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  Reprinted from Newsletter 137, dated 2012 July

Queen honours Arthur’s champion Judith Edmondson

Geoffrey Ashe, Arthurian scholar and Glastonbury resident, receives his insignia from the Queen.

The Queen stepped down from her dais to invest Geoffrey Ashe with the MBE on March 22, a week before his 89th birthday. A footman had taken him through long Palace corridors in a wheelchair.

Geoffrey was the first modern scholar to establish factual roots for the King Arthur legends. His prolific books on the subject began with King Arthur’s Avalon: the story of Glastonbury in 1957.

His “one contribution to Hollywood”, he says, came when Warner Bros produced the film Camelot: they rang to ask him the location, his prompt reply was “Somerset!”, and they went with it.

He says the concept of Arthur, as a mythical and historical figure, remained relevant to monarchs of England, and he feels his work “met the Queen’s approval”, as she showed interest in the period.

Geoffrey and his wife Pat live at the foot of the Tor. Both are members of the Conservation Society. He can often be seen giving talks to groups of overseas visitors in the Abbey.

Daily Tor award

John Brunsdon received an “outstanding voluntary-service award” from the National Trust in April, for his 25 years of climbing the Tor daily, to “keep an eye on things”.

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