Twenty Years of History, an editorial review

2017 March 28
by dickdickerydick

PULP, Manchester, the World

 

1989

PULP: Mark Hillsdon

News, “back chat” – letter pages, music, art, sport, listings and “PulPit’ – the cliché student rant page, spattered with internationally and locally sensitive reportage on a range of subjects, written with intelligence without arrogance. Well done Mark, a balanced and insightful catalogue. Even the rants are interesting.

Editor’s pick: The French Connection by Clayton Blackfoot and Ashley Greenhorne

Manchester: 16year old Clair Leighton dies after taking E at the Hacienda; 14year old Beckham signed to Man United; Stone Roses release self-titled debut album

The World: Berlin Wall falls; students massacred in China’s Tiananmen Square; World Wide Web conceived by Tim Berners-Lee of CERN; Dalai Lama wins Nobel Peace Prize; The Hillsborough Disaster

 

1990

PULP: Mark Attwood

Much of the previous structure has been carried over, only executed with a little less sophistication. There is certainly less content each issue, which has become more internally focused – on the Union and Manchester. ‘Wider issues’ are diffused with more ‘student-friendly’ fodder.

Editor’s pick: Charlie Gerrard’s PulPit: The art of great celibacy

Manchester: 25day Strangeways siege – the longest in British penal history – involving up to 1,000 rioting prisoners; 16 children removed from their homes in Middleton’s Langley estate, Rochdale and put into care following accusations of devil worship and sex abuse; The Happy Mondays hit the charts with a number of top ten hits, culminating in the release of their third album “Pills ‘N’ Thrills ‘N’ Bellyaches”; first “gay pride” event held in Manchester

The World: Hubble Telescope launched into space; Nelson Mandela freed; Margaret Thatcher resigns as prime minister and is succeeded by John Major

 

1991

PULP: Janet Ebdon

Though downgrading in design, for the third consecutive year the magazine retains its basic structure, covering news, letters, arts, music, sport and rant page – “PulPit”. Features have been cut back to three mediocre student items per issue, dressed up with occasional injections of base colour.

Editor’s pick: Fashion’92 by Sarah and Sue, for their insightful and well-researched fashion projections

Manchester: Jan 30th Hacienda closes for 3 months after door staff threatened with a gun; Man United successfully floated on the Stock Market at a value of £18m; Oasis is born, playing their first gig at the Boardwalk

The World: Collapse of the Soviet Union; Operation Desert Storm; 10 million people worldwide estimated to be HIV-positive, including 1 million in U.S.; Nirvana releases “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, birth of grunge; Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia win independence

 

1992

PULP: John “Johnno” Burgess

There are no 1992/3 PULPs. All we have is the editor’s election manifesto.

Manchester: Factory Records, financially crippled, collapses in November; 2 bomb explosions disrupt central Manchester, injuring 65 people; Metrolink opens – the first of a new generation of tram systems in Britain; after crippling factory records The Mondays disbanded with Shaun Ryder and Bez forming Black Grape

The World: Official end of Cold War; Bill Clinton elected president; Prince and Princess of Wales separate

 

1993

PULP: Emma Warren

As we only have Emma’s first issue on file so it is difficult to pass judgement on her editorial efforts. It is neither awful nor innovative, just a safe, standard, middle-of-the-road student publication.

Editor’s pick: A Brief Introduction to the Scene by Paula Redway, Andi Christian and Carl Fox, aka the Ream Team.

Manchester: Victoria Baths on Hathersage Rd closed by Manchester City Council; Alan McGee signs Oasis to Creation Records; Roy Keane joins Manchester United for a (British) record of £3.75m; Terminal 2 opened by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh; Paradise Factory opens in the old Factory Records HQ

The World: World Trade Centre bombed; rise of the Internet; Toni Morrison wins Nobel Prize for literature; federal agents besiege Texas Branch Davidian religious cult

 

1994

PULP: Scott Birch

Contents from issue 3: “Loads of music…Legal drugs are explored in Herbal Highs and then there’s all the usual reviews and listings and news you’d expect. Oh yeah, loads of club stuff ‘cos that’s what the kids want.” Scott was almost there. Almost. But the appalling design and blatant apathy – like “revisiting” old articles in the last issue – there were only 13, 14 max – muddies all glimmers of journalistic genius.

