Today OAP Percival Angstrom was welcomed back to Glastonbury Tor at a reception arranged by Chief Gatekeeper Titania Bonham-Smythe. This followed his dramatic airlift in January when he was discovered unconscious in St. Michael’s Tower.
Angstrom was presented with a basket of new age products from the National Trust gift shop at the tor, including a delightful selection of lentil tea and Hobgoblin Marmalade.
But the highlight of the event was when the plucky pensioner was given the Vortex Award – a special cut-glass trophy in the shape of St. Michael’s Tower inscribed with his name. It means he joins a very prestigious club that only has eight other members.
Bonham-Smythe explained; “We have now deployed each of the thousand hand-painted signs we received as part of the annual shipment from head office. When Mr. Angstrom visited the tor last month there were still some signs that were not in their correct place, and the particular No Entry sign he encountered on the wrong side of the main door to the tower almost caused him to come a cropper. The St. Michael’s vortex is something that members of the public shouldn’t be too concerned about though. It is very rare, and usually there is a member of staff on hand to step in and help using the special anti-vortex equipment.”
Before leaving the Tor, Mr. Angstrom was shown the display Making Toast Through The Ages that was installed in St. Michael’s Tower as part of the cleanup operation following his vortex. Unfortunately the event was cut short when a slice of toast became wedged in a Toastmatic 4000, setting off the smoke alarm.
A 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.”
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!”