Somertime Youth Magazine

St Pancras Collection Camden Local Studies and Archives

Date: 1974

This magazine was produced in 1974 to sell, for 10p, at the Somers Town Festival. It was made by participants in a youth club in Sir William Collins School (now Regent High). Sue Crockford was a youth worker at the time, running the centre for 14 years from 1971. Her obituary in the Guardian noted that she co-founded a gay teenage group there, took students on trips to the National Gallery, parks and, without quite making it clear to the council, to a friend’s commune in Scotland and engaged them in political dialogues. Terry McQuade and Robert Rose write about their experience at the commune in Somertime. They remarked on the visibility of stars at night and on the animals. Both wanted to go again.

Somertime magazine has a lot about violence in it, testifying to tough times in the area. Dawn, aged 13, exemplifies the fears in her poem ‘Life in the City’

I don’t like cities.

Smoke. Dirt. Crowds.

You hear a lot about murders;

It scares you.

A couple of months ago

A woman had a knife through her head.

Posh people like towns:

Food’s dear and they’ve got money.

Terry Hindle, aged 16, writes about his job in a mat market, his views on school and women (I’d like to come home form work and find some dinner ready and have someone wash my clothes. I think women should have a part time job. I don’t think they are as strong as men’).

Reading the uncensored nature of the magazine, its references to crime, death and violence, it feels like a project of a very different era.

By Esther Leslie

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