Editor’s pick: Student Politics by Mark Birch 

Manchester: United manager Sir Matt Busy dies aged 84; Manchester born-n-bred Steve Coogan wins Top Male Comedy Performer, Top Comedy Personality and Best New Television Comedy for “Knowing Me, Knowing You” at the British Comedy Awards; Stone Roses release their second album “Second Coming”; Sankeys opens as ‘Sankeys Soap’ at its Beehive Mill venue

The World: Channel Tunnel opens connecting Britain and France; O.J. Simpson arrested for double murder; Nelson Mandela elected president of South Africa; Rwandan genocide of Tutsis by Hutus begins; Clinton accused of sexual harassment; IRA declares cease-fire in Northern Ireland

 

1995

PULP: Stephanie Hankey

Steph’s diverse and beautifully designed pieces of reportage (in my opinion anyway) are undeniably the best in PULP’s long and erratic history. Though definitely more culturally and socially inclined, there are several articles confronting a wider range of subject matter from racism and ethical consumerism to politics. There is even a special anniversary edition marking 20 years of PULP. I cannot believe this year didn’t win ANY awards…

Editor’s pick: a difficult decision, but Carl H Bensi’s article on drugs, from the ‘youth culture’ (and my personal favourite) edition stands out the most.

Manchester: MEN Arena officially opened by Torvill & Dean; 15year-ld Louise Sellers found battered to death behind Billinge Hospital, near Wigan; gang steal £6.6m from a Securicor van at the Midland Bank Clearing Centre, Salford

The World: Ebolo Virus spreads in Zaire; gas attack in Tokyo subway; O.J. Simpson trial; 5,000 die in Japanese earthquake

 

1996

PULP: Caspar Field *winner of BEST STUDENT MAGAZINE in Guardian Media Awards*

Though in no way as aesthetically pleasing as Steph’s hoard of treasures, Casper’s series marry a varied range of student interests with clean design and layouts. Each issue balances interesting trivia with more ‘straight’ pieces of journalism, like chasing a Faithless interview with a General Election Special. I mean, I’d flick through one, as it’s free, but they’re all a bit too “student magazine” for me…

Editor’s pick: Cults: an easy guide by Jacqui Kohen

Manchester: 15th June IRA bomb devastates Arndale and Market Street, injuring 200; Manchester fails to win bid for 1996 Olympics; Stone Roses split up; Manchester City become the first ever European trophy winners to be relegated to the English football’s third tier

The World: Mad Cow Disease hits Britain; Sri Lankan suicide bombing; Ella Fitzgerald dies; Charles and Diana divorce; 747 airliner crashes in Atlantic killing all 230 passengers

 

1997

PULP: Nathan Sellars

Again we have just the one issue, covering art, music, fashion, music, the Simpsons, music, music, music, games and …music.

Editor’s pick: Boogie Nights fashion shoot. Again, pure comedic value.

Manchester: Beaten by cash flow and drug dealers, Hacienda closes on June 28th; Fenerbahce beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Champions League, ending their 40year unbeaten record at home in Europe; Repercussion music festival; Ricky Hatton debuts

The World: British Au Pair on trial for murder; death of Princess Diana; scientists clone sheep; Tiger Woods wins Masters; Hale-Bopp comet sighted; fashion designer Gianni Versace murdered; U.S. space exploration of Mars; Mother Teresa dies aged 87

 

1998

PULP: Dan Trent *winner of BEST STUDENT MAGAZINE in Guardian Media Awards*

Am I wrong to have high expectations for ‘The Best Student Magazine’? Either the 1998 student press machine was orchestrated by a bunch of unimaginative remedials or the Guardian’s panel of judges all had simultaneous strokes that year. Personal aspirations for attaining such a coveted Guardian media award wane with the turn of every insipid, vacuous page. This is why student media is the biggest fuckin joke to the rest of the publishing industry. On the whole it’s a shameful embarrassment that should be quarantined. Dan Trent is also a regionalist racist. How did he get away with ‘are Northerners a bunch of jealous twats or are Southerners just whingeing wankers’?

