The founder of Glastonbury created Patron on Radstock Museum, immortalized in the National Portrait Gallery

Michael Eavis CBE, a former coal miner from Somerset and founder of the Glastonbury Festival, has been named patron of the Radstock Museum.

His ties to the coal mines date back to his late teens, when he took on the job of running the Worthy family farm, now best known as the venue for the festival. At the same time, Eavis was allowed to complete his National Service at the local New Rock Colliery colliery in Chilcompton instead of continuing at sea with the Merchant Navy.

During the last years of Michael’s national service, he milked the cows early in the morning, then worked a shift at the mine before returning home to milk the cows again at night, thus avoiding the sale of the farm.

Eavis explained: “If I hadn’t gone down to the mines and stayed at sea, the farm would have been lost and there would have been no Glastonbury Festival.”

At the museum, Eavis has kept in touch with former mining colleagues and attends the annual miners’ meeting at the Radstock Museum each September.

Museum volunteer Lucy Tudor said of the new boss: “Michael Eavis will help keep the memory of these miners alive and the hard and dangerous lives they led by helping to tell their story which is presented in such a way dramatic and informative in the museum. We are thrilled to have him as our patron.”

Separately at the National Portrait Gallery, a newly commissioned portrait has been revealed depicting Eavis.

Painted by British artist Sir Peter Blake CBE, the portrait shows Eavis standing in front of the festival’s Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm.

Unveiled at the festival on June 25, 2022, also on Blake’s 90th birthday, the portrait will go on public display when the National Portrait Gallery reopens in 2023, following the completion of its major transformation project, Inspiring People .

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, said: “Celebrating both the model’s and artist’s major contributions to British art and culture, we are delighted to have commissioned this new portrait of Michael Eavis by Sir Peter Blake for the National Portrait Gallery’s The Compendium.
“As a fantastic addition to our contemporary collection, we look forward to displaying this magnificent portrait when our transformed National Portrait Gallery reopens in 2023.”

Eavis said of the portrait: “I am so happy to have been painted by my old friend Peter, and to have my portrait his first commission for the National Portrait Gallery. It’s a rare treat for a Somerset dairy farmer! »

Julia P. Cluff