Angry Brigade

Dear local historians! An unusual request from my daughter, who is doing a degree in acting  - for scene study this term, her  acting class is working on The Angry Brigade by James Graham (This House, Tory Boyz, The Man) and it's about a group of anarchist revolutionaries who were responsible for bombings in London in 1970-1971. The two boys went to Cambridge and dropped out by sitting their finals and then burning their papers publicly before they were collected in... The two girls, one of whom she playing, went to Essex University, and dropped out. Wikipedia tells that Anna Mendleson continued living in Wivenhoe after dropping out in 1969, having attended the student riots in Paris in '68, and we assume she did so with the other Angry Brigade member, Hilary Creek, whom my daughter will be playing. They stole Essex University cheque books to fund their movement and their radical libertarian newspaper 'Strike', which were found by police in a raid. There was also a police raid in Wivenhoe in April 1971, before the Angry Brigade were caught in August of that year, were residents were questioned about their connections to Anna Mendleson and the Angry Brigade. BASICALLY what She would love to know is what resources might be available in Wivenhoe/Essex Uni to find out more about them. Surely we have people Still around who must have stories about that period in the late 60s/early 70s ...
She will be coming to Wivenhoe on the 21st and can do a bit of research if she knows where to look, other than Wivenhoe library. For example she would love to find out where she lived, whether that's the same house that was raided in '71, or if there's anyone she could speak to somebody in Wivenhoe/The University that knew her (she died in 2009). Anna Mendleson also went under the aliases 'Nancy Pye' and 'Grace Lake'... But very little can be found concerning Hilary.
We would really appreciate any help with her research!


  • @Bickoder Martin Newell's A Prospect of Wivenhoe is well worth reading. It has a chapter on the Angry Brigade in Wivenhoe, part myth, part fact. Entertaining, all the same.

    For a more conservative reading of this period then Butler's Story of Wivenhoe also has a comprehensive chapter, looking at the University 'troubles' in a wider context.

    The film below is ACE btw.

  • Many thanks, Jason - I happen to have both books, simply read them so long ago... 
  • Think I used to live in what was the house occupied by the angry brigade on Queens Road (part of what was the Anglesea Arms pub). Or so I was told.
  • In 1970 I was living in London but I visited Wivenhoe (first time ever) to see a friend who was doing aPhD at the uni. He was sharing a house with others, at least one of whom was involved in the Angry Brigade. I'm pretty sure that they were living at what I've now identified as 31 Alma St, but 47 yrs ago so may be wrong. I certainly didn't  realise then that I'd end up living in Wivenhoe!
  • I am  sure the Angry brigade lived at the top end of Queens Road.
  • Can't remember where I learned it from but I am with @HazelH and @Photoman. Angry Brigade were in the old Anglesea Arms in Queens Road. May have moved around or had other houses as well though so Moira may be right too!
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