TRC 34 Report

Wednesday February 25th 2004

Meeting began at 2.30

George Firsoff
Nora Morris (Pagan Federation)
Roy Gillett (Acting Chair)
Michael Brown (National Trust Warden)
Carolyn Gillett (Scribe)
Paul Aitken
Andy Pulham
Kasia Morris
Adrian Tibbatts (Shrewton Resident)
Mrs Tibbatts

Tim Abbott

BBC film on last year's discussions and Summer Solstice Access will be shown again on BBC2 in 2 instalments 10 pm, 10th & 17th March. The frenetic atmosphere during the buildup to the Solstice was predicted by Roy's astrology. "Neptune did us proud", quipped Nora.

This year Solstice Midsummer 2004, Monday 21st June, Sunrise is at 04.58 It is expected that the Carpark will open at 8PM on Sunday 20th June, to accomodate the opening of the stones from 10PM to 9AM, with the Carpark vacating at 1PM.

Peace stewards
Nora will look after Admin with the help of an email assistant to be appointed. She will make and send out badges: Roy to coordinate and with Tim will help with training; George to supply an updated Waiver Form for people to sign. Peace Stewards are independent, they neither give nor take orders, they are there to help ease the process and encourage understanding. We need as many volunteers as possible.

Terms and Conditions
The Terms and Conditions of entry are very similar to last years'. Nora read them out. Some slight alterations were suggested and Roy will pass these on to English Heritage. The English Heritage website will announce final details, as soon as possible after the March 10th Round Table meeting.

This has to be spontaneous. It is hoped that people will come with lots of prepared "spontaneity". The establishing of "points of presence"/minor infrastructures will be raised at the next Round Table meeting.

Use of National Trust land
National Trust encourages walking on its land, providing the by-laws are kept to and we are promised some signs where the footpaths begin. George suggested going and talking to the National Trust if you want to become "authorised personnel". The newly purchased fields near Woodhenge are NOT yet ready for public access.

GENERALLY, it was felt that many of the people who attend the Summer Solstice access are not represented on the Round Table and do not attend the TRC meetings - especially young people? The TRC are keen to hear a broader range of ideas and needs. It is hoped there will be some "market research" carried out at this year's Solstice. English Heritage may be undertaking some. Maybe peace stewards could make more personal approaches.

Round Table TRC meetings
Several people have asked for a TRC meeting around 2.30 pm on the day of the Round Table Meeting (11 am), followed by the Planning meeting at 1 pm. It was agreed that the first of these would be on 10th March at 2.30 pm in George Hotel, Amesbury. There will be reports on the meetings earlier in the day and a chance for feedback, questions and dealing with other issues. (The room was later booked for 10th March.)

Broader Issues
If the TRC had the resources, they would do "outreach" work meeting with landowners and local politicians. Both George and Thomas now live a long way from Wiltshire, if this is done it will have to be done by members of the TRC living more locally, George said.

The ordinary people of Wiltshire are rarely consulted, their views about the present and a broader and longer access would be interesting.

George stressed there was an enormous demand for celebration in the middle of the Summer, for instance the highly priced Glastonbury Festival could attract twice as many people as were presently allowed. Numbers at Stonehenge and Avebury continue to grow. The TRC had been unable to find anybody competent to organise an event, even though the MOD was offering a site at Aldershot.

There are problems about "tribal" gatherings in the light of the present law. Kasia again suggested a Committee form to look into possible loopholes or changes in the law, to help a special category of "Community" event. The need for longer and larger (or perhaps more varied) gatherings was manifest. At least trends in the changing nature of agriculture and the grants system, and the price of land and its changing use opened possibilities.

Any Other Business
To ease traffic problems "park and ride", diverting traffic on Sunday evening/Monday morning and diverting around the Folly Bottom roundabout were mentioned.

George advised that he had retired from Round Table, but still wanted to keep involved in the Stonehenge Peace Process. He will convene one more meeting before the solstice and another in July for feedback.

The meeting closed 16.35 with hand-held dedication.

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