Green Gatherings 1982-83

The Green Gatherings were a short-lived phenomena in the early 1980s. Originally conceived as the annual gathering under canvass of the then Ecology Party members each summer at a location in Somerset, the concept grew into a more broad-based gathering of all green and peace-inclined people whether Ecology Party members or not. There were just two of them, in 1982 and 1983 before the concept morphed again and linked up with Michael Eavis’s Glastonbury Festival at Pilton, where they became the Festival’s ‘Green Field’. These photographs were taken at those two unique Green Gatherings.

Animal rights, the peace movement, opposition to nuclear power, vegetarian and vegan food, and the early manifestations of renewable energy all feature; along with dance, music, children’s entertainment, tipi construction and arts activities such as ceramics; all are prominent. A gentleness and relaxed atmosphere¬† prevailed that allowed children to roam freely with nothing more than a pair of wellies and ‘Jack from waffle stall’ written on their backs for identification. In the background the mystic power of Glastonbury Tor.

Six of my photos from these Gatherings were selected for the BBC’s 1986 ‘Domesday Project’. Designed as a similarly long-lasting 900 anniversary commemoration of its namesake, twenty years later it went spectacularly wrong when the BBC discovered that they had no means of¬† retreiving the images from the ‘videodisc’ technology, as they had ditched all the players as obselete. I still have my certificate signed by Bill Cotton though.

All the pictures were taken using a Nikon FM, 28-70mm lens and TriX film.