Glastonbury renames Left Field Tower after Tony Benn

The late politician described the monument as a "tower of strength"

Glastonbury’s Left Field Tower has been renamed the Tony Benn Tower in honour of the politician, who died in March.

The 21-metre tower was built in 2004 by GMB union apprentices from the Appledore shipyard in Devon, who were facing the threat of closure, The Guardian reports. It was designed by Cornwall-based artist Graham Jobbins, who intended it to be “a beacon of hope and a memorial for the working peoples of the world”.

In this year’s Glastonbury programme, organiser Emily Eavis writes: “Tony Benn was a true inspiration and great friend of the festival. A regular speaker in the Left Field, he loved coming here every year. As a tribute, working closely with the late politician’s family, we have renamed the Left Field Tower the Tony Benn Tower… Heralded as a ‘tower of strength’ by Tony Benn at its launch in 2004, it lies at the heart of the festival.”

At the time the tower was built, Michael Eavis said: “I had a call from someone who said there were 400 or so shipyard workers who were being made redundant and wanted to make something in metal for this year’s festival. I came up with the idea of having 12 large figures cut out of steel plate revolving on a big cylinder pulling a rope, which should indicate the need for all people around the world to work and pull together.”

Appledore shipyard was purchased by Babcock International Group in 2007 and it then won a Royal Navy contract that has secured 300 jobs until 2015.

This years’ Glastonbury headliners are Arcade Fire, Metallica and Kasabian. The festival will take place on Worthy Farm over June 27-29, with gates opening on June 25.

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