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Blunderbuss Issue 4 (July 1977)

Cover of issue 4 of BlunderbussThis page provides the full text of the fourth issue of BLUNDERBUSS. This issue appeared in July 1977 and was subtitled “Special Leavers’ Edition”

You can explore the full Blunderbuss archive here.

Contents of Issue 4

World News


Us and Them & The Real Inspector Hound

Front Page Competition

What did you think of the last disco?

Rock Review

A new wave

A Summers Tale

Ents Com 1976 to 1977

The 400 Committee

World News

Controversy rages in the Western world over the development of a secret weapon which destroys life, but leaves buildings undamaged. Major-General G. Whiting attended a demonstration of the new terror machine outside the Music School at Friday lunchtime and seemed pleased with the result. Hundreds of civilians fled in terror, many were reduced to snivelling wrecks in minutes. A number of Irishmen were seen propping up the wall and wearing black hoods. Major-General Whiting denied responsibility, saying it was an isolated incident.

"The most powerful weapon of ignorance: the diffusion of printed material"  Tolstoy



This isn't really an editorial, never the less, if you bear with me I'll try to explain why the ECM is now called BLUNDERBUSS and what, if any, significance this has.

It's not uncommon for "unofficial" magazines like ECM to be dominated by a small number of enthusiastic student s with their own, esoteric, brand of philosophy. The ECM, according to some readers, is no exception. We apologise, BLUNDERBUSS will be slightly more sober without being totally dry. The new name is part of an attempt to revitalise the magazine. I stress the word attempt, because if we've failed to satisfy you in the past, or if we fail in the future, it isn't totally our fault. In the first issue David Phelan said "The magazine will be want you want to make it. People get the magazine they deserve."

The Magazine is not a platform for the EntsCom . The pages are open to staff and students alike to keep everybody else informed of the variety of activities of which many people have not heard. This issue, I'm afraid, is rather retrospective, but that's partially due to the end of term. Next term's issue should be forward looking.

Here's the rub, it depend son YOU. Try putting ballpoint to paper yourselves, it makes the magazine better and out life easier. Put your contributions in EntCom box outside the New Staff room. Above all, if you think that BLUNDERBUSS is marvellous/rubbish, PLEASE write and tell us. If the letters aren't obscene we'll print some. This is the ONLY WAY we can find out your requirements and try to fulfill them, which is, after all what we're here for.


"Us and Them" & "The Real Inspector Hound"

A lightening review

A satirical double bill from the Drama Dept. constitutes their apres examen production, tinged with sadness at the realisation that the wealth of UVI talent is leaving, but also with hope at the wealth of V Year Talent which is here for another two years.

Us & Then is a popular production with school maybe because the cast can be expanded or contracted at will. It is however far more difficult to perform in some ways than a "conventional" play. The dialogue (or should it be Polylogue?) requires accurate timing, which the all female cast handled creditably. Jeremy Hardy's Dickensian clerk there in the odd Philosophical truism from time to time. Paranoia and Xenophobia are common traits, however enlightened we may think ourselves; one gets the strange impression one is looking in a mirror.

The Real Inspector Hound, as the name suggests, is partly a Who-dun-it. It is also about the cultural snobbery of a certain type of theatre critics who write more for himself than the public (Maybe yours truly?) Alan Watson depicts the pseudo intellectual admirably.

The play within a play manages to stay on the tightrope between parody and charicature. John Swaine presents an uncanny likeness to Peter Sellars, but there is no connection in the characters. Being performed in the round heightens the fantastical effect, and leaves the watcher in confusion as to what is real and what is fantasy.

Anyway - both plays are well worth seeing especially for only 20p. If you missed it it is your loss. Don't miss the next production.


Front Page Competition

Design the front cover for the next issue, sometime in late September or early October. The Title heading of BLUNDERBUSS will be used each issue, so all you have to do is draw the picture on the main part of the cover and win a prize of TWO tickets to the next Disco or Drama production - we try to appeal to all tastes. Place your items in the Entertainments Committee box outside the New Staff Room.


We don't know if the people who write obscene articles (for want of a better word) get some kind of kick out of it. Members of the Entertainments committee get very excited when they hear an article rustling around inside, and it's a great disappointment for them to tear it up before they've read half of it. lt's a waste of time writing these pathetic offerings - they go straight into the bin. Perhaps we should print some to show the world that this is the best Farnham College can do. lt might shame some of you into action.

SO:-Please don't abuse the EntsComBox, get writing!

Incidentally - Please excuse the Newspeak above - it's much quicker to write than Entertainments Committee Suggestions Box, so we'll call it EntComBox, and not write Entertainments Committee Suggestions Box again.


Question: What did you think of the last disco?

Was it:             Better than average?

Worse than average?


What Disco?


Answers in the Box pIease - no prizes, we just want to know.

Also: Certain contributors to "Graphite", not EntCom members, have asked me to point out that not only are some articles wrongly credited, but that the "Staffword" has several errors.


Rock Review: Live gig at Farnham College

Friday 22nd July is a date that few of us will forget easily. It was a day upon which a new rock band emerged to challenge all those who believe music has to comprise of actual notes and harmonies. This band showed that music is emotion, flair, rhythm and effort and that they intend to recapture the excitement that so many bands today fail to arouse in their audiences.

After a light lunch the five members of the band stepped out onto the patio and began the assault on those sceptics who thought they were just a run-of-the-mill band who had nothing to offer. They began with a Chris Kenny number entitled "Calorie Blues" about the problems of dieting. This was a good old rock'n'roll number that really set the audience alight. Everett played percussion with real dexterity and an unstoppable enthusiasm, Foster belted out meaty bass riffs, Dawson played tight fisted 12-bar rhythm, Whiting screeched out screaming lead guitar Wicks and Chris "The Punk" Kenny told the sad story of his mother's plight with true emotion and unique vocal sounds.

