Article from 20th Feb. 2003


I¹ve dated this undated ancient copy of Bare Facts somewhere between 4th and 11th May 1968 (detective work from dates in the text and the help of a web calendar!). I was at Battersea campus from 1965 and 1968 and kept this copy because I was mentioned twice in it - once in the news that I¹d shaved off my moustache and on the reverse that I was one of the artists exhibiting in an infamous Physics Dept art show, instigated by Prof. Elton.

Surrey Student

I don¹t know when Bare Facts first started, but in those days there was a posh student newspaper called Surrey Student, which later (14 October 1966) was renamed Surrey Guardian. These were rather stuffy typeset tabloid newspapers full of long polemical diatribes and not much else. I was one of the arts correspondents and occasional cartoonist. This meant I got to see films at morning press previews in the West End and attend openings at art galleries. Great stuff! But because this was before desktop publishing, these newspapers were typeset in hot metal and had very long lead times. Consequently, there wasn¹t much in the way of “What’s On”.

The way round this was to run off duplicated foolscap (imperial size paper, bigger than metric A4) sheets of info and stuff them inside the papers - or give them away elsewhere. This is how Bare Facts began. In those days there were no photocopiers, so they used hand-cranked duplicators - Gestetners or Roneos - which worked by forcing ink through wax stencils! The stencils were produced by typing (without a ribbon) directly onto the waxy paper sheets - mistakes had to be touched out with Tippex-type stuff; any drawings or stop press info was drawn directly onto the stencil using a metal stylus (or worn-out biro). Later, at Guildford, the Students Union acquired a Roneoscan, which produced stencils by scanning artwork. Progress!

Alan (Fred) Pipes, Physics 1965-68
Many more pages by Fed Pipes

Read more about Bare Facts here


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