Glastonbury 97: after spending three days in the mud you'd look like this too (and you might have trench foot)

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The Independent Online
Trench Foot, the curse of the First World War soldier, has made a comeback among the peace-loving music fans of Glastonbury, writes Paul McCann.

Doctors attending the festival's casualties believe they have seen more cases of rotting feet in two days than have been seen since 1918. "I've seen more trench-foot here than in my whole career," said Dr David Leeder, a volunteer in the festival's medical centre. "It is basically people whose feet have been wet for 48 hours finding their soles starting to lacerate and blister. This gets infected and it's not very pretty. It's so uncommon we weren't sure how to treat it."

The medical centre has attended to over 900 people with a variety of ailments and bad drug experiences but the majority have been caused by waterlogged footwear. "It doesn't help that a pair of dry socks will cost you pounds 5 on site," added Dr Leeder.

Jim Sommerville, 28, from Edinburgh, who describes his occupation as a "half Buddhist", had to be carried into the medical centre with his cracked rotting feet in the air.

"The wellies didn't get here until today and before I only had trainers," said Mr Sommerville. "I've been dancing in a puddle for about 18 hours but I might have to stop for a bit."

Mr Sommerville is determined not to take his feet home yet, but policemen report thousands of music fans deciding enough is enough and packing up after only a day-and-a-half of the festival.

"It was bad enough dealing with just the mud," said Susan Robinson, 22, from Stockport, as she trudged up a slippery hill towards an exit. "But some bastard stole my wellies from outside my tent last night and I've given up the ghost."