(Trinny & Suzannah Undress) at The Longman of Wilmington

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  • Please sign the Downing Street petition on this issue:


    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Longmanabuse/


    We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Demand that the Broadcast of footage taken at the Longman of Wilmington of a sex change (July 07) be stopped and investigated by the Minister for Culture, Media and Sports.


    This petition is to demand that a sequence filmed by ITV (Trinny & Suzannah Undress) at The Longman of Wilmington on Sunday 1st July and Monday 2nd July showing approximately 100 women changing the shape of the Longman into a woman with pig-tails and breasts be stopped from being broadcast on the grounds of religious offence to the pagan community and promoting anti-social behaviour on a scheduled ancient monument. If this footage is broadcast by the ITV as part of the fashion programme it is believed it would contravene several of the OFCOM guidelines.

  • Wha…?

    Is anyone really offended by this? Is it even a pagan symbol? I thought it was made by monks!

  • Its been appropriated by pagans so some of them get a bit defensive of it :)

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Sthenno although the origins of the Long-man are unclear.. Many pagans still use the site today for ceremonies! It's comparable to having a **** in a church....

  • Quote from tekno

    Sthenno although the origins of the Long-man are unclear.. Many pagans still use the site today for ceremonies! It's comparable to having a **** in a church....



    No it isn’t. A church was built for worship. Sorry, but I don’t feel that just because pagans have adopted it as a ceremonial site no one else should have rights of access. I can’t see any artistic merit in the show, of course, but its their prerogative to film it.

  • Quote from Sthenno

    No it isn’t. A church was built for worship. Sorry, but I don’t feel that just because pagans have adopted it as a ceremonial site no one else should have rights of access. I can’t see any artistic merit in the show, of course, but its their prerogative to film it.


    I don't think it's right of access that is being disputed.. in fact I know having been to the site that it is open to the public.
    It is unclear why the Long Man was drawn..and for what purposes... but for all we know it may indeed be an ancient site of worship...

  • Quote from tekno

    I don't think it's right of access that is being disputed.. in fact I know having been to the site that it is open to the public.
    It is unclear why the Long Man was drawn..and for what purposes... but for all we know it may indeed be an ancient site of worship...



    Sorry, I didn’t put that clearly – what I mean by right of access is that people should have the right to go and film whatever they want there, it’s a public site.


    It's not exactly as if they'd be spoiling some meticulously conserved ancient site - what's there now is just a rough outline of the original shape drawn on by the Victorians.

  • Folks bash religion. It's not exclusivly directed at paganism is it. maybe the world would be a better place if we could take a step back and just leave the offenders to it. Don't go bombing anyone in retaliation will y'all, it's bad enough here as it is lol.

  • If anyone’s thinking this is discrimination against pagans and wouldn’t be allowed happen to a Christian symbol, I’ve just read in the local paper that a hawthorn tree opposite my house which came from a piece of the Holy Thorn at Glastonbury is being chopped down to make way for a lovely area of granite paving :eek:

    Would it be wrong to nick a bit?

  • Quote from Sthenno

    that a hawthorn tree opposite my house which came from a piece of the Holy Thorn at Glastonbury is being chopped down to make way for a lovely area of granite paving :eek:


    Would it be wrong to nick a bit?



    I'd consider it compulsory:D

  • Right ho, out come the scissors. Hell, they’re chopping it down anyway. Anyone want a bit?

  • DATE: Wed 4th July 2007
    AUTHOR: CURSUSWALKER
    FOR FREE DISTRIBUTION


    SUBJECT; TRINNY AND SUSANNAH AT THE LONG MAN OF WILMINGTON, EAST SUSSEX 1st and 2nd July 2007


    A lot has already been said about the sacred aspects of this site, all of which I respect, having seen this figure as a part of my own practice of Paganism for a long time.


    I will, however, confine myself mainly to the archaeological aspects of what has happened of the last few days. The Sussex Archaeological Society, as they have been at pains to point out, have been the owners and custodians of the Long Man of Wilmington since 1925. As far as I am aware at no time since then have they made any decision with regard to its maintenance that has caused controversy such as has happened this week. The replacement of the Victorian bricks with concrete blocks in 1969 was cause for some concern, but are now accepted fairly widely as the way in which the figure is kept visible. They are repainted about every 5 years, at which time 15 people are permitted on the figure for the relatively short time that it takes to do this. Groups are also allowed on the figure in order to clean the blocks from time to time and authorised personnel inspect it for damage.


    Apart from the grazing by livestock there should be no other reason to go on the figure whatsoever. Until this week the owners, who I will refer to as the SAS, seemed to take this attitude, and those who care about the Long Man have had no reason to think otherwise.


    Until this week.


