Box 18

Rudd collection/Ginger

Box 18 consists of materials collected by Ernest Rudd, Department of Sociology largely concerning later campus protests of the early 1970s, especially the Grants campaign and occupations of 1973-74. Of more immediate relevance to this archive, and digitised here, are two issues of Chris Ratcliffe and Ken Montague’s independently produced colour magazine Ginger.

The magazine is difficult to describe or categorise in a way that does full justice to its energy and dynamism, except to say that it is on a very different level to most contemporary student publications (from Essex or elsewhere) in terms of scope and production values. The sample contents outlined for each of these issues below goes some way to evidencing the variety of topics and approaches included, but Montague and Ratcliffe’s innovative work on design probably has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

In terms of production values, the only competitor to Ginger at Essex was the official Students’ Council weekly newspaper Wyvern, which Montague went on to edit from December 1969 (see ‘Students’ Council election materials‘ and ‘Student bulletins and publications‘ in Box 16 for one or two more items on his election). By this time Ratcliffe, who was very active in campus politics of the time from at least the Enoch Powell protest of February 1968, had lost his appeal against the Court Injunction banning him from the premises of the University in perpetuity.

  • Ginger #2 (07.03.1968) includes articles on the Powell investigation, disturbances at Sussex and Leicester, the issue of student power (by Geoffrey Hawthorn), and LSD25; also a review of White Light/White Heat by the Velvet Underground.
  • Ginger #3 (22.04.1968) includes response to Geoffrey Hawthorn by John Barrell, Chris Ratcliffe on the British Parliament, Andy Mack on language tuition at Essex, Ken Montague on Axel Caesar Springer; a front-page article on UK government complacency in the face of the advancing Icarus planetoid, an update on the ongoing deliberations about food prices in the Hexagon restaurant, an unattributed piece on the Spectrist manifesto of 1916, parodies of Private Eye and Bill Tucker’s ‘University column’ from the Essex County Standard, and the full programme for the first Essex Arts Festival (24th-30th April).
  • [See also Ginger #4 in Box 16/Student bulletins and publications; Christmas greetings card in Box 15/Disturbances].