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Friday, March 16

Trivial Pursuits

So.
1970.
 I was 18.
And working as a nursing assistant/'Cadet Nurse' at Stansfield View Hospital in Todmorden.
Then,one weekend ,I was off
so.....
I wanted to go to " A  Festival"...........



......which  all started so well for me! 
having  grown my hair: got meself all the 'right'clothes:had watched "Easy Rider" a couple of times:and was in the middle of my first Herman Hesse novel.
So I felt like a
Debutant,entering 'Society'  for the first time.

The first thing that happened to me was a young 'hippy'with a London accent walk up to me   to ask
"Where are the toilets ,Man"?
 I had arrived.I  had been recognised as one of the tribe........



"When the Humblebums appeared on Saturday evening it started to rain even harder and because the stage roof was flat , water quickly collected and poured through onto the musicians . During the course of their performance the drummer played with an umbrella up and there were constant interruptions due to workmen coming on stage to drill holes in the floor to let the rain out. ..."
The above photo is from 1970.In Barkisland ,near Halifax.It is during the  Krumlin Festival
It was billed to be "England's Woodstock" .
A bonkers Idea!  High up in moorland...A torrential storm......Horrible Weather.By the second  night ,the police were handing  out waterproof -sheeting to us baby hippies.......One band ( John Mayall?) had to abandon their set for fear of being electricuted.
One person died overnight from exposure...
Krumlin was abandoned halfway through this 2 day  storm.
Between making drug -arrests,the police helped us evacuate.....
The promoter , a  Local   Halifax Lad   called  Brian Highley
vanished alone on foot into the stormy misty moorland.He was 
.".....owing large sums of money to all and sundry or to have wandered off in a fugue-like state , tramping the moors for several days before being rescued in the nick of time before he expired from exposure and dehydration......."[read more:]
  It wasnt all bad though!
For example,it was  the first time I heard & saw live rock music (other than seeing The Troggs a few years earlier at Halifax's Victoria Theatre)
On Krumlin's   first night (before this freak weather came ) I heard Sandy Denny sing :England's finest ever folk voice......It was worth it ,for me,for this alone.
+The Pentangle played live too !
.And a young Elton John made his 'big audience' debut ( handing out bottles of brandy to some in the crowd to keep them warm)
Brian Highley   later went on to invent 'Trivial Persuits ' and script write on British t.v.'s 'Spitting Image'.
Such is life..............
This week's  sepia saturday is around the themes of :
  • RAIN ✔,
  • CHILDREN  unless you count us "children trying to get back to the garden...."? 
  • POLICEMEN ✔,
  • NIGHT:


a section of the 25,000 crowd.Maybe I am one of them?
*vibes=MICHAEL NESMITH & THE FIRST NATIONAL BAND

15 comments:

Kristin said...

Sounds like an experience for sure. Those were the days.

Kurt said...

Great story.

Roy said...

Oy, what I wouldn't have given to hear Sandy Denny live! And Pentangle! Despite the deluge, it sounds like quite the experience.

Mollys Canopy said...

Great post! Why did these sixties concerts always get rained on? I missed Woodstock, but many of my high school classmates went and tell stories similar to yours when we have our reunions.

Barbara Rogers said...

Outdoor concerts have such a powerful "vibe." Especially when mother nature dumps rain all over everyone! Not. I enjoyed hearing the clip of live music. Glad you joined the "group."

Susan Kelly said...

Quite a happening and a rite of passage.

Helen Killeen Bauch McHargue said...

I really enjoy reading your unique style of telling a story...or
weaving a story together. You create enough narrative
tension to keep me eagerly hopping from revelation
to revelation. Interesting about Krumlin...knew nothing
about it. Great post.

La Nightingail said...

Well, you had quite an experience there! I recall one time being on the stage of an amphitheater during a heavy downpour complete with thunder and lightning with mikes and cords sitting in great puddles of water all over the place. We had an open roof over our heads, but the wind was blowing the rain toward the stage. It was my turn to sing and as I hesitantly stepped up to the mike, I asked, in general, if we ought be trying to perform under the circumstances? All I got were noncommittal shrugs, so I went ahead and did my number, but I didn't touch anything! (flash, rumble!!)

Karen S. said...

Wonderful, fun to follow your timeline, of your adventure and you covered everything in our theme! Bravo!

Jo Featherston said...

That must always be a risk with open air performances, especially in the UK. Last year we went to a performance of Jesus Christ Super Star at the open air theatre in Regents Park London and what we saw was very good, but sadly the show had to be called off midway through the 2nd half due to persistent rain.

Wendy said...

My first outdoor concert was Herman's Hermits at a football stadium in Virginia Beach. It seemed cool then, but it feels rather tame and trivial after reading your exciting adventure.

Mike Brubaker said...

This is how good stories are made! The best music always comes at a price. And once long ago I fell for Sandy Denny's voice too. Her songs still brings up emotional memories I've not felt for a very long time.

tony said...

Thanks For All Your Kind Comments.X

Anonymous said...

I was only 12 then. A great event - though perhaps the kind that is best enjoyed in retrospect. I lived in Halifax for several years (as you know) but have never heard about it before.

tony said...

Your right Dominic. Most folk in Halifax are unaware.
Partly , i guess,they thought it best forgotten !
Also,the majority of those attending were probably from out-of-town?