Gazzle
 
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(Extract from a letter)

Having been in my time Editor of the Birmingham University Mining Magazine, and a vast number of engineering reports; having designed the last gasworks for the town of Hitchin and produced many Parish Magazines and vast numbers of sermons, I find it ironical that in one part of the world I am best remembered as Editor of the "Gazzle". Yes, it was "Gazzle", not Dazzle or Razzle.

I well remember a private study period when a committee meeting was held to decide on the production of that scurrilous publication. The title was decided by democratic vote after due consideration and a few veiled threats. (Present: I.C. Hope; P. F. Ainsbury; J.P.Jay; S.J.G.Taylor; W.J.Green; J.Holloway; P.Genner.) At Kidderminster, the local rag was called the "Shuttle" - "Kiddy" being renowned for its carpet weaving. There was a "Stour Gazette" at the time. The "Razzle" was an even more scurrilous commercial publication which we dared not emulate too closely and would not show to "your children or your servants". I cannot recall "Dazzle" ever being suggested - it sounds too much like a well-known washing powder. After much deliberation and very little private study, the consensus lighted upon "Gazzle", the logo to be a "Polywog". The latter was filched from the "Polywog Glutin" which had cornered the market in King Edward VI glue.

I found myself in the position of Editor of this publication, mainly because I had access to a typewriter at home and had the patience to do the typing. Having a rather satirical outlook on the education system and life in general also helped. Early on we had a "self-denial" appeal to cover the cost of photographs etc. which, I seem to remember, brought in the disappointing sum of tuppence-ha'penny

There were, I think, rather more than three editions. The last one to be published was in fact produced by Ian Hope and Peter Ainsbury as at the time, the rest of us were doing Cambridge H.S.Certs. Ian and "Cuthbert" had already done the Northern Universities H.S.C. (it may have been the other way round - no matter!) and so had the free time. I have a copy of this final Gazzle still, and several years ago I sent a photocopy of it to Ian.

Philip Jay, having his own camera, had, of course, been appointed official photographer, and in this last issue are several photographs of sports day and also of the demolition of the "Tin Tabernacle" and its replacement by the new "C Block".

I do regret that none of the editions which I edited seems to have survived. They probably finished their lives in the collections of various masters. The only edition to be confiscated from on high was a "Special Edition" brought out on Speech Day and which made reference to the local M.P. Mr. R. Morgan, whose speech seemed to be slightly coloured by the grape or the barley. Tommy Watson's anxiety over possible libel action was, I think, the cause of confiscation rather than disapproval in principle.

W.J.G.

The Estate of William John Green, 2004