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Arabella Churchill

1949 - 2007

Grand - daughter of Sir Winston, from the unpublished Rolling Stone series: "The British Aristocracy is Revolting"

Arabella was staying at her brother's apartment within hearing distance of the Division Bell at the Houses of Parliament. He was an MP but out of town at the time.
[Photo © Phil Franks]

Rolling Stone office had set up the session so she was expecting me. I arrived to find the place under really heavy security for those days. There had been terrorist activity in London and they were taking no chances. Although Arabella had warned them that a hairy guy with cameras was expected and authorised they still checked me out... lucky I was clean that day.

The plain-clothes guy on the street-corner spoke into his sleeve as I came into sight and his buddy at the door checked me and my equipment, then he handed me over to a uniformed cop who called the lift (elevator in USA). The lift arrived containing yet another bobby who seemed to work part-time as lift attendant, he pressed the button and took me to Arabella's floor where yet another James Bond type rang 'Bella's door bell, I noticed that the whole stairway was covered by cops at every turn, all within sight of each other. Every 15 minutes the guy outside would tap lightly on the door and ask, "is everything OK Miss Churchill?". Arabella would say , "Yes thank you officer", then it was cool for another 15 minutes. I dunno what they thought we were doing, actually she was showing me some interesting sort of resin that came in ball-shapes, from temples in Nepal she said. She was very nervous in front of the camera, that's why she was cuddling her bear. I found it quite endearing so I didn't ask her not to. Later she visited me a few times at my place and we became good pals, I think she felt safe with me. She wanted to do something more with her life than that which was expected of her by her family and the British Class System, that's why she was "revolting". We bumped into each other a number of times at Glastonbury in the months leading up to the first festival, she worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices so that festival could happen. Not a lot of people know that.

colortest

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