Editor’s pick: Guilty As Charged… mullets. Oh dear.

Manchester: Fat City Recordings born out of Fat City Records, originally situated in Affleck’s Palace; Rupert Murdoch’s Brittish Sky Broadcasting moved to buy Man United for over £600m; Ian Brown sentenced to 4months in prison for ‘air rage’; Sankeys forced to close

The World: U.S. president Clinton impeached following Monica Lewinsky scandal; Viagra on the market; former Chilean dictator, Pinochet, arrested in London

 

1999

PULP: Bruce McVean *winner of BEST DESIGN in Guardian Media Awards*

PULP is now dubbed ‘the official lifestyle magazine of Student Direct Ltd’ – a distressing union with long-standing rivals, Manchester – encompassing art, music, travel, food and …flashing?! The design is tame at best, which calls into question again the credibility of this Guardian media award nonsense.

Editor’s pick: photo and graphic special, later featured in an exhibition at Quay Bar, Castlefield 25/05-05/06/00

Manchester: Dr Harold Shipman goes on trial at Presto crown court charged with murdering 15 patients whilst working in Hyde; 81 shooting incidents, mostly Manchester gang-related; Granada Studios Tour closed after falling into disrepair

The World: Y2K bug; Columbine killing; college student Shawn Fanning invents Napster, 150 million internet users worldwide, “e-commerce” spreads and MySpace launched; first non-stop balloon flight around the world (completed in 20 days); Japanese nuclear accident; tobacco companies admit to harm caused by cigarette smoking; new Northern Ireland government begins self-rule for first time in 25 years; England win the World Cup

 

2000

PULP: Clyde McGarringle

Another year, another crop of stereotypical student prattle. But at least it is no longer in allegiance with the enemy.

Editor’s pick: Clubs review… for the Class A photography.

Manchester: Fails to win Olympic bid again; Jan 21st Shipman is convicted with 15 life sentences – the UK’s most prolific convicted serial killer; Badly Drawn Boy wins the Mercy Music Prize – fellow Manks, Doves, narrowly missing out; fails to win Olympic bid again

The World: Reformists win control of Iranian parliament for first time since 1979 Islamic Revolution; Vladimir V. Putin formally chosen for presidential post in Russia; Israeli troops withdraw from Lebanese security zone after 22 years of occupation; North and South Korea sign peace accord; Concord crash kills 113 near Paris

 

2001

PULP: Russell Smith

Design takes a nosedive, dragging the content down with it. The issues look more dated than those from 10years ago and any intelligence or wit has long since dissipated from PULP’s shiny shiny leaves.

Editor’s pick: the oh-so-cringe-worthy poem commemorating 25 years of PULP history, by Arian Jafari. I don’t need a tissue, just some lighter fluid.

Manchester: Bury-hailing Elbow release their debut album “Asleep in the Back”; MEN fined £30,000 for contempt after releasing information about the whereabouts of the 2year-old Bulger killers, murdered in 1993; Manchester Airport opens its second runway with predictions of becoming the UK’s second busiest within the next 15years

The World: George W. Bush inaugurated as 43rd American president; 9/11 Word Trade Centre disaster; U.S. and British alliance against Afghanistan, the Taliban & Osama bin Laden; new category created at the Oscars: Best Animated Feature, won by Shrek; Foot and Mouth epidemic in Britain

 

2002

PULP: Ian Holden

Ian carries on the mediocre media baton with a few additional PULP firsts: ‘dear Pam & co’ problem page and the ‘hang on your wall calendar’ – intended to be a pull out…on page 4/5. Instead ‘Union News’ inhabits the centre, which no one would consider tearing out, except in the event of a post curry/no loo roll situation. They realise this around issue 7, replacing ‘Union News’ with inane student profiles. (By which time the ‘What’s On’ pull out has finally found its way to the middle of the magazine.)

