Monday, 16 February 2009

Lichfield Anarchists

Window: The Ultimate in DIY, published by the small group of anarchists, peace activists and greens in Lichfield in 1984. If only we'd added an 's' we could have sued Bill Gates. Long evenings with a typewriter and Letraset, I seem to remember. There's a site about the music scene in the area at that time here. Bands such as Artful Dodger were the local soundtrack to the many shenanigans, along with punk poets like Rabid David and System of Oppression, and the occasional visit from Israel Movements.

After much in the way of Peace Camps, CND demos(I remember Alconbury being the most scary in terms of the numbers and attitude of the police) and Stop the City fun in Brum (I seem to remember causing a degree of amusement amongst the assembled punks as I was wearing a skirt!) people started to drift away towards the end of 85/86.

Russ eventually set off for Birmingham, where he became heavily involved in the Birmingham Anarchist Group. I went to college in a failed attempt to become an archaeologist before removing myself to Yorkshire where, coincidentally, one of the most committed Greens from Lichfield had relocated. Nick Harvey went on to become, I think, the first elected Councillor in the country for the Green Party, in Huddersfield. Although he stood only once, I believe the area has voted Green subsequently.

My record player from 82 - 86 saw a mixed bag: Here & Now, Gong, Karmakanix, Israel Movements, Planxty, The Bothy Band, Seamus Ennis, Crass, Patrik Fitzgerald, Omega Tribe, The Slits, John Martyn, Pentangle, Roy Harper, De Danann, Alan Stivell, Tim Blake, Conflict, Steve Hillage etc.

It was a mad and fun few years in the West Midlands, loads of good music, good people, but all good things must come to an end. In Yorkshire it felt like apathy and conformism reigned.


  1. I lived in Lichfield in 1984 and this Russ guy used to hang about with impressionable young kids (sixth formers from king Edwards) wannabe anarchists (dressed in black rags, walking three legged dogs, collect for the miners, down with maggie etc).They were like the Mansun poseurs the lot of them.

    1. I think Mansun were a rock band from Chester. Maybe you mean Manson? And what's a wannabe anarchist?