New Avalonians

‘The New Avalonians’

Blog post, July 14 2012

Patrick Benham’s book, 1993 Some time ago, Gareth Mills at Speaking Tree books suggested that I write a sequel to Patrick Benham’s book ‘The Avalonians’ – in other words, a history of ‘alternative Glastonbury’ from the 1960s up to the present day.

I re-read Patrick’s book, and decided that the task would be impossible. There have been so many more characters than the twenty or so identified by him in the first half of the 20th century, and so many more interesting events. How could I possibly decide which were the most important, the most worthy of inclusion in what might come to be regarded as the definitive written ‘history’.

Furthermore, most of the protagonists are still alive, many of them still here in Glastonbury – and all with their own opinions as to what went on, why, how, in what order, and what was of significance. I would be entering into a minefield, especially as I have been in Glastonbury for much of this time myself, and those events that I was actually involved in inevitably loom larger, for me, than those that I wasn’t.

However, sorting out a couple of filing-cabinets-full of Glastonbury archive material for the website has given me a new perspective on this. The community’s documentation of itself tells the story – in very piecemeal fashion it is true, but nevertheless it provides a yardstick: that which was recorded at the time is what should be included.

This is by no means a flawless method of dealing with the subject, but it is a workable one; and brings back the possibility that the story of ‘The New Avalonians’ will be written up after all.