Thanks to all our readers who have shown interest in the story concerning the magazine Country Bizarre. You may recall it started with a letter from Su Scotting, asking if we could throw any light on the whereabouts of the founding editors of this environmentally aware and beautifully designed, magazine that ran to eleven issues in the early 1970’s.
Well, there is good news. Our posts were read by a gentleman by the name of David Baker, who kindly filled in a lot of the gaps which eventually led to me not only obtaining mint condition copies of each of the magazines but also to a meeting with Mr. Bernard Schofield, who along with his friend Andy Pittaway, conceived and edited Country Bizarre in the Seventies and also during it’s longer running and glossier Eighties incarnation as Country Bazaar, as well as a couple of spin off books.
Sadly, Andy has passed away, but as Bernard and I discussed the magazine, the picture I got was of two guys who were incredibly close, who taught and inspired each other and who created something that they were very passionate about. It’s certainly true that Bernard still holds those days very dear and I could tell that it was pleasing him to have CB rediscovered and respected again after all these years.
He told me how he and Andy first met, as teenagers, whilst on Summer holidays at a holiday camp and then meeting again by chance, a couple of years later, having by then become art students – Bernard studying at Goldsmith’s and Andy at Chatham. That was when, inspired by ‘it’ (International Times), they decided to start a magazine. Andy suggested it be a rock music mag but Bernard – a real flower child ie he seriously loves flowers – wanted to deal with nature and environmental issues. They went with Bernards direction (though colliding occasionally, “I got turned on to Virginia Water after hearing the Tyrannosaurus Rex song “Chateau in Virginia Water”) and with a sense of mission and mischief, they set about encouraging the world to put the brakes on.
I really enjoyed meeting with Bernard, he was good company and a really interesting man. I came away with a stack of notes which I am in the process of converting into a proper article to run on CBTR early in the new year, when, with the kind permission of Bernard, and Andy’s son Brett, we will be proudly making the original eleven copies available again on this site. (JB)