Tag Archives: Arabella Churchill

Glastonbury, Comics, Gits, Canadians and the fire on Anarchist Mountain

The Glastonbury Festival in 2003

The Glastonbury Festival ten years ago – back in June 2003

As I write this, the annual Glastonbury Festival is in full swing.

I wish I were there. It started  last Friday. My father died last Thursday, back in 2001, twelve years ago. So it goes.

Last night, in my car, I listened to an unreleased CD by The Gits, a punk-like band from around 1990 which comprised English comedy performers Steve Bowditch, Stephen Frost and Canadian Alan Marriott. (These UK-based Gits are not to be confused with the Seattle band The Gits.)

They played at Glastonbury.

The UK-based Gits.

Alan Marriott returned to Vancouver in 2008.

I was going to blog about them this morning – the UK-based Gits.

Once heard, never forgotten.

But, when I woke up this morning, I received an e-mail from this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent Anna Smith. Like Alan Marriott, she lives in Vancouver. She has been having medical problems, as previously mentioned in this blog. Today she wrote:

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Anna Smith in her Vancouver hospital

Anna Smith, recently blogged-about, in a Vancouver hospital

It is so dull here at the moment.

I am in an apartment near the edge of Stanley Park.

In the summer, the cacophony is zoo-like… gulls screeching, small dogs yelping, noisy joggers, cyclists and skateboarders yelling, patio party drunks roaring with loud laughter, drunker heart-broken young people howling as they run down the echoing corridors of 1970s apartment buildings, women cackling, toddlers wailing, cars pumping out disco music, horns honking, motorcycle engines roaring….

Soon we will have the Gay Pride Parade and the Festival of Fire (a fireworks competition) and the whole of downtown Vancouver will be clogged with suburbanites with toddlers pissing down their necks.

The bear attacks in the suburbs have subsided and the surgical mask bank robber has been captured, after about fourteen hold ups.

The navigator who was in command of the Queen of the North ferry, when it sank four years ago, has been sentenced to four years in jail. But his ex-lover is still on the loose. New laws are being drafted to prevent ex-lovers from being alone together on the bridge of a ship. There is no evidence that they were ex-lovers, though, as nobody has a clue what they were doing when the ship ploughed straight into the rock.

All the excitement at the moment seems to be occurring on the other side of the Rocky Mountains, where the floods have detached much of the city of Calgary and a city called High River is still under water, despite the ring dykes which are dotted across the prairies. Most of the water is draining into the Hudson Bay.

Too bad none of the floods wash through the civic governments in Toronto, Montreal and Laval, which are having so much difficulty cleaning themselves up.

Ottawa is making too much money to even bother.

On this side of the Rockies, it is just more of the usual summer accidents – people getting lost in the woods, drowning in waterfalls, small planes and gliders crashing into mountains.

Anarchist Mountain caught fire several weeks ago and more fires are expected, as we become engulfed by heat waves from the south. It all is very satisfying for the pine beetles.

It has suddenly become quiet outside. I think the sun must have set.

My health is OK.

Did you ever meet or speak with Arabella Churchill?

She very kindly used to telephone performers in the early spring to ask if we wanted to do the Glastonbury Festival. She died not too long ago. She was very encouraging to young comedy performers and had very kind and disarming manner.

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Arabella Churchill in 1967

Arabella Churchill in 1967; she is remembered fondly

Arabella Churchill died on 20th December 2007. So it goes. She ran the Theatre and Circus fields at Glastonbury, which included the Children’s and Comedy areas.

I wrote back to Anna this morning:

“I talked to Arabella on the phone a few times but never met her, despite walking past her organisers place at the Glastonbury Festival a few times. A pity.”

And, after I read Anna’s e-mail, I checked out Anarchist Mountain.

It was named after Richard G. Sidley, a settler from Ontario who arrived in 1885 and was appointed the first postmaster of the town of Sidley in 1895. He was later made Justice of the Peace and Customs Officer, but he was often called an anarchist, and the plateau previously called Larch Tree Hill became known locally as “the anarchist’s mountain”.

The name Anarchist Mountain was officially adopted on 6th June 1922.

Richard G. Sidley is remembered only as the origin of the mountain’s name.

So it goes.

I wish I were at Glastonbury. But, on the other hand, I am going to the World Egg Throwing Championships in Lincolnshire today.

So that is good.

There is a clip on YouTube of the fire on Anarchist Mountain.

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Filed under Canada, Comedy, Humor, Humour, UK