Contents List The Gallery Underground Press
For some, the stodgy College Magazine with its 'Obiter Dicta,' 'De Personis Rebusque Scholasticis' and tales of the great & good, was just plain boring! Factual it was, but journalistic it wasn't. This section is dedicated to those who took it upon themselves to produce their own magazines, either on a semi-official basis or with complete secrecy until the moment of publication.
All of the documents featured here were produced by the 'Gestetner' process. Pages were typed on a two-part stencil sheet that comprised a paper backing and a fine 'skin' overlay. Typed characters penetrated the skin which was subsequently inked and used as a stencil in a hand-cranked duplicating machine. Typing errors could be removed by the use of 'correctine' liquid plastic, but it needed skill and patience to avoid a blotchy mess. Many people just XXXXed out the mistakes! Drawings involved the use of a special stylus and the results were inevitably crude.
Including these magazines in the web site involves either transcription or inclusion of scanned pages. The quality of the latter is poor, but legible.
The first issue of the Dormouse was produced in the Spring Term of 1953 and sold for the sum of 2d (2 old pence = less than 1p). The second issue appeared in the Summer Term and announced that "with reluctance, we have had to raise the price ... to cover the cost of the paper and stencils." The increased price was 3d! The content is innocuous, so production was probably very much in the open.
Those mentioned in this edition include:
Leavers: Jack Smith, Mavis Murray, Mervyn Beck, Maureen Spooner, John Hall, Fay ------ (?), Terence Tilly. "They were all Miss Tebbutts' along with Gwen/Lyn Eastwood, Mervyn Beck, David Norfolk, Graham Lines, Jack Smith and Tony Greenfield." - Margaret Skipp (Smith).
Janet Wing, Vera Trundle, Vera Roberts, Anthony Leke, David Allen, Michael Lincoln, Gwendoline Medler, Dennis Sewell, David Ladbroke, Michael Doe, Leonard Malkin, Jack Cassie, Mr Skoyles, Mr Parsons, Miss Dolan, Miss Nicoll, Mr Baron, H.D. Lawrence, Elga Brodie, Michael Anderson and Geoffrey Ash.
The end of the first paragraph on page 3 reads '.... Norfolk Countryman at his best.'
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To a greater or lesser extent, we all felt inhibited and frustrated by the College regime, but tended to 'rebel' only by muttering amongst ourselves (or to ourselves). However ... in the summer of 1968, a few brave souls went further and produced the beautifully scurrilous 'WC Paper.' 'Underground' magazines were popular among the UK student student community in the late Sixties (remember 'IT' and 'Oz?') and this junior competitor had the same two-fingered spirit.
This was the first known instance of 'rebellious' printed material at the College (unless you know different - Ed.). Follow this link for some comprehensive background material and a transcription of the magazine:
WC Paper - Roll 1
A 'Roll 2' almost appeared in 1969 (or 1970?) under the guise of an 'official' Arts Magazine. Ian Gomeche takes up the story: "Staff were nervous after the rag mag (WC Paper Roll 1) stunt and worked on the principle of giving us a little rope to keep us happy and therefore less inclined to do another secret rag mag. Metcalfe therefore sanctioned an official arts mag. Garrard (I wonder if he remembers any of this?) appointed me editor for some god-damn reason I can't remember - perhaps it was a 'reward' for me winning the 'O' Level prize in 1968? Who knows? Who cares? Perhaps I was in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Anyway, I set up an editorial team, mostly of my Gloucester House cohorts, and we steamed off with great gusto. Unfortunately things soon began to 'go wrong.' I asked some guy in Gloucester to do a cover based on the famous Ché Guevara poster with no text on at all. He came up with a brilliant Ché silhouette, so we went ahead and got several hundred printed. We then decided to do a few pieces attacking school haircuts, religion, food etc. etc., which we thought we could 'slip in' unnoticed amongst all the crap poetry etc. we were being submitted. Unfortunately, Garrard 'spotted ' these half dozen or so scurrilous articles and he and Seeley gave me the third degree and told me they were not acceptable. I refused to compromise and said 'No articles, no magazine'. So we just downed pens and resigned. Meanwhile 'x' hundred Ché Guevara covers had arrived from the printers!
I had a nice little earner selling covers for people to put on their walls, but it was too late to get a new editorial team in, so that was the end of the magazine. In any case the content was nowhere near as good as the '68 rag mag, so I think the outcome was for the best. We scored it a victory. 'Power to the people' - W. Smith - Tooting Popular Front."
Moving ahead into the Seventies, Colin Farrington wrote (September 2001): "As a Gloucester first former I managed to get hold of a copy of the first W.C. Paper, and I believe I still have it tucked away with my old school papers. About 3 or 4 years later there was another attempt to produce "Roll 2" (see above - Ed.), but from memory this was discovered and stopped by the staff. Roll 2 did finally appear in 1974, again it was the UVI of Gloucester (by then Cavell) who did most of the planning and production. I believe I have a copy of this also. From memory, sights were set a little higher this time, and adverts were actually taken from a few Norwich shops (Head in the Clouds etc) and the printing/copying was done by a small Norwich firm. Reports afterwards were that these were all contacted by the College staff in an attempt to find the culprits!"
Colin managed to unearth 'Roll 2,' and a transcription is here: WC Paper - Roll 2
Jargonelle was the title of a literary magazine produced largely by the 6th Form in 1969. Were there earlier/later editions perhaps?
The word 'Jargonelle' refers to a French pear variety dating from 1600 that may be used for dessert or cooking. It has a distinctive aroma used in the British 'pear drops' (flavour from Amyl acetate).
The editorial reads:
When the idea of a literary magazine was first put forward it was greeted by pessimistic views of sixth form response, in spite of the fact that it was originally suggested as an alternative to the annual sixth form essay competition. However, the inclusion of various other articles from people lower down the school provided the variety and amount of material that was necessary.
One thing which became increasingly obvious, was that the majority of people appeared to be more willing to express themselves in poetry rather than prose, possibly because poetry can be misinterpreted and yet still appreciated.
However, everything down to the last comma was dutifully typed and sorted, and it is left to your better judgement to decide if the initial idea, that there is literary talent in the school lurking behind the bunches and bare foreheads, has been proved to be right.
R.W. Gilyead 4X
S. Poulson 1st Form
Felicity Bocking 2nd Form
Sharon Taylor 3rd Form
The magazine copy isn't suitable for scanning to text, so manual transcription is the only way to reproduce the content. Until we get more resources/time, here's a sample - the last item in the magazine, aptly titled 'The Last Dance.'
I dance and wonder if she knows
What my intentions are,
I hope to God I don't offend,
Or with her go too far.
I ask her in a stupid voice
"Can I kiss you goodnight,"
She smiles and says "I don't quite know"
I think inside, "she's tight"
And then I think again "Oh no,
Maybe she can't stand me"
But she hasn't frowned or let me down
Or from dancing banned me.
I take her hand as if refused,
And lead her to her seat,
And then I hear her say my name,
I stagger to my feet.
I wonder afterwards that night,
Why she had been so meek:
I begin to think she likes me still,
I decide to try next week.
Wymondham College Remembered