    The circumstances surrounding permission being given to ITV to film 80 women transforming the Long Man into a “Long Woman”, for a programme hosted by Trinny and Susannah, have a certain mysterious element. We think that the plan, all along, was to film on the Long Man figure itself. Yet in the weeks leading up to the event the impression was given to many that they would not be on the actual figure. There was an apparent change of plan due to the weather, according to the Site Manager (I will still allow him that title out of courtesy). Yet when I spoke to him on the 2nd of July he refused to elaborate on this.


    The suspicion has to be mentioned that all of this was an attempt to blindside those who the organisers knew would be angered by this event. It nearly worked. Having known of the event for weeks, we had practically no time at all to organise our protests and, considering this fact, we are justified in being relieved at what we have been able to achieve.


    So then, to the events on Windover Hill itself. On Sunday 1st July Pagans turned up at the Long Man to find the figure covered in people rehearsing for the actual filming the next day. As far as we are aware there was no archaeological supervision of what was happening at all. When the women came off the figure for lunch, and at the end of the day’s rehearsal, we let them know, in no uncertain terms, that they should not be on the figure. Their responses in the afternoon were very telling.


    It was depressingly clear that during lunch they had been reassured by the film-crew that it was fine for them to be on the figure. The phrases that kept cropping up were “We’ve got permission”, “It’s only concrete blocks” and “What archaeology?” In order to complete filming it seems that the film-crew had completely misrepresented the nature of the site to them, possibly out of their own actual ignorance, possibly deliberately. One member of the film-crew’s response to my pointing out the damage they could be causing was “Makes good television though doesn’t it?” In a conversation with one of the researchers I was reassured that the women were “not on the figure itself”. As this was said I could clearly see women lying next to and on the concrete blocks. The definition of “on the figure itself” seems to have been being used in the loosest possible sense and was, in any case, incorrect.


    Later, when the photographs we had taken of the figure were inspected, the close-ups revealed that the positions the women were to take up on the figure had been marked by green sticks being stuck into the ground next to the concrete blocks, in other words, presumably, the most archaeologically sensitive areas.


    The next day, Monday 2nd July, the protest started at 10:00am. This time had been pure guesswork on our part, but turned out to be the right time to turn up. Present at the protest were members of the Anderida Druid Gorsedd and Anderida Grove, Ashdown Grove and Avronelle Seed Group, as well as the Insular Order of Druids. Elsewhere other Druids were doing the invaluable work of phoning and e-mailing the media and relevant organisations. In this sense they were just as much present as everyone else, in an altogether less glamorous role. The women turned up shortly afterwards, this time dressed in white hooded boiler suits as these would ensure they showed up on camera. The protestors had leaflets to give out to the women, explaining our perspective on what they were doing, but they had been told not to take them. Two did and I know of one who apologised and said that she “had to” take part. Such is the power of television.


    I was unable to be present until mid-afternoon, due to work, but arrived just as the women went up onto the Long Man. Prior to this, protestors had been giving interviews to the media and debating their point of view with the film crew and, of course, Trinny and Susannah. Crucially, during the day I had managed to talk to the Chief Executive Officer of the SAS and had passed on the information that sticks were being stuck into the ground on the figure, having had this independently confirmed by another protestor. To their credit, the CEO seems to have immediately phoned the Site Manager who ordered that the sticks be removed. Up to that point his “supervision” of the event seems to have been from the car-park at the bottom of the hill.


    Considering the fact that we could not see the sticks from the base of the Long Man, and that it took photographic close-ups for us to notice them at all, I would question the level of supervision of the whole event very strongly, especially as the Site Manager is not an archaeologist and admitted to barely ever visiting the site at all.
    The event continued, with the women having also now been told, it seems, not to lie on the concrete blocks that protect the underlying archaeology (some of it at least). As they came off the hill those Druids present turned our backs on them in a line in a silent demonstration of our disgust at what they had done.


    So now comes the aftermath.


    Sussex Archaeological Society (I cannot resist the name in full again as the central word is meant to carry a certain meaning) are now engaged in damage limitation. They have said in a press release that “the considered opinion is that the figure cannot be any older than the 16th century”. Yet in the next line it is described as “a scheduled Ancient Monument” and that “it is an offense (sic) to damage the Long Man”.


    What does “ancient” actually mean? And why did the Site Manager, in a conversation with me on the 1st, say that the agreement was that any damage caused to the figure was to be paid for by ITV? If this was an actual part of the agreement then that is surely an acknowledgement that there was a possibility of such damage taking place. Archaeology, like all Science, works on judgements of probability in the face of available evidence. The available evidence for the custodians of the Long Man to consider was that 80 plus people would be walking all over the figure for a significant portion of two days, focussing on the areas around the concrete blocks. In the face of those facts, it seems reasonable to conclude that damage to the figure would, probably, be caused.


