Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
From old issue of International Times

From old issue of International Times

International Times seeks your input

Local film maker, Trash Cannes initiator and resident, Keith Rodway, was originally invited to join International Times (IT) to take over the film department, but his remit broadened to that of contributing editor. Over the last 18 months, IT has featured work by people working in Hastings and St Leonards – writers, artists, journalists, musicians – and Keith would like to expand on this. Zelly Restorick asks Keith some questions about IT and his involvement.

Tell us about International Times, its vision and the message it offers.

IT was the brainchild initially of John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, Barry Miles and others from the ‘Swingin’ London scene of the mid 60s. It was to be a riposte to the dull mainstream press of the day, mired in repression, denial and mediocrity. IT would shake all that up. Had it not succeeded it wouldn’t have mattered, but it became the mouthpiece of the London Underground, launched at a Pink Floyd gig at the UFO club, and numbering among its many patrons, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. IT was prosecuted in 1970 for running a lonely hearts classified advertisement for gay people, at a time when the age of consent for young gay men was 21. It never fully recovered.

John Lennon Image John Hopkins

John Lennon Image John Hopkins

IT’s vision was always to provide a counter narrative to mainstream press propaganda, to take a view of events detached from media cliques and in-groups and provide a different slant or perspective – and that is still its message today. Though it wasn’t always successful – IT had its own in-groups and agendas – it did at least provide relief from the inanity of mainstream print media. We hope our latest print edition carries on that tradition.

Who’s involved?

IT is staffed by a roster of volunteer contributors which until recently included Heathcote Williams, who died in July of this year. Its latest incarnation, dating from 2011, was initiated by Mike Lesser, who died in 2015. Mike steered it from virtual obscurity as a curio from a bygone era to where it stands today. We currently get around 50,000 hits a week – and all done with no advertising and no gender pay gap. We all get the same. No-one gets paid anything.

from L-R: Charlie Gilmour, Heathcote Ruthven, Heathcote Williams, Keith Rodway, Iphgenia Baal, David Erdos

from L-R: Charlie Gilmour, Heathcote Ruthven, Heathcote Williams, Keith Rodway, Iphgenia Baal, David Erdos

Who’s the editor? Owner?

There is no coherent editorial policy. That is to say, no-one has any final say over what goes into the paper – or, more accurately, up on the website – it just happens, somehow or other… Mike’s nephew Nick Victor is technically its owner.

You have some really great features and contributors: who and what’s in the latest edition?

The 2017 paper edition was edited by word-artist Robert Montgomery and includes a conversation between Adam Curtis (whose work features heavily on the BBC iplayer and includes The Power of Nightmares, Bitter Lake and Hypernormalisation) and Jefferson Hack, founder of alt style magazine, Dazed (formerly Dazed & Confused, a bi-monthly British style magazine founded in 1991. It covers music, fashion, film, art, and literature); an interview by Daniel Pinchbeck with supermodel turned social activist Lily Cole; a look at the unseen archive of Spanish photographer Fabio Paleari; poetry by Heathcote Williams, Michael Horowitz, Greta Ballamacina, Niall McDevitt and British Syrian, Lisa Luxx; cartoons by Glen Baxter; interviews by Keith Rodway and Robert Montgomery with 60s IT art director, Graham Keen and the legendary John Dunbar, and material from the paper’s 50-year archive, including an interview with Allen Ginsberg.

How are you funded?

We are funded primarily by private subscription: we don’t accept advertising, though we do run ads for publishing projects by our members and associates.


Where can people buy IT locally? Price?

IT is available online at International Times and is updated with new content each Thursday.

The new paper edition is available from Bookkeeper and Dandelion deli, both in King’s Road; Capuccini coffee bar on Warrior Square station; Bookbuster in Queen’s Road, Hastings; Wow and Flutter record shop in Trinity Street, Hastings and Lucy Bell Fine Art Photography Gallery and the Kino Teatr, both in Norman Road, St Leonards. Price £5.00

Future plans?

We hope next year to publish a second paper edition edited by Alan Moore and the Northampton Arts Lab. Barry Miles has also expressed an interest… Watch this space!

1968 International Times

1968 International Times

1966 And All That

For more information about the early days of IT, this is the link to a short film about Graham Keen, art editor from 1968-70, who now lives in Battle.

Daniel Pinchbeck’s film, How Soon Is Now

International Times website.

If you would like to contribute, please send your articles /reviews /films /photography /music /polemics /reflections on life to


Posted 09:02 Monday, Oct 9, 2017 In: Arts News

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