The Hydra Files About Hydra

So what was Hydra then?

Hydra was the student magazine of Hyde Clarendon College (formerly Hyde Sixth Form College), in Hyde, Greater Manchester. It was started in the early 1980s, and ran until around 1997, and was published towards the end of each half term.

I joined Hyde Clarendon in 1994, but it wasn't until spring 1995 that I wrote for Hydra. I had considered getting involved before that, but other activities got in the way.

One Wednesday afternoon I had arrived in my Chemistry lesson a little early. A few seconds later, a rather out of breath Steven Jackson turned up - I've known Jacko since the dizzy years of high school. He started wittering on about the fact that the forthcoming issue of Hydra was looking a bit sparse. About a week or two later I gave three articles for Jacko to pass on.

Hydra wasn't a publication to turn down articles, and later that term I remember being quite chuffed to see my work in print.

What really persuaded me to carry on was an article at the back of the magazine by one of the two editors (who we will call Catherine Redfern, for that is her name), called 'The Lowest Form Of Wit?' In case you haven't guessed, it was all about sarcasm. The author loved sarcasm. I'll quote a little of her article:

"Just flick through the pages of this hallowed mag and you'll find that most of the articles are dripping with sarcasm, most of it emanating from a mysterious persona called Bods (interesting pen name.) Take it from me, this guy is serious. He is just one big dollop of sarcasm! My pathetic attempts at humour pale into insignificance at this supreme mastery of the art. Well done mate."

Having enjoyed writing my three articles and with such a favourable review under my belt, I kept on going. Once I'd started, I couldn't stop. Article after article appeared. There was a joke that I wrote the magazine. As I enjoyed writing I didn't really care what any one else thought. I wrote for me. It just happened to be published in Hydra.

I wrote my last piece for Hydra in 1996 - the year I left Hyde Clarendon.

During the time I was involved Hydra had had a huge renaissance, having had a good number of great contributors, and some wonderful artwork from resident artist Steven Knight. During that time Hydra had some of the biggest issues in a long time.

But for all of us, it couldn't last. University was round the corner... We all moved on and the resurgence we had completely disappeared. The year after it was unceremoniously renamed Trash Can for one issue, then sank without a trace.

Still, times were changing. At university I discovered the web and my homepage, Planet Bods, quickly followed in 1997 as an outlet for my writing. In 2001 I started writing about TV and radio for the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System and in 2002 my blog started, originally called Rant 'n' Rave based on the name of one of my old Hydra columns.

In 2003 I began putting my old Hydra articles online. The articles themselves have been slightly edited - fixing a few spelling mistakes, and breaking up longer paragraphs into smaller chunks to make the articles more readable on the web - but the actual content itself is unchanged otherwise.

What you make of the Hydra Files, well that's for you to decide. My writing has (I hope) improved enormously since then, but there's something about the stuff I did in my younger days that I still like... I enjoy them anyway!

Hydra Facts!

It was only 20p!

It was extravagantly printed in black and white.

Once it included a section printed on yellow paper! Oooh! The excitment!

Hydra was compiled using that well known publishing tool, Pritt Stick!

Gloy Glue was once tried instead. The result was not good.


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