it was setting up on common land at Priddy Pool..

I drove onto the site, past camp fires and stalls selling all sorts of stuff and found a place to put up the tent. I was a bit nervous at first, I'd met a few travellers before, but had never actually stayed with any. I ended up staying on site for two weeks before I was faced with the choice of chucking my job in or going back to London. I did go back to work, but ever since Priddy I've had more than just a soft spot for this community.

The first few nights we had a fair range of music (Nick Turner had supplied his famous stage), the festy really only lasted a couple of days though, after that it became a traveller site.

There was a pub just down the road (past the police cars which were keeping an eye on us) and they provided a back room for us to use, they didn't seem to mind us too much, although they did come round at regular intervals to empty the ashtrays. It has to be said though that other pubs in the area had "No Hippy" signs in the window.

By way of thanks I seem to remember the pub was given a present of toilet rolls to make up for the strain we had put on its toilet provision.




The site

The site

The bean buger stall

A first for me - Beanburgers. This bean burger stall was run by a group of miners from Yorkshire.

Chris, my bike and my tent

My friend Chris, my bike (Honda CB 200) and my tent. The other guys were living in a "Plastic pig" - a Reliant three wheeler car

The last homely house

The Last Homely House. These guys were the first travellers I really got to know

Chris and Fez

Hippies, lets be honest :)

Chris on the left (from Wales somewhere) and Fez from Manchester. Note the crashed out person in the background. He did wake up.

The campfire 2

Around the camp fire of the Last Homely house, life revolved around this fire, it's where everything happened. I've always been impressed by the way traveller kids run around and play, something normal "battery reared" suburban kids seem to miss out on.

Me and fez

Me and Fez. I'm still in contct with him

priddy site

A pan of the full site, click for larger version

Hippies flock to Priddy for free festival

The report from the Wells Journal Somerset and West of England Advertiser
Thursday, July 12th, 1979

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