Documenting and celebrating East Anglia's much-loved community newspaper which was published from 1973 to 1984; The Clarion was started with some of the profits from the first ever Barsham Faire. We have built the site to include a comprehensive guide to all the published issues, selected covers, articles, photographs, illustrations and other content. Because of the close link between the Clarion and the fairs movement, we will wherever appropriate link to the Fairs Archive website; also include information about public access to the physical Waveney Clarion archive. Finding your way around the site: click on the links in the menubar near the top of this web page, or a link within a page; there are often related sections which are listed to the left beneath the Search box. PDF files are used to provide larger versions of images and supplementary documents: please be patient while they download. If you have trouble, please ensure that you have installed an up-to-date version of your preferred PDF reader (Adobe Acrobat Reader is available to download from the Adobe site). Scroll down for News updates.
In his pioneering book ‘Waterlog’ Roger Deakin wrote as follows:
‘The Clarion was one of the most successful community newspapers of the 1970s, and circulated amongst the growing colony of romantic, liberal-minded people who lived, or had settled, in the general vicinity of the Waveney and shared the Whole Earth Capital ideals of the Woodstock era. Many had come from London, like me, and were working hard at the country life.
'Coypu was the star of the paper. Dressed in plaid trousers and a knotted scarf, he was a hippie Rupert Bear, getting up to all the tricks the chums had hardly dared to dream about. He was forever having near squeaks with the Coypu Control officers. He had a weakness for Adnams Ale, carrots, sugar beet, fresh-water mussels and jugs of home-made sugar beet wine.’
(Quote taken, with all due acknowledgements, from the 1999 publication by Chatto and Windus.)
February 2023: new book COYPU COMPENDIUM – scroll down to 'News'.
Clarion cover Dec. 1973: illustration and design by Mick Sparksman
©2012 throughout The Waveney Clarion website. No reproduction of text or images without express permission (email us). We do everything we can to credit or provide attribution to images and text used on this website; please contact us if you have information about sources or copyright issues.
February 2023: THE COYPU COMPENDIUM. The fondly remembered Mick Sparksman coypu creation is now celebrated in a new, limited edition publication. Its release has been timed to coincide with The Waveney Clarion's first publication in February 1973. The Compendium has mined The Clarion, Coypu Comix, Tales from the Marshes and Swamp Comix for cartoons, illustrations and strips. Along with classic posters, articles, reviews, advertisements and cover artwork from '73 to '84, it's pretty comprehensive and unique.With more than 90 illustrations lovingly compiled into 46 beautiful. glossy and colourful A4 pages including an introduction from Borin Van Loon. The compiler has decided to sell online through The Fairs Archive shop, with any profits after printing and postage to go to supporting The Archive. (They will also be available at any of the events the Archive Yurt Exhibition is attending this year).
Summer 2022: publication of a special 'Barsham Faire 50th Anniversary Edition' of The Waveney Clarion, which includes a full colour reproduction poster for the Last Barsham Faire (1976); price: one pound.
Sept. 2020: VIrtually here, the work of John Ellerby, added to the site.
15 May 2014: Congratulations to Martin and Mike and the gang at the Fairs Archive website for a completely rebuilt website with hundreds of great images.
5 May 2014: Mike Weaver of the East Anglian fairs website (see Links) has kindly sent lots of Clarion-related material including lots more Coypu; we are adding these at appropriate places around the site.
1 March to 27 July 2014: Escape to the country - searching for self-sufficiency in the 70s, free exhibition in Abbot's Hall at the Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket, Suffolk. “This new exhibition follows the people who left the city rat race to start new lives in rural East Anglia in the 1970s. Explore the magic of 70s fairs, join the hunt for the ‘Good Life' and listen to totally groovy tunes. Discover how flower power and the three day week influenced how we live our lives today. Drawing on the experiences of ex-city slickers, hippies and the locals who remember their arrival in Suffolk, the exhibition will feature 70s costume, culture and creativity. Highlights include Laura Ashley dresses, vintage records and Barsham Faire posters.”
27 March 2014: Here is the whole of the first ever issue of the Waveney Clarion (February 1973).
15 July 2013: Don Mathew writes: 'Just to report that the one missing issue of the Clarion, April 1984 has been unearthed at his home by Ivan Bunn. He has donated this to the Suffolk Record Office in Lowestoft - where he conveniently works - so the collection is now complete. Rejoice!' [This last word used with extreme irony.]
Nov. 2012: Our interview about the Clarion, the fairs movement and this website on Norwich's Future Radio is no longer available on the web, but click the link for a PDF file of the transcript.