Myth of the Festival
Last TRC Meeting



Saturday 21st June 2003
Carpark opens Midnight 0h00
Stonehenge open 2h00
Stonehenge closes Noon 12h00
Carpark closes 14h00

Please can everybody read Terms & Conditions these are the rules of behaviour for a happy peaceful Solstice, that we have been involved in negotiating!

If there are any queries please ring the English Heritage Hotline 0870 3331186 where there are people who are paid to answer your questions!

Please DO NOT ring the Secretary of the Stonehenge Peace Process with your queries! I will not be involved in the 2003 public access, and will not be answering your queries.

Make your own amusements! Yes, just like we used to do!

The Summer Solstice Access is a managed access, it is not an "event" within the meaning of the law, if that sounds crazy, you nevertheless need to know that the only "entertainment" that can occur is of the impromptu, spontaneous kind that you can provide for yourselves!

The following activities are not banned but are permitted:

* Acoustic music
* Chanting * Dancing
* Dressing-up * Drumming * Jesting
* Poetry * Play-acting * Processions * Rituals
* Singing * Story-telling

The Stonehenge Peace Process is happy to register as Peace Stewards, impromptu performers, including musicians, because we think that these folk arts are one of the best ways to make people happy and peaceful and defuse the night club environment where people get drunk waiting for the dawn amd occasionally get stroppy with each other or with the police etc...

To find out about Peace Stewards, click HERE

To register as a Peace Steward, print the form at FORM


The Wrong Day

Because the year is very nearly 365 and a quarter days long, it happens every four year the calendar runs out of kilter with the Sun, until a leap day is added, which will happen in 2004. Meanwhile the time of the Summer Solstice gets progressively later each year so last year 2002 it was at 2PM on 21st June. The nearest dawn was still the dawn of the 21st, which was the Solstice dawn.

This year the Solstice is at 8PM so the nearest dawn is on Sunday 22nd and it is the night of 21st/22nd which is the shortest night. Many pagans and druids want to celebrate the dawn on Sunday and are disappointed that they have got no access to the stones this year to do it.

If you look in your diary you will see it says the Solstice is on the 21st, which is true, and the 21st is the longest day. Most people who have not studied astronomy will automatically turn up on the dawn of the 21st to celebrate the Solstice dawn. They are not right, but English Heritage fear they are in the majority. This is at the heart of their controversial decision.

What, they've discriminated against the wise, in favour of the ignorant? I'm afraid that is the case!

However, the argument about "pagan rights" would be a lot more convincing if there actually was a continued tradition, of demanding, and of celebrating, the Solstice dawn on the 22nd in these pre-leap years. The history of the celebrations in 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995 and 1999 do not show a persistent demand or practise. It is a refinement the significance of which, is only just coming to be appreciated, even by regulars.

National Trust Land

The National Trust fields are open to the Public on foot as normal, over the Summer Solstice and subject to the bye-laws. That's not any different from previous years, or any other time of year.

There has been some question about what those bye-laws say, but very basically, you must leave the land as you found it, and among activities which are banned are picking flowers, mushrooming, climbing trees as well as leaving litter, camping, making fires, erecting any structure whatever, be it only a pole or post. Basically all these activities damage the land. There are also restrictions on swearing and loud noises.

Most of these bye-laws begin by saying "No unauthorised person..." and the thing that you might in some cases need to do, if your group has a legitimate activity you want to pursue, is talk to the Trust and try to get their permission, you then become an "authorised person" and you are then protected by the bye-laws, which prohibit interference with your legitimate activity.

The text of the byelaws is at BYE-LAWS

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