Un-Avalon – Crap Postcards of Glastonbury

Many moons ago I spotted Glastonbury Tor from the Levels out towards Sharpham. What would have been a picture postcard perfect scene was ruined by a large, unsightly, rusting piece of peat processing machinery. I took a photo anyway. Since then I’ve got into the perverse habit of deliberately taking the kind of photos that would never make it into a Glastonbury tourist guide.

I published a few of these on the Normal For Glastonbury Facebook page and now other people are joining in. Here’s a selection of some of my favourites. Which one do you like the most? I think Nathan Williams has beautifully framed England’s most iconic hill in his picture of a local electricity generating station!

I enjoy these images because they remind me that Glastonbury is in many ways just a normal town. Generations of people have lived here who have no interest in ley-lines or fairies and are rather bemused at Glastonbury’s popularity. Once upon a time we even had our own football stand in the Abbey Park. Like every other town Glastonbury has industrial estates, fast food and massive supermarkets. I don’t like these places and I hate the way they are proliferating round what to me is a beautiful and magical place, but I still shop in our slightly out of town retail park, use electricity and drive around in my van, it’s hard not to be a hypocrite in 2020.

Fortunately there’s still plenty of countryside around from which to get beautiful views, in fact it’s much easier than finding one of these crap vantage points, which is part of the fun, but these pictures remind me too of the need to preserve the beauty of this area. I’d like to think we can find ways to give people houses and jobs without further despoiling the natural environment, future generations may well depend on radical thinking around every aspect of our lives.


Historian Adam Stout got in touch when he saw some of my crap photos, he’d had a similar idea some years ago, taking a series of pictures he titled ‘Un-Avalon’. He’s kindly let me turn them into a postcard and I’ve imagined what Glastonbury’s most famous historic resident might have to say about these scenes.

Thank to Adam Stout for the use of his photographs, do check out his website Glastonbury Tales, he is a great authority on the history of Glastonbury.

I published my first in this series of Crap Postcards of Glastonbury on the We Are Normal For Glastonbury Members Blog, subscribers can see it here.

If you’d like to send me your own crap photos of the Tor, or Glastonbury generally please post them up on the Facebook Page. Or, if you’d like to see some perfect pictures of the Tor instead I recommend taking a look at Kev Pearson’t work, I wrote all about him here:

Enjoy this post?

Then you’ll love my books – ‘Normal For Glastonbury: Life in England’s Most Magical Town’ (the new fully illustrated edition is now available) and my ‘Crap Views of the Tor’ Postcard Book. There’s more in my Online Shop too.

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