Editor’s pick: the SEX quiz, just for the ‘are you the ‘Up The Bum’ Girl’ comment. Wow. Shortly followed by their guide to ‘some of the best ways to fully enjoy a Quality Skunk Bana’… and MY health issue was “out there”?!

Manchester: “24 Hour Party People” released directed by Michael Winterbottom, detailing the rise and fall of Factory Records ad Tony Wilson (played by Steve Coogan); Hacienda demolished and transformed into flats; Manchester becomes the first city outside London to offer civil partnership service to same-sex couples; host to the XII Commonwealth Games; Urbis opens

The World: euro currency debuts in 12 European countries; U.S. takes Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners to Guantanamo Bay; Slobodan Milosevic on trial for crimes against humanity at The Hague

 

2003

PULP: Lorna Kenwright

“News * Reviews * Interviews * Features * Competitions * and much much more”

- Well, not that much more. An emaciated mag, one article and slightly thicker cover pages up from a newsletter. Just as tedious. Just as fleeting.

Editor’s pick: the hardest so far. Absolutely NOTHING stands out apart from issue 9’s confessions, a minor component of the magazine, which says it all about the publication as a whole.

Manchester: Chorlton-Cum-Hardy-hailing Maurice Gibb (The Bee Gees) dies aged 54; Victoria Baths win the first BBC Restoration Programme; Det.Con. Stephen Oake stabbed to death during an anti-terror raid; the world’s first Public Space Broadcasting screen launched in Manchester’s Exchange Square

The World: space shuttle Columbia explodes upon re-entering Earth; Britain and U.S. enter war with Iraq; estimated 2.6 billion music files are illegally downloaded each month, Apple Computers introduce iTunes Music store providing legal downloads for 99 cents per song; Arnold Schwarzeegger elected governor of California; Saddam Hussein captured by American troops

 

2004

PULP: Lorna Kenwright

Unbelievably Lorna returns to subject her poor PULP readers to another year of nondescript student tosh. She makes a few alterations, but on the whole they remain the same. A very forgettable collection.

Editor’s pick: The Art Issue – a shred of creativity at last. Favourite item: Ian Cussons’ pot noodle condoms .

Manchester: Shipman found hanging in his cell; Paradise Factory closes; arrival of the Big Wheel

The World: sovereignty returned to Iraq but 135,000 U.S. troops remain; four hurricanes hit Florida and southern U.S.; tsunami devastates Asia, killing at least 224,000; Bush re-elected

 

2005

PULP: Jenny Hoffbrand

“This week Jenny Hoffbrand (the editor) rants about noses”… oh dear. We’ve reached an all time low. I don’t even want to flick through these. The covers are off-putting enough: Trevor nob Nelson, the Sugar Babes, Paris & Nicole… Christ. PULP’s decline has been sad to chronicle, seeing it fall from such great heights. We are currently splattered all over the concrete, looking confused at the body parts splayed around us in some Nitsch/Hirst spin painting.

Editor’s pick: Winter Warmers. Proof if ever there was that there are some truth to old wives tales, or at least the one about the dangers of pulling faces in the wind.

