A typical ALARM! cover / Ian Bone and Ray Jones – 29th June 2017
Back in Spring 2017 I was asked to research, interview and create an oral history archive of Swansea’s anarchistic underground and counter culture from the late 1960s to the early 1980s for the Trouble Makers Festival held in and around High Street Swansea on 13-16 July 2017.
Working with Swansea Museum, we went to London to interview the notorious Ian Bone at his home. Ian Bone was the editor of ALARM! magazine, the anarchist underground newspaper that was published in Swansea throughout the 1970s which amongst other astonishing things brought Swansea to its knees and exposed corruption within its local council. Read all about it in his book ‘Bash The Rich: True Life Confessions of an Anarchist in the UK’. It’s a fantastic read.
Ian Bone in 1968. Riots on Mumbles Road
Through collecting objects and ephemera linked to ALARM! and then getting our hands on an immaculate complete set of ALARM! magazines (which is an education in itself, a complete set of ALARM!’s are held at West Glamorgan Archives) from a local man, this lead to an exhibition at Galerie Simpson where the opening night was graced by the good the bad and the punk of the local anarchist trouble making scene of the last 50 years.
As well as interviewing Ian Bone and provocateur and raconteur Ray Jones, I was fortunate to capture the story of Rose Davies who shares her involvement in Swansea’s political and class climate in the 1970s which includes attending the Women’s Liberation Group as a teenager and then setting up a women and family refuge in the Sketty area of Swansea in the early 1970’s.
Rose Davies at her home in May 2017. She is holding up the photograph of her protesting about women’s rights & housing homeless families outside Swansea Council’s Housing Department in the early 1970s. The book is the infamous ‘Bash The Rich: True Life Confessions of an Anarchist in the UK’ by Ian Bone.
I then met with Melvyn Williams who recalls his teenage years as an activist in Swansea in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The oral history includes getting involved with an underground publication and its printing, Alarm! magazine and the political climate of 1970s & 1980s Swansea & beyond.
I’ll write a bit more detail soon. I’ve not had time to write recently.
The links to the oral histories are above in the Soundcloud page.
Enjoy, be astonished and laugh, some of the stories are some of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.