Glastonbury co-founder dies

Churchill's granddaughter ran the comedy tent

Arabella Churchill, the granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill who programmed the comedy tent at the Glastonbury festival, died yesterday.

She was 58 and was believed to have been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Mrs Churchill was one of co-founders of the Glastonbury festival, eschewing her privileged background to work with circus and cabaret acts.

She first helped organise the festival in 1971, its second year, of which she said: ‘It was scary. People like Hawkwind who looked terrifying were playing in the wagon shed and kipping on the lawn. I had been quite protected until then. My eyes were wide open.’

She returned in 1979, the next year the festival was officially held, and never left, developing the theatrical side of the festival and establishing a charity called Children's World.

Ian 'Haggis' McLeod, her second husband and renknowed juggler, said: ‘My loss is everywhere. She was to my mind one of the few people I would lay down my life for.’

Sir Michael Eavis, who runs the Glastonbury festival added: ‘Her energy, vitality, and great sense of morality and social responsibility have given her a place in our festival history second to none

‘May her place in the great eternity be always peaceful, and perhaps the mysteries of the heavens will accommodate her spirit forever.’

She died at 3am yesterday at her home in Glastonbury - the same day that her son Nicholas Jake Gompo Barton was jailed for three years in Australia for his part in a multi-million pound ecstacy racket.

Published: 21 Dec 2007

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.