Manchester: Mustapha Abushima found guilty of five charges of abduction; “B of the Bang” sculpture completed, designed by Thomas Heatherwick – tallest UK sculpture; Ricky Hatton wins WBA title; Sketch City is born

The World: hurricane Katrina devastates Mississippi, Louisiana, flooding 80% New Orleans; YouTube.com launched; Bush officially sworn in for second term of presidency; Benedict XVI becomes next pope; Tony Blair becomes first Labour Party prime minister to win three successive terms; London (July) terrorist bombings; Saddam Hussein trial

 

2006

PULP: Ellie Peak

We are now in hospital on a life-support machine after intensive surgery. Cosmetically it’s been a success – we look alright, but are failing somewhat internally. Ellie transforms PULP into an arts-biased magazine – there are at least 3, but more like 5 ‘creative’ issues, although every edition has poetry and artwork of some kind. Articles are sparse, but on the whole a wild improvement on previous years.

Editor’s pick: Citizen Caned by Christian Campbell and Jack McLoughlin

Manchester: Grand Central Records, based in the Northern Quarter liquified after 10 years of operation; Warehouse Project at Boddingtons Brewery; three men jailed in connection with Manchester gun importation racket; Xfm Manchester launches; “topping-out” ceremony of the Beetham Tower – the largest in Manchester

The World: Slobadan Milosevic dies of a heart attack in jail; Katharine Jefferts Schori becomes first female leader in the Aglican Communion; Israeli troops move into Gaza and seize Hamas political leaders, later invading Lebanon; Mumbai bombing; Saddam Hussein is convicted and sentenced to death by hanging

 

2007

PULP: Jamie Dickenson

One word can be used to describe my predecessor’s yield: confused. Too many conflicting ideas grapple for your attention each issue. There is no cohesion, consistency or even common sense some times (how can you spell ‘against’ wrong. ON THE FRONT COVER. Hi, welcome to MMU, we are all apathetic illiterates. This is our magasin…) Every now and again you will stumble across a gem, be it a really nice piece of design or prose, but they are rare and buried deep in white noise and garish layout.

Editor’s pick: Atheist Bible Club – cos the Bible is a damn fine read (unlike this article) by Michael Watson.

Manchester: BBC confirms its 5-departmental relocation to media:city, Salford Quays; Northern Quarter fire; UEFA cup final violence in Manchester city centre

The World: Virginia Tech student massacre; Tony Blair resigns after 10 years as prime minister and is replaced by Gordon Brown; Hamas seize the Gaza Strip; 8.0 earthquake occurs 90 miles southeast of Lima, Peru, killing at least 500

 

2008

PULP: Holly Dicker

This year I have tried to do something different. I have replaced “news, reviews and interviews” – a chant that has reverberated through PULP for over three decades – with something a little more conceptual. Each month the content has pivoted around subjects taught at a different MMU faculty (excluding the Freshers issue and December’s Anti-Xmas special.) Whether this has been successful or not is difficult to tell, having received all but three responses from readers in nearly 9months of editorship. Like any amateur production, mistakes have been regular and plentiful, but never (I hope) recurring. I can’t look at a single issue beyond all the faults, as my precursors must have felt during their reign. All I hope is that I have at least reinstated a little of the wit and intellect that once graced PULP’s pages, that has been eroding steadily since the start of this timeline…

Editor’s pick: What type of socialite? A clubber’s quiz

Manchester: MEN becomes the UK’s first music and entertainment venue to host competitive swimming; Pierre Williams convicted of murdering family in Fallowfield; Ryan Giggs awarded honorary degree by University of Salford; Affleck’s ceased trading in March for a month

The World: Barack Obama becomes first African-American to be elected president; Microsoft offers to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion to challenge Google’s dominance of online search ad advertising; markets plunge around the world instigating a global financial and economic crisis; Castro resigns as President of Cuba after 49 years in power; Morgan Tsvangirai challenges Robert Mugabe’s leadership in Zimbabwe presidential elections; Olympic Torch relay protests; 7.9 earthquake strikes Ichuan, Gansu, and Yunnan Provinces in western China; Georgian invasion; Pirates hijack oil tanker off Somalian coast

 

2009

PULP: TBA

Manchester: TBA

The World: TBA

 Holly Dicker