Local projects

Brighton Voice

By Andrew Shepherd

'Brighton Voice' was an alternative newspaper published in the 1970s. The 'Voice' as it was known, followed broadly anarchist principles and functioned as a collective. It mainly aimed to expose what it saw as incompetent management of the then separate councils of Brighton and Hove. Campaigns conducted included one against the construction of the Marina.

A collective approach
Brighton Voice was intended to be issued monthly but usually managed about nine issues a year. The collective approach led to slow decision making and lengthy editorial meetings. These were held at the 'Open Café', a whole-foods restaurant on Victoria Road. The 'Voice' was typed and laid out in the basement of the café.

Problems with distribution
Distribution of the magazine caused problems. Most newsagents were reluctant to stock it, either because of disagreement with the contents or fear of legal action. Sales were highest on the University of Sussex campus but circulation amongst the citizens of Brighton and Hove was poor, despite street sales by members of the collective.

Former 'Voice' writers
Of those who worked on the Voice, one became a member of the House of Lords, one is an Emeritus Professor at University of Sussex, several became well-known journalists and at least two went on to work for the United Nations.

Copies available
Copies should be available for inspection at the Brighton History Centre above the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. (This is an adapted version of my initial contribution to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton_Voice. If you can provide additional info please amend both this site and the Wikipedia page. Thanks)

This page was added on 31/12/2009.
Comments about this page

Hi there! Thank you Andrew for adding this article. It's been very helpful to me as I'm currently working on a project at Brighton Uni focusing on the Brighton Voice. If you or anyone else has any further information on the newspaper or the people who worked on it I would be very grateful if you could get in touch with me. I am also looking for people who might be able to answer a few questions we have on the subject. My email address is: hfc15@uni.brighton.ac.uk Many thanks, Hayley

By Hayley Clarke (17/05/2011)

Hi, I was a bit of a latecomer, being most active around 1982-84. I spent many a long night in the extremely dingy basement of the Hove Labour Party offices which served as the Voice's layout space at that time. Letraset, a golfball typewriter and cow gum were the key ingredients. And occasionally some good copy. Sadly, I've lost touch with pretty much everyone I knew at that time - in particular my good mate Pete "Mad Dog" who authored the back page of snippets and "funnies", and who went on to be part of the split that formed Brighton Bomber in the mid to late 80s. Good times. And I can still smell the damp.

By Mark (23/06/2011)

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