Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – and an 80s womens group


Aaaah – student union politics in the early 80s. I was Deputy President of Liverpool University student union (Guild of Undergraduates to be exact, the official name) and things were very polarised politically. Thatcherite Tories versus Militant Tendency and some other groups in between. At the university, radically minded feminists were in the Womens Group tackling still very prevalent sexism among blokes at college – particularly in the medical and veterinary faculties.

So – there was bound to be a bust up when the Liverpool University Veterinary Society decided to put on a ‘comedy’ revue in the student union using the OMD album cover but changing the title to Obstetrical Manoeuvres in the Uterus. I arrived at the student union to find a queue of angry women outside my office and needless to say, the vets were forced to climb down.

Here an advert for an OMD tour around that time…

Greenham Common, CND and no nukes


Seems like another epoch but you may remember the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp which saw an all-women permanent protest outside the RAF Greenham Common military base for nearly two decades. It started in 1981 at what was a high water mark for CND activity. I went on the huge demo that year in Hyde Park and it really felt like we were making a huge difference.

You have to remember this was the era of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. We also had nuclear friendly Margaret Thatcher as prime minister. The issues have changed massively now but the threat of a nuclear incident is always with us. Here’s anti-nuclear poster I found in my attic that might jog your memories.