Tag Archives: Air Sea Rescue

Are dogs allowed at Glastonbury Tor?

The most common question that people ask when they are considering a visit to Glastonbury Tor is “are dogs allowed?”

Surprisingly, it’s not just dog owners who ask this question, but also owners of other pets who are considering a visit and want to know if they will be welcomed.

The answer is simple – under certain conditions, most breeds of dog are welcome to visit the tor, and subject to passing a simple evaluation test may also be able to join the queue to use one of the many dog trolleys that are provided for pets that may otherwise struggle to make it all the way to the top.

There is a very simple weeding-out process that enables the quality of animal visitors to be kept high, and make sure everyone enjoys the view from the top of the tor without ruining it for anyone else. Your pet just has to pass the following simple tests in order to be awarded a yellow wrist-band that allows them entry to the tor for up to a week:

  1. Is this pet visiting the tor of its own free will? Most animals appear bouncy and happy at the prospect of scaling Glastonbury Tor, but any animal that looks sullen, grumpy, or pulls in the wrong direction on its lead may be referred to the resident animal psychologist for evaluation before being allowed onto the tor. The psychologist’s decision is final, although you do have the right to appeal to the Glastonbury Vets Ombudsman.
  2. Is this a Shih-Tzu that has been disguised as a more butch breed of dog? Any attempt to pass a Shih-Tzu off as anything other than a cat could cause it to be banned from the tor for up to six weeks.
  3. Is this a Somerset Strangler that is being repatriated by someone who did not realise what bad pets they make? There are official channels for repatriation. Sneaking one of these potentially deadly hamsters through the Nothing To Declare channel could result in the severest of penalties.

Notes for human visitors

Human visitors should also note – now that Glastonbury Tor has achieved mountain status you should bring plenty of provisions so that if the weather changes unexpectedly at this high altitude you won’t get caught out. There are, after all, few more embarrassing things than having the air sea rescue services called out, when the simple measure of bringing a few vital supplies could have seen you safely returning to basecamp under your own steam.

There is a simple mnemonic – KITES. Visitors to the tor learn about this in the information area at the gift shop:

K – Kendal Mint Cake – a standard kilogram bar should suffice on a day trip. Remember to bring some for every member of your party, including pets.

I – Igloo construction skills – if the weather should change at high altitude it is always worth knowing how to fashion a rudimentary igloo from the permanent icecap on Glastonbury Tor

T – a Tent or bivouac – in case the weather turns nasty. Remember there are no toilet facilities for a thirty mile radius around Glastonbury Tor so you should consider bringing a porta-loo.

E – Elvish principles – think back to the last Lord Of The Rings film you saw – which race was always best equipped to fend for themselves when out in the wilderness? The Elves – that’s who. All you need to do is think about how one of the elves would fend for themself in a tricky situation. Obviously we are referring to one of the principal characters, not one of the red-shirted CGI cannon-fodder who have their head sliced off by an Uruk-Hai in the siege of Gondor.

S – Swiss Army Knife – these are always useful, although it will need to be surrendered if you want to visit the toast-making display at St. Michael’s Tower.

Glastonbury Pilgrims Union forced to lift Air Sea Rescue boycott

Famous for their weekly barefoot pilgrimage to the top of Glastonbury Tor, the Pilgrims Union are not so well known for compromising on matters of principle. But this afternoon for the first time since late January when they began their boycott, penitent pilgrim Anders McCadmium allowed himself to be airlifted to safety by the Air Sea Rescue Service, during treacherous weather on the tor.

Chief Stairmaster Paul Hompkins later briefed the press on the events that led to this embarrassing event; “I was elected head of the Glastonbury Pilgrims Union in 1976 on the pledge that we would build on the ethos of our brotherhood – our mystical devotion to the earth mother, our humble life of sanctity and contrition. But we also hold personal safety very dear, and when pilgrims make their daily journey to the top of the tor, I insist that in their knapsack full of union paraphernalia they include the basics of life preservation – a tinfoil cape, distress flare and 10kg bar of Kendal Mint Cake.”

Hompkins continued; “Today Anders McCadmium found himself about fifty yards from the top of the tor, caught in the most awful rain storm. It was so bad that he was forced to take shelter in a small dip that provided little in the way of relief. It really was a matter of life and death. He was forced to set off his distress flare which immediately summoned the Air Sea Rescue Service. Fortunately Pilot Officer Graham Gillespie and his crew were able to rescue Mr. McCadmium, and take him to our place of safety, the Pixie Gardens Tea Room in the heart of Glastonbury town. Here he was treated with a traditional infusion of lentil tea, and he seems to be much better.”

Anders McCadmium is expected to make a full recovery once the Kendal Mint Cake has passed through his system.

Pilgrims to boycott Air Sea Rescue service

Air Sea RescueFollowing the dramatic rescue of pensioner Percival Angstrom yesterday morning, staff at the National Trust gift shop at Glastonbury Tor were surprised to learn today that they have been landed with a huge bill.

Rushing to their defence the Glastonbury Pilgrims Union have pledged to boycott the Air Sea Rescue service until agreement is given that the Trust doesn’t have to pay.

Hundreds of members of the Glastonbury Pilgrims Union have climbed the tor barefoot every week since ancient times, so it was natural they should be the first to hear about the unwanted bill.  Because they are such an active and close-knit community they were able to arrange an extraordinary union meeting in Glastonbury town hall and quickly agreed a motion to boycott.

Keen to get an explanation we called the Air Sea Rescue service and were patched straight through to Pilot Officer Graham Gillespie who was flying high over the nearby Bristol Channel; “This is the fifth airlift we have performed on Glastonbury Tor this year and we have decided enough is enough.  Glastonbury is so far inland that other users of our service are suffering.  Every time the National Trust call us out to rescue someone from the tor we are putting sailors lives at risk.  By the way, I would like to thank the lovely Titania Bonham-Smythe because she packed us off with a tasty jar of Hobgoblin Marmalade from the gift shop yesterday when we picked up Mr. Angstrom.”

Old Age Pensioner trapped in No Entry vortex

An Air Sea Rescue helicopter winched OAP Percival Angstrom to safety from the top of Glastonbury Tor this morning after his lifeless body was discovered by National Trust staff.

Chief Gatekeeper at the tor Titania Bonham-Smythe was first on the scene; “It seems that last night when we locked the door to St. Michael’s Tower nobody noticed that Mr. Angstrom was inside inspecting the stuffed animals.  When I walked into the tower today I immediately saw something was wrong because all of the furniture had formed into a jumbled circular pile in the middle of the main hall.  He was there on the floor, almost unconscious.”

Bonham-Smythe soon worked out what was wrong as she rushed back to the door to seek help and was confronted by a new hand painted No Entry sign that had been accidentally placed on the wrong side of the door causing Mister Angstrom to walk around inside the tower seeking an exit at an ever-increasing rate – a common behaviour in the over-seventies.

“Fortunately I had my mobile phone so was able to call a colleague to open the door and free us” said Bonham-Smythe, “we then called Air Sea Rescue and a little while later Angstrom was recovering at Glastonbury Hospital.  Doctors say he should make a full recovery.  It was all terribly exciting!”