RED RAG (cover illustration)

Back Issues

Established 1979
Free! Fortnightly! Fun!

These are the back issues of Red Rag. They'll be posted here every two weeks on or around the (27th) anniversary of their original publication. The latest — so far the only! — issue is dated October 11 1981 (pdf / txt); the next issue is due out on October 25th. Hopefully I'll have done some more work on the site itself by then.

Red Rag was a fortnightly newspaper which was printed and distributed around Reading, Berkshire from 1979 and through most of the 1980s. It was given away free to anyone who wanted to read it — we never sold a single copy — and costs were covered by donations, collectiing tins and the occasional benefit gig. With the passing of time the print run grew. The technology evolved from hand-cranked Gestetners to a full-sized offset Litho. But the content remained much the same: a personal and uncensored take on local news which justifyably earned the Rag its sobriquet Reading's Only Newspaper; added to which a heady brew of opinions, magazine articles, letters and comments, an unparalleled Events column and the Rag's legendary Going Out Guide — this was Red Rag — Free! Fortnightly! and Fun!

In this issue (pdf / txt): 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?