Glastonbury founder and TV presenter name new scuba diving boat

GLASTONBURY festival founder Michael Eavis named a new boat for a group of scuba divers who cooked up the funds to buy it by serving breakfasts for more than two decades at the world famous music event.

He was helped by BBC TV presenter and qualified diver Miranda Krestovnikoff to launch the new rib boat, belonging to Street Divers, a branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC), with a bottle of Somerset cider.

The naming of the boat, which previously saw service in the 2012 Olympics and cost more than £40,000, was held at Clarks Village Outlet, Street.

The naming of the boat, which is called Street Diver, was watched by a large crowd, said the club’s publicity officer Kate Open.

“It all went perfectly, and there was a big cheer when Miranda and Michael smashed the bottle. We’ve had lots of interest from families and people have signed up for try-dives as well,” she said.

“As a thank you for supporting us we presented both Miranda and Michael with a bottle of the cider we used to name the boat and a club t-shirt.

“Miranda had honorary club membership and open invitation to join us diving while Michael had a try dive voucher for him and his family.”

Every penny from the egg, bacon and sausages, plus gallons of hot tea and coffee, served to Glastonbury campers by Street Divers goes to support the club’s underwater programme.

But one person who’s never had chance to sample the club’s breakfasts is Michael himself. He said: “I’m always too busy to stop and eat at that time – perhaps at the end of the day. As well as the music festival, we’re a working dairy farm, so all the jobs still need doing.

“This is the second time I’ve been invited to name a boat for the divers – the last time was about 14 years ago. Mind you that was a lot smaller than this boat, which is very swish.

“For this naming ceremony, we’ve used a local cider, Burrows Hill, which is made by my friend Jim on his farm, from his own apples. We also sell it at the festival, and everybody’s having a taste now!”

The 77-year-old dairy farmer is no stranger to life on the water, though he’s never been diving. “I’m used to boats, as I was in the Navy when I was younger, plus I used to be in the rowing team at naval training college, on the Thames.”

He and daughter Emily are busy signing up names for next year’s festival, and revealed he’d love superstar David Bowie to return to Worthy Farm.

“The younger ones sort out most of the music, but I like to book the headline names. I can’t tell you at the moment who that will be as we’re still talking to people. David’s done it a couple of times before but I’m sure he could come back again.”

BSAC member Miranda co-presents BBC series Coast, and also films underwater items for the One Show and natural history shows.

She said: “Today has been amazing – I’ve never named a boat before. I didn’t think the bottle would smash but it did – and it was great that it was West Country cider, rather than Champagne.

“It is wonderful that the club has been able to buy the boat by simply serving up breakfasts at Glastonbury – their hard work has definitely paid off.”

In the past week Miranda has been filming off the east and west coasts of the UK, on a chalk reef off the coast of Norfolk, plus in Cardigan Bay near Newquay, for the One Show, due to be broadcast later this summer.

“The Norfolk reef, which was only discovered a few years ago, was teeming with crabs, lobsters and a huge wealth of wildlife,” she said.

“In Cardigan Bay we saw a spider crab migration – there were thousands of them. I’m a big fan of diving in UK waters – it’s really warm at the moment, around 18C and visibility is good. You don’t need to go abroad to see amazing things underwater.  It’s  all here in the UK.”

From beginner to expert, BSAC provides extensive diver training and welcomes membership of divers trained by all other agencies. 

Mary Tetley, BSAC Chief Executive, said: “Street Divers should be very proud of their fantastic achievements and hard work saving up for this terrific new boat.

“BSAC club members are very dedicated not only to their branch but also to the sport of diving and while I have heard of many weird and wonderful ways of fundraising in the past, serving breakfasts at Glastonbury for 25 years is a definite first!

“BSAC is marking its diamond jubilee this year and events such as this are a terrific way of celebrating our organisation’s milestone anniversary.

“I would urge anyone in the area who is thinking of trying scuba diving or returning to the sport to contact Street Divers and become part of their fabulous adventures.”

The boat, along with all the navigational gear cost £40,000. Made by Yeovil-based Ribcraft, it first saw service at the London 2012 Olympics.

To learn more about Street Divers Sub Aqua Club visit or to learn more about BSAC visit

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