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Churches trust CEO has a story to Tull in Lower Basildon

Founding member of Jethro Tull visits grave of band's namesake ahead of new tour

Chris Ord

chris.ord@newburynews.co.uk

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Churches trust CEO has a story to Tull in Lower Basildon

JETHRO TULL’S Ian Anderson visited a West Berkshire village to pay homage to the band’s namesake who is buried at a nearby church.

The founder member of the prog-rock group who is known for playing the flute while standing on one leg, visited St Bartholomew’s Church in Lower Basildon where 18th-century agriculturalist Jethro Tull is buried.

The original Jethro Tull is celebrated as the ‘father of modern farming’, and is famous for perfecting the horse-drawn seed drill in 1701, while the group founded by Anderson is famous for its mix of blues, folk and rock, producing number one albums such as Stand Up, Aqualung and Thick as a Brick.

Tull is the subject of Ian Anderson’s new project, Jethro Tull – A Rock Opera, which features songs from the band’s back catalogue, reimagining the agriculturist’s life in the near future.

St Bartholomew’s Church is cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust, the national charity protecting historic churches at risk.

Chief executive of the trust, Crispin Truman, said: ‘Each of the 347 churches that The Churches Conservation Trust cares for has their own story to tell. 

“I’m delighted to welcome Ian Anderson to 700-year-old St Bartholomew’s where Jethro Tull – who revolutionised modern agriculture – is commemorated.

“Personally I’m a bit of a fan of ‘the Tull’ so can’t wait to share this and other stories with Ian.”

At St Bartholomew’s, Ian Anderson took the opportunity to play an impromptu tune on his iconic flute and to say a few words to the fans and press who were there.

Following the visit, Ian Anderson said: “What a poignant and happy trip to St Bartholomew's in Lower Basildon to visit the resting place of Jethro Tull.

“I even tootled on my flute for him. Paying my respects to the man of agricultural science and engineering was long overdue.”

Jethro Tull – The Rock Opera is currently on tour with tickets available at jethrotull.com/jethro-tull-the-rock-opera/

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