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Voice35Years: Turning back the clock

BACK TO THE EIGHTIES: A witch doctor gets magical aid in the form of an officer’s helmet during festivities at the 1982 Notting Hill Carnival

'THE VOICE' was launched at the Notting Hill Carnival in August of that year and the story on the front cover of the first edition was about an East End Pakistani family who were living in fear after they were targeted by a racist gang who tried to fire bomb their home in Waltham Forest.

This marked the beginning of the publication’s longstanding reputation for campaigning on the many issues which affect the welfare of black and ethnic minority Britain, which still remains today.

This week we look back on the second edition of The Voice which was published on September 11, 1982.


TWICE AS NICE: Our second issue

The front page cover story headlined, ‘Not all scroungers’ was about community groups in Oxford. They were worried that media coverage on a social security scoop on unemployed fiddlers might create the impression that all ethnic minority claimants are scroungers.

Another story on the cover noted that a campaign had begun by a local group to protest against a plot to undermine racial harmony in Newham in the East End of London. The local council has asked residents in the borough to fill in a form which asked them about their ethnicity.

On the news pages, the main story was Lambeth Council having to deny a Daily Express report of racial bias because one of their estates in Prince Charles’s Kennington Manor did not have one single black person out of 850 tenants.

There was also another story that Tower Hamlets Council was keeping a watchful eye on a National Front stall in Brick Lane Market following protests by community groups in the area and the local trades council.

There was news too that Wandsworth Council was compiling a new electoral register and was calling upon local residents and 16-17 year-olds to make sure their names appeared on the list in time for local elections.


MOTHER BROWN: Police join an impromptu knees-up with carnival revellers

This edition also included a two-page spread on the 1982 Notting Hill Carnival with all the photos in black and white unlike the images we are used today, in which we can see all the vibrant colours that are usually associated with the carnival.

Elsewhere in the paper, entertainment was a very popular section which listed the latest reggae and soul charts and an interview with the up-and-coming Birmingham-based reggae group Musical Youth. Topping the reggae chart was Bad Man Possee by Junior Murvin while the reggae album chart was headed by Freddie McGregor and his Big Ship album.


POPULAR: Birmingham-based Musical Youth soared to the top of the singles chart with their first record, Pass the Dutchie back in 1982

The soul chart for that week was headed by The Message from Grandmaster Flash while the leading album was Jump To It by Aretha Franklin.

Each week we will be publishing a front cover from The Voice in its first year of publication from the archive and we are sure readers will enjoy looking back on these just as we do.

The Voice is celebrating its 35th birthday this year. Share your Voice memories, comments and birthday wishes on social media, using the following hash tag: #Voice35Years

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