Big thanks to Russell Thompson who turned up this gem.
He writes – A Marxist friend of mine (possibly the only Marxist in Braintree) was recently having a clear-out and asked if there was anything I wanted. Amongst the copies of Quite Right Mr Trotsky and Starry Plough monthly, I happened upon two issues of a 1970s magazine called Voices: Working Class Poetry and Prose with a Socialist Appeal. One was from ’75, the other ’78.
They’re A5 fanzine-style things, consisting on the whole of competently-penned but unsurprising material. The earlier one, housed in a sub-Gerald-Scarfe cover, throws up titles such as ‘Prophecy of Revolution’, ‘Tribute to a Union Man’ and the oddly prescient ‘Epitaph for Maggie’ (not about her, as it happens). And, gosh – there’s a poem apiece by Les Barker and Keith Armstrong. And – what’s this? – J Cooper Clarke?!?
What we have here, two years before the start of the Hannett era, is a rather splendid piece entitled ‘No, We Don’t Like to be Beside the Seaside’. It’s a bit more free-verse than his greatest hits (that’s concessions to public taste for you), but otherwise most of the hallmarks seem to be in place:
Classic stuff. And the moral of this story is: You never know what might be in a Marxist’s shed.