Red Rag - Back Issues - 1981

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This page lists the 1981 back issues of Red Rag, with several missing before October (do you have any of the missing ones in your loft? ). Each issue is available in two forms:

  • scan - choose this if see exactly what each issue looked like, but be prepared for 10MB downloads
  • txt - just the text - choose this for a much faster download or if you want to copy the text into any other form

You can also link from here to the introduction page for each issue.


  • February 22nd

(scan / txt)
The compiler alludes to a less than convivial encounter with the bouncers at the Uni and leaves me wanting to know more. Wednesday 11 March arrives before Monday 9th but this was before the days of cut and paste and it has to stay that way. Having read, typed and proof read the "Filler" I think I understand what it's about, but don't ask me any questions.

(front cover)
  • March 8th

(scan / txt)
At last! A Real Red Rag Rant! Although I confess I feel just a tad embarrassed about how I looked forward to the publication of the Chronic following the Red Rag Reunion having read it. You'll have to read it too if you want to know what I'm talking about. It's growing into the paper I remember...

(front cover)
  • April 5th

(scan / txt)
Ah, those were the days... when we got cross when bus fares went up by a whole 2p and we really thought that cannabis would be made legal eventually. Cruise missiles hadn't actually arrived at Greenham and we hoped they never would. Acorn was still at Merchants Place but we suspected their days there were numbered.

(front cover)
  • June 21st

(scan / txt)
I cannot be the only person who is bemused by the notion of Morning Star supporters holding a "Garden Party" in Tilehurst. The Rag meanwhile, invites its readers to regular picnics at the Uni but only if it isn't raining. Reports on the 13 day bus strike caused by the Council Chief Exec who was holidaying in South Africa at the time, but the reporter didn't pick up on the Anti-apartheid/South Africa boycott that was raging at the time. A couple of years later in the Rag's life we wouldn't have let that one get past us. The campaign for a people's art centre in Reading starts here... and the collective wistfully asks for 1000 for a new press following a donation-less fortnight.

(front cover)
  • August 30th

(scan / txt)
Much better typing in this issue, very few typos but the typist got tired before the end, gave up on capital letters and took their spite out on the Gilbert & Sullivan listing at the Hexagon. Modern day computer typists don't know how easy it is by comparison with the olden days. After all the effort put in to close Greenham Common publicised in this issue, it's a sorry state of affairs that, 34 years later, we are now trying to halt the Trident upgrade. But we should take heart because as we eventually won the earlier battle then there is hope that we can win the war. Maybe not the best choice of words under the circumstances but you know what I mean. Does anyone else remember the William Godwin Memorial Society at Wapping? Oh happy days. When the anarchists actually all got together (briefly) and (potentially) created something special. But London wasn't Reading and the London anarchists nothing like the Reading anarchists. The gigs were good but Larry and Liz used to "man" the centre once a month and nobody ever came. The refreshments were a kettle and if you were lucky a bit of coffee left in a jar... The failure of that venture only emphasizes the supreme success of the venture at Silver Street.

(front cover)
  • September 13th

(scan / txt)
Alan Reeve has made his escape from Broadmoor and Pat Ford has been been vilified in the press for helping him. Christine Borgars gives us readers a necessary reminder about the price others may pay if we're not careful when approached by reporters. Clayson and the Argonauts play at Henley Town Hall. Now there's a band I remember... only we called them Jason and the Astronauts because they really weren't on the same planet as the rest of us.

(front cover)
  • September 27th

(scan / txt)
Times really don't change. This issue covers the raise the bus fare /cut the routes/destroy the public service scenario at Reading Transport. This really added to my personal anguish up here in Lancashire where my local bus route has been cut to just one an hour and it will now take 2 buses to get to the Dentist and a visit to the GP will involve a long walk. Not having a Red Rag (free every fortnight) on the go up here, I didn't know about it until the bus didn't turn up when I expected it to. Public service is a thing of the past. How much money did we hand over to bail out the bankers? Remind me again. The Events and Going Out Guide are really taking off now. I remember that we went to at least one of the films at SHP possibly on the strength of us reading it right here. We also saw Between Pictures at the Caribbean but that was because we went to college with Paul whose hair was longer and straighter than mine and I was SO jealous. Ahh, brings it all back. Barbarism at the Top Rank was a new band to me, until I realised whilst typing, that it was the compiler's personal opinion on ABA Boxing. What happened to all those police Cortinas after their expose in the Rag? We sellotaped the list on to the dashboard but never did get to see one, but for a little while it was entertaining keeping a look out. And joy! the Anarchists are back...

(front cover)
  • October 11th

(scan / txt / intro)
A report on the new Women's Centre; an exhortation to form tenants' groups; a reply to the suggestion that the women's peace camp at Greenham Common was "not properly planned and has become a distraction and a drain on our resources"; a moving account of how having a live-in boyfriend could leave a woman penniless. A then little-known band called U2 play at nearby Bracknell; E. P. Thompson and CND chair Joan Ruddock come to Reading for "Peace Week"; but Andy Warhol is not expected to attend his exhibition. Did someone say there was nothing to do in Reading?

(front cover)
  • October 25th

(scan / txt / intro)
The local anti-nuke campaign gets cold feet when it turns out that the ladies camping at Greenham have decided to stay there all winter; we find out what happened at the women's financial independence meeting; community policing comes to Reading but Alan Reeve is still missing; and does civil disobedience go far enough?

(front cover)
  • November 8th

(scan / txt / intro)
Ten years before a House of Lords ruling which dismissed marriage between assailant and victim as a defence against rape, a rather sobering review of violent incidents towards women over the previous fortnight. Meanwhile, the revolution still plays second fiddle to Blakes Seven; a typo which I couldn't bear correcting about Handle's Messiah; and Acorn Bookshop finally get to move out of their broom cupboard.

(front cover)
  • November 22nd

(scan / txt / intro)
A tantalising mention of the nuclear bunker under Shire Hall on the front cover but nothing further about it within. Tory minister Michael Heseltine comes in for a cross-party drubbing of sorts, doubtless well deserved, for his implementation of the government's "rate capping" policy designed to keep council spending and thus their power in check. Meanwhile, Rory Gallagher may have seen better times; the film certificates are still "A" and "X"; and Tory minister Michael Heseltine comes in for another drubbing, this time for "locating" 8000 new homes in central Berkshire. Other than that, it looks like a quiet fortnight. Maybe the Anarchists were right all along - you might as well stop in and watch Blakes Seven.

(front cover)
  • December 6th

(scan / txt / intro)
Students book a stripper, the event is picketed and the police attempt an arrest but are sent away empty-handed; the borough council might be putting its rents up by 33% but thanks to spending cuts the county council's nuclear bunkers can't withstand a nuclear attack; we check over the law on "stop and search" and the history of Santa; and the Red Rag Collective decides that this will be the last Rag of the Year. The first of next year will appear on Saturday 9 January. Thank you for supporting us this year. We hope to make it better, faster, more reliable and legible next year. Don't hold your breath.

(front cover)