It's a rat trap baby...

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...and we've been caught

The over riding memory of 1985 was the mud. We had moved to London by this point and I had only been working for a few months and wasn't sure if I'd get time off. Also we had only been in our flat for 2 weeks. Once the time off had been secured I dashed down to the CND shop that used to be off the City Road and bought our tickets - 16 each which was a huge increase over the previous year.

There had been an inpromptu open air party in our flats the night before we went but we were up bright and early to catch the coach to Bristol from London Victoria. As we were getting on the driver said to us "It was raining in Pilton this morning". Once in Bristol we again caught the Badgerline coach to the site and the driver managed to get lost! We had to shout directions to him and he had to reverse back up the road to turn off to Pilton.

The site had grown from the previous year and the festival had changed a bit as well. Gone were the impromptu stalls and the green field had expanded and moved to behind the stage area along with extra camping space. I'm sure that the site wasn't too bad when we arrived and we pitched our tent in the same place as last year.

It went from this... this... this in 3 days
It went from this... this... this in 3 days

This year there were some bands playing on the Thursday night and we went off to see Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers on the second stage. I'm pretty sure the stage was not only an open-air stage but uncovered as well! About halfway through the set the rain started and just got heavier and heavier. We retreated to our tent.

Val surveys the sea of mud - notice the shoes! By the next morning the whole site was a sea of mud. The area in front of the main stage was so deep that it took an act of courage to approach it. We made the effort 3 times that day to see the Pogues, The Boomtown Rats and Third World. Both the Pogues and the Rats were on the receiving end of mud thrown at the stage. In the case of Bob Geldoff, who was riding the Live Aid rollercoaster, it was deserved. I don't remember Joe Cocker who headlined that night so we could have given up and gone to bed! I do remember falling into the tent and collapsing in hysterics though - at least we could still smile!

Talking of bed I remember a girl in one of the tents behind us came back to her tent one night to find her boyfriend shagging her best friend. Well you can imagine the arguments that ensued. They went on all night and into the next morning until she announced in a very loud voice "That's it, that's my final word on this situation" - at which point a huge cheer went up from the surrounding tents!

One of the main problems with the site was the way it was laid out. The market areas were laid out in long thin rows and the many feet trampling down the rows caused the earth to turn to mud which was deep and sticky. I remember having to pull my feet out of the mud and a time when we went to the noodle stand and just sank as we ate!
Photograph Kevin Redpath
I'll have mine with mud to go

On the Saturday morning we decided to go and find the showers as we had done the previous year. The green field had moved into the new area of the site and we set off through the mud towards it. We never did find the showers but we did find a great place to have a cup of tea. There was a bus with a huge parachute stretched out like an awning and bales of hay to sit on. We contented our selves with a steaming hot mug of tea and what seemed like the first sit down of the weekend.

The only band I can remember seeing on the Saturday were Working Week although I do remember hearing the Style Council from my tent later that night. Somehow Long Hot Summer was the last song we wanted to hear. By the Saturday afternoon it was obvious that we should abandon festival, the rain was so heavy you couldn't even stand and watch the bands and we were spending most of the time in the tent so we made the decision to leave on the Sunday morning. Among the bands we missed that weekend were Ian Dury, Clannad, Green on Red, Billy Bragg and Echo and the Bunnymen. The Boomtown Rats - one of the few bands we saw

The next morning we took down the tent and packed everything away and headed up the road to the bus stop. Val had bought a pair of shoes from one of the stands and so she abandoned the shoes she had worn for the festival on top of a growing pile of shoes in the lay-by where the buses stopped. We caught the bus back to Bristol and changed our tickets to get a coach back to London that afternoon. In all our visits to Glastonbury I still feel this was the worst weather-wise and to this day is the only time we have left before the end of the weekend.

Fate would conspire for us to miss the next 2 festivals (we got married in 1986 and went to a friends wedding in 1987) and due to the year off in 1988 the next time we would get to Glastonbury would be 1989.

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All Photographs Kevin Shewan except where marked.