What could there be to follow this? The band soon informed the audience that they were "pretty vacant", and this version of the Pistols number left nothing to be desired. If the band can play this sort of number with only 2 days rehearsal what could they do in a year? It's quite unimaginable.

Following this number two members of the audience clapped, but the excitement died down soon after and the band burst forth with a 'funky' number that got the audience jigging and jogging (police made two arrests). Everett provided the backbone of the band and combined well with Foster (on bass) to set the rhythm for lead guitar work from Whiting.

After Kenny's own version of 'Peaches' the band concluded with an encore of 'Calorie Blues' which got the audience out of their surgical supports to 'bop' along with the beat.

The line up of the band was: Steve "Sticks" Everett (percussion), Mark "the Razor" Foster (bass), John "12 bar" Dawson (rhythm guitar), Geoff "the Loser" Whiting (rhythm and lead guitar), and Chris Kenny ("the Punk") vocals.

Special mention must go to Steve for appearing at short notice (he was called in at 9.30am) and making it all possible.


A new wave

 has, in the past, occasionally been the college's policy to attempt some reflection of contemporary trends in music and fashion, in the staff and students way of life at the college. Therefore, in view of the popularity of "Punk Rock", it has been decided by the Senior Council to bring into operation, as from next term, a few changes in the running of the college, in order to perpetuate some form of harmony with the aspects and ideals of Punk Rock. The changes are outlined below.

In future a compulsory college uniform, consisting of leather jacket and patches jeans (tears optional) is to be worn, (A staff spokesperson noted that this would have no actual effect because this was already normal dress for a majority of students.) Students will be expected to wear at least two safety pins through the cheek, ear, or (for real enthusiasts) through the eye.

Corporal punishment will be reintroduced; henceforth all staff will carry chains and flik-knives, to be used on any obedient pupils. Anybody found not writing obscenities on the desks during lessons will be severely punished. Insulting and throwing things at teachers is encouraged although killing them is not recommended. Ink is banned, all writing is to be in blood. The College motto is to be changed: a portrait of Johnny Rotten will be surrounded by the words "Punks Rules OK".

A number of new general studies are to be introduced, notably seat-slashing, spitting for pleasure and swearing for beginners, a course set up for those who find difficulty in using language. New sports are coming onto the agenda: knife-throwing, kid-bashing, strangling and punk bouncing.

Other departments showing interest in the new wave included the Biologists, who are throwing all their gerbils on the bonfire and breeding brown rats instead. The Art  Dept. is encouraging students to paint lives of peaches, and active deaths of rabbits and guinea pigs. The Music Dept, is hoping to stage a number of punk concerts in the near future, from local groups such as the Saliva Swiggers, the Entrail Rollers, and the Putrid Maggots.



A Summer's Tale

The wind raged in the velvet maelstrom outside the cracked windows of a wretched garret in south Farnham. A band of ever loyal conspirators huddled around the meagre warmth of a radiator.

Oppressed and harassed at every turn, and frustrated by the apathy of the masses they toiled on, surrounded by mounds of paper - discarded plans for building Empires, becoming incredibly rich and producing a successful revue.

By the flickering light of a 60 watt bulb they scratched out the final words of the saga before times winged chariot swept away their ivory tower for ever.

Must their final offensive fail? Must their enthusiasm be wasted? Their efforts brought a splash of colour to the grey faces of the lethargic citizens - even if it was from outrage. Could you do better? PROVE IT! You may not like it, but at least they made an effort.

    “Education has produced a vast population able to read and write, but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.”


If that wasn't true you wouldn't be reading this.


Ents Com 1976-77

David Phelan (Glorious Leader)*

Francis Arnstein

Geoff "horrible" Whiting

Mike Mehta

Jo Sheldon*

Min Hammerton-Fraser

Julian Wakefield harris

Rosemary Bowsher*

* = Escaping

Thanks to Mrs. Brown and M. Collier

Cover design John Clarke

Libellous commence about poor speling by M.R. Pratt


To all Apathetic would be contributors:


    James Joyce

The 400 Committee 1978

The observant amongst you may have noticed the date 1578 preserved above the main entrance of the new building. This is the date to which secondary education in Farnham can definitely be traced. Farnham College is the latest stage in the metamorphosis towards, we hope, the perfect educational system, believe it or not!

Those of you who are really on the ball will also have seen the legend 1351 as well. Is this equally significant? As period 6 begins at 1350, perhaps 1351 served to remind scholars in days gone by that "time driveth onwards fast" and that the penalty for being a minute late was a flogging to within an inch of the offending scholar's life.

Perhaps not.

Controversy rages as the exact date of the foundation of secondary education in Farnham, but the question is of academic interest only; 1978 is too convenient a date to miss.

In view of the reduction of expenditure by the County, the 400 Committee seeks to raise during 1978 for the purchase of teaching materials, including books and paper. One of the ideas mooted was a fete with a 16th century flavour (flavour was extensively used in the 16th century to disguise poor quality). The committee includes members of the SSCC, so if you've got any ideas, let your reps know.

The important thing to remember is that this is not a retrospective look at the past 400 years, it is an attempt to raise money to maintain a high standard of education in the future - the present college is just a link in the chain.

By the way; if you are one of those optimistic (pessimistic) souls who thinks that the world, England or Farnham College will still be here in 2051, perhaps a further distortion of history will allow 700 celebrations. If you live to be 93 you might be invited.

    "Giving up smoking and drinking doesn't make you live longer, it just makes it seem longer."

Groucho Marx