Children of the Stones Special!
I had a real surprise immediately following the Free and Open Gorsedd. No TV programme has affected me more than 1977's Children of the Stones. In recent months I've exchanged a small amount of correspondence with the child lead from the programme - Peter Demin. Imagine my surprise when he approached me directly following this Gorsedd! His last visit to Avebury had been in 1986 - 10 years after filming on the programme. 23 years later he was here again. It was lovely to share my love for the programme in-person and we joked about some of the most memorial lines. Peter asked his wife Tania to take a couple of pictures of him with me and another druid - Evelyne Baillie. What a lovely way to remember an encounter I never thought could possibly happen! How about Gareth Thomas next time lol? Id always wanted to let Peter know how much of a hero his character Matthew had been to me when I was growing up. As an eight year-old Children of the Stones completely freaked me, both on original transmission and when watching on my own for the later repeat on Wednesdays. There are very few programmes for children that could both excite and scare adults as well. This was certainly one of them. A ground-breaking programme with a very high reputation. Others with a similar reputation also generally came from the HTV stable, which had a run of quality hits at that time. Something that will never be seen again as the TV industry has changed so much. After watching the programme I decided I was pagan and made a huge fuss about going to church until I eventually got out of it. I was then a solitary pagan until many years later the internet revealed what was going on. I started going public just a few years ago. I researched events by looking at photos and videos. If it felt right then I would go along. Now Im quite well known at the different events and obviously I am a druid and bard. Avebury is actually my centre of operations. Indeed I always think of Children of the Stones when coming to Avebury. Not only was the programme made in the village but it had lots of imagery of adults holding hands and chanting in ritual. My eight-year-old mind could never have anticipated that one day I would be there doing the same thing myself! Following the programme I became more and more technical, just like Peters character. First with the early LEGO Technic and then early home computers. I wanted to be just as brainy as my namesake in the programme. I went on to both work in computers and write about them, as well as visiting Avebury on dozens of occasions. No TV programme could ever affect me as much as Children of the Stones has.
Matthew and Evelyne Baillie with Peter on 19 Sep 2009 (Photo supplied by: Peter Demin)
Peter in 2009 with some of the Avebury landscape behind him (Photo supplied by: Peter Demin)
Peter in 2009 - not thrown across the field, unlike his father in the programme! (Photo supplied by: Peter Demin)
Peter in 2009 with host Andrew at The Lodge (Photo supplied by: Andrew Blackall)
Peter in 2009 with wife Tania outside The Lodge (Photo supplied by: Andrew Blackall)