Tag Archives: Glastonbury Tor

Toast-making display woos tor visitors

Making Toast Through The Ages - No Knives signA new display Making Toast Through The Ages opened today in St. Michael’s Tower on Glastonbury Tor. This follows the cleanup operation that was necessary following the recent no entry vortex encountered by Percival Angstrom.

This fascinating display charts the development of toast since medieval times. Delicious toasted wholemeal bread has always been part of Glastonbury’s history – indeed it appears in the town’s coat of arms. The Domesday Book refers to the toasted sustenance that pilgrims enjoyed in the town of Glastonbury before making the final barefoot ascent to the tor summit. Visitors to the display learn that no mention is made of butter or marmalade in those early times – these innovations were to arrive in the early fourteenth century during Edward II’s reign.

Sponsored by Breville, the display includes a variety of gas and electrical toasters that have been used since 1912.

The most compelling part of the display is the lecture in one corner of St. Michael’s Tower by Uther Henge, the top mystical consultant at the National Trust who leaves his duties at the gift shop twice a day to fascinate visitors.

The lecture titled Toast, the Tor, Past Present and Future leads visitors through the historical artefacts on display, and includes advice on modern toast-making techniques. For example, visitors are taught the “double-insertion method”, in which they learn how to set the intensity level for their toaster to half its normal value, and flip their toast half way through the process, leading to an incredibly evenly browned surface.

Such techniques are not necessary when using the Breville Toastmatic 4000 which uses modern technology to dynamically brown the surface of bread and deliver a perfect slice of toast every time. This is one of the models of toaster available in the gift shop as you leave the tor.

Uther Henge commented “Obviously safety is first and foremost for us. When they enter the display area we issue visitors with safety goggles so that there is no risk of toast popping out of toasters and causing an injury. We also confiscate any knives we find during our routine search because there have been incidents where people have inserted them into the display toasters to try and remove bread that gets stuck.”

Glastonbury Tor might end up Twinchester Mountain

Changes are afoot for the National Trust who may have to reprint thousands of leaflets and guidebooks later this year following the award by GIPN of mountain status for the tor.

But today, creating yet more uncertainty about the final name of the tor in 2011, Glastonbury town council B highlighted a legal loophole that may force the other half of the town run by town council A to change its name to Twinchester, the name of the town it twinned with for purely administrative purposes yesterday.

Unfortunately for the National Trust, Glastonbury Tor is inside the half of the town run by town council A, who seem to have a less than full understanding of the European twinning system, and the intricacies introduced by these purely administrative twinning arrangements.

Lord Mayor of Glastonbury The Rt Hon Lawrence McKnight has been trying to mediate between the two councils after town council B were not invited to a cocktail party held by town council A yesterday where they were building stronger trade links with Twinchester.

A spokeswoman for town council A said at a press briefing today; “we think council B might have gained access to our offices while we were celebrating the new links with Twinchester yesterday, because it seems their legal eagles have been working through the fine print of the twinning agreement we signed with Twinchester and found a condition that we didn’t notice. Under certain circumstances, such as paying bills late, one twinned town can claim ownership of certain rights and liberties enjoyed by the other. In this case, it seems that Twinchester might own the name Glastonbury, and have the right to change it to something else. Sorry, this is all too much for me, I have a frightful headache from that last bottle of Grenadine, has anyone got an aspirin?”

The Lord Mayor had the final word; “Look, I’m not having some accountancy firm in Kent changing the name of half of this fine town from Glastonbury to Twinchester. It’s a silly name. We have been named Glastonbury for hundreds of years, and who is going to pay for reprinting all the maps and repainting all the signs? Certainly not the accountant, the bill will end up with the taxpayer, that’s who!”

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.”