    At the base of the Long Man the SAS have placed signs asking the public to stay off the figure due to the danger of soil erosion. On their website it clearly states “Visitors are respectfully asked not to walk on to the figure itself, or the nearby surrounding vegitation (sic).” Do these notices still apply? In what way was the activities of those two days less likely to cause such damage than the ordinary traffic of occasional walkers acting irresponsibly and walking straight down the hill over the figure? In conversation with SAS staff it was pointed out to me that livestock are allowed to roam freely across the figure, in order to keep it grazed. As far as I am aware, and from personal observation, they tend to stick to the lines of the natural paths across the figure that are the normal result of downland scarp-slope soil erosion. What they most categorically do not do is walk up and down such slopes en masse, dislodging the vegetation that preserves these fragile paths in the process. Neither, when on the Long Man, do they congregate on the soil on either side of the concrete blocks. It would be a strange spectacle indeed if they did!


    To summarise, this event has been a PR disaster for the owners of the Long Man, and probably for ITV as well. And deservedly so. With ownership comes custodianship. Until now the Sussex archaeological Society have seemed to understand this. However, at the time of writing the custodianship of the Long Man of Wilmington lies not with the owners, but with all those, be they Pagan, Antiquarian or Archaeologist, who continue to represent the high standard of custodianship that SAS previously have demonstrated. This is a situation that cannot, and must not, continue, since this temporary custodianship is held without power of enforcement, except by means of protest.


    I care passionately about the Long Man of Wilmington. I have been walking in that area for many years and have read widely on the archaeology and history of the figure, which may well be a modern interpretation of a figure that has been in that space, on and off, for a very long time indeed. One of the largest Bronze Age round barrows in East Sussex lies directly above the space in which the Long Man lies, and the largest Neolithic Long Barrow in Sussex lies only a few yards away from that, practically equal in length to the space the Long Man now occupies and pointing directly at the top of the same space. These facts do not prove an ancient origin for the figure, but they must give pause for thought to anyone with a serious interest in our ancient heritage.


    In the light of these facts, the attempts by the SAS to try to trivialise the age of the figure, in order to get themselves out of an embarrassing position, should be regarded with scepticism, to put it politely.


    Until the owners of the Long man of Wilmington admit that giving permission for this event was a mistake, and undertake that they will never again allow access to the site except for the purpose of maintenance, I have to express no confidence in the ability of The Sussex Archaeological Society as custodians of the Long Man. I am sure there are many who will join me.

  • I’m finding it difficult to work out what people are angry at here. Is it that the TV crew were allowed access where the general public aren’t? But that happens all the time. People can apply to film in the inner circle of Stonehenge and I’ve never heard anyone complain about that. I could understand the anger if people had applied to use the site for religious/ceremonial purposes and been turned down but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  • Quote from Sthenno

    Right ho, out come the scissors. Hell, they’re chopping it down anyway. Anyone want a bit?



    meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....i can hang it near the broomstick on my wall:D :reddevil:

  • Quote from scarlettdee

    meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....i can hang it near the broomstick on my wall:D :reddevil:



    I'll see what I can do tonight :reddevil:

  • Quote from Sthenno

    I’m finding it difficult to work out what people are angry at here. Is it that the TV crew were allowed access where the general public aren’t? But that happens all the time. People can apply to film in the inner circle of Stonehenge and I’ve never heard anyone complain about that. I could understand the anger if people had applied to use the site for religious/ceremonial purposes and been turned down but that doesn’t seem to be the case.


    If you accept that some people consider this site to be religious, then the act of pretending to change the sex of the man into a woman I would think would be reason enough for upset. How would you feel about Someone to redress a crucifix in a church?


    Quote

    Arthur Pendragon, a Druid battle chieftain, said: "We are very angry because this is so disrespectful." The nomadic 53-year-old continued: "We, the pagans, would not in our wildest dreams consider putting female breasts and clothing on effigies of any Holy Prophets, be it Jesus Christ, Buddha or any other revered figure of another faith. Why then, does ITV commission Trinny and Susannah to do so at the Long Man of Wilmington?"


    Taken from here

  • Quote from Renegade-Ego

    If you accept that some people consider this site to be religious, then the act of pretending to change the sex of the man into a woman I would think would be reason enough for upset. How would you feel about Someone to redress a crucifix in a church?


    Taken from here



    Personally? I’d love it! I think the church thing is different though, for reasons I’ve already explained. A church is a building paid for, built, kept and owned by a specific religion – they have every right to object to their property being used in a way against their religion. The Longman isn’t specifically pagan monument. It has been appropriated by them, but that doesn’t mean they have the right to dictate how it is or isn’t used. Same with Stonehenge – its origins are unknown, so it should belong to everyone, whether they want to worship it or bowl in it.