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Issue 7 - July 1972
Dear Ma,

Dear Muther Grumble
We have just returned from an exhilarating evening in 'Ye Old Black Bull Inn' at Wylam. (Thanks to Graham's marvellous navigating!)

However the 'Folk' as suggested by MG consisted of one dilapidated juke box (use plastic roses to push down 10p pieces). We would appreciate it if MG could get her facts right in future and avoid causing us expense, boredom and loss of precious drinking time. If she doesn't know about the pubs, what can we take her word for?

Yours in annoyance,
Pete, Graham, Richard, Robin, Sue, Mark.

Embarrassed silence. What's more we've had more letters than we can count about non-existant folk clubs. Trouble is, the information we've got on folk clubs is very old - so please tell us of clubs that are still functioning - and those that aren't.

Dear Muther Grumble
I go to a girls school in Newcastle, which is direct grant and a real dump! The headmistress has power to do anything - even expel girls without seemingly having to answer to anyone.

Last December, being bored, I had my hair affroed by a friend which was quite funny and bloody nearly got expelled for my trouble. The headmistress kept saying how I was a disgrace to the school and to my parents (who only laughed) and how all the teachers thought I looked revolting and grotesque! Lovely eh! I was saved expulsion by the Xmas vac. But I have regretted my hairstyle since because teachers, before bearable, now seem to personally hate me! It's true - I'm not suffering from any kind of persecutory complex.

However, I've just had all my affro cut off so that phase is over - but it's an example of what hell this school is! (my form teacher once said in an amazing tone of contempt and disgust: "You look as though you're trying to emulate that Hendrix fellow!" Little did she know how pleased I was).

Anyway, because of all this I'm very keen on getting some kind of union started here on Tyneside for schoolkids. NUSS sounds a better deal than SAU from all I've heard and is more likely to be effective especially in a school like ours. So I was wondering if you knew where I could get in touch with any section of the NUSS. I keep reading about how successful it is in the Guardian but can't get in touch with it as all my letters to the NUS have remained unanswered!

Also, if you happen to know if anyone on Tyneside who's interested in setting up a union in their school or who's interested in better education in any way and would like to help, please get them to write to me at the following address.

Keep up the good work and don't, please, put the price up.
Anne Reece, 27 Douglas Ave, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 4XD

We'd also like to hear of anyone who's setting up or runs a School Action Union in their school, so that we can help people keep in touch with each other.

Festival of Light
Dear Arol
Please don't hate so much. Christians are people too. Loving folks you disagree with isn't easy, but it would be great to groove along in unity, helping one another. I'm sure you do love to help folks - your article showed that, especially at the end, but don't exclude me and hundreds like me from your love, just because we're Christians, or you'll hurt yourself inside and waste your energy. Yeh, it is important that folks should get enough to eat and a place to live - we believe that too. Please, as a Christian, can I say I'm sure God blesses your every effort to care for folks this way, because where love is shown, there He is dwelling too. But love isn't exclusive.

Peace, Stacie

Don't get us wrong none of us hate Christians - but we do feel that the Festival of Light has nothing to do with Christianity.

Dear Muther Grumble
By the way what about the Festival? An alternative festival? A FRINGE festival as in Edinburgh, a festival for the people of Newcastle for the kids of Byker / Benton?

Many groups would come up to the Newcastle festival if there was room for them. Street theatre groups, music groups etc etc. But much better would be some local activity in the grotty parts of the city. Most mothers would grumble in fact and say that there was little for their kids to do; and that the official arts festival did not seem to offer much for them, unless they were herded at some expense into the centre of the city at the theatres.

Yours, Adrian

Quite agree - there should be opportunities here - why don't some people get together to make it a real festival? We'd help.

Dear Echo
Our anonymous millions can focus their attention on the problem of leisure. A great deal of what is pompously called 'Vandalism' or before 'juvenile delinquency' is the inarticulate response of youth coming to terms with leisure. The violence associated with it is a direct consequence of the alienation of man brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Man has forgotten how to play. And if one thinks of the soulless tasks accorded each man in the industrial milieu, of the fact that education has become increasingly technological and for the ordinary man no more than a means of getting him for a 'job', one can hardly be surprised that man is lost. He is almost afraid of more leisure. He demands 'overtime' and has a latent hostility toward automation. His creativity stunted, he is orientated outwards entirely.

Love Captain Beefheart

Art on the whole is myonlyfriend

Dear Muther Grumble
Having read your paper from the first issue with increasing pleasure and admiration, I found No.6 disappointing. You seem in danger of losing direction. To begin with, don't waste valuable space apologising for editing the paper. A paper your size cannot afford space for waffle.

Support for Claimants Unions is much needed, but you dissipate your energy and effectiveness by your methods. Your 'Complete SS Man' would be more useful as a poster in the office. You could let off steam throwing darts at it. As it is, you are attacking a fellow victim of the system instead of the system.

Why not devote each issue to one cause and really put some meat into it.

As things are you dabble in a number of issues important to the community without really getting to grips with any of them.

Somehow this issue seems less locally topical, and less readable than usual, and with less substance, in spite of having the same number of pages. Was Martin Cole worth all that space?

But keep on with your good work and enjoy yourselves while you grumble.

Best wishes and a small donation from (dare I say it?) a middle-class Muther.

Hope you think this issue is better. If so it's intentional. Love, us.

One Life Co-operative
One Life Co-op, 51 Larkspur Terrace, Jesmond. Newcastle 811876

Hello Muther G
More information about the One Life Cooperative. First of all we've been given a space by the Council in Leazes Park to put up a dome of 1,000 square feet coverage. We should have the dome up within the next 2-3 weeks. The events that take place within the dome will depend entirely on what people want to do, see, listen to.

We hope that the dome will be used as a community arts centre over the summer. A place for people to be together. To find out about themselves, each other, the planet we live on.

Soc'em may be using the dome as a basis for action about the motorway that makes Newcastle look more like a city in a state of war every day.

There will be an open meeting to discuss the One Life Cooperative / Dome on Wednesday 19 July at about 8 o'clock, here - 51 Larkspur Terrace. Anyone who's interested should try and make it to the meeting or contact us soon.

We also have the chance of renting a shop in Jesmond when it comes vacant within the next couple of weeks. This will largely depend on what the rent is. If we do get the shop it'll be used to sell things anyone makes, small cafe / food, organic vegetables, grains, flour etc at wholesale prices, free / swap shop. Again any offers of help, ideas welcome.

Any chance of you giving half a page each issue to consciousness expansion, awareness - meditation, yoga, drugs, and other revolutions of the spirit? I'm sure you'd find people prepared to write on these and related subjects.

That's all for now. Peace, joy and strength to you all.

PS. If anyone is interested we have a few gas masks for use when walking through towns. They probably don't work too well but they're very effective as images - we may soon really have to wear them in cities if the motor car continues to dominate air lives and pollute the air of this once beautiful planet.

Gordon's article on food is on page 8. We try to print as many articles as we can each time, so why not write them?

Toad Power
Revolutionary Federation of Toads (GB)

Dear Grumblers
Please send me a copy of Muther Grumble. 10p p/o enclosed. Send it like fast man!

Fraternally yours
M Biggs (chief toad)

We did.