May ’68 lunchtime tour


(12 - 12.45pm)

Art Exchange

admission free

Essex and May ‘68: Lunchtime campus tour

Learn more about May ‘68 and Essex’s radical history in a lunchtime tour of our Colchester Campus with Dr John Haynes.

No need to book – just come along!

Meet outside The Hex (the entrance is on the side opposite the Tony Rich Teaching Centre) at 12pm.

May ‘68

Our students have always been prepared to stand up for what they believe in and were at the forefront of unrest in 1968, a time of worldwide turmoil and student activism.

On 7 May 1968, a lecture by Dr Inch, from the Ministry of Defence’s Porton Down, had to be abandoned due to protests over the use of chemical weapons in Vietnam.

There was further outrage from many students and staff when Vice Chancellor Albert Sloman suspended three students considered to be ringleaders.

In response, on 14 May 1968, Essex students declared a “Free University” and created their own timetable of workshops and teach-ins. National and international connections were forged, and Essex took on a prominent role in the wider student activism of the time.

Dr John Haynes

Dr John Haynes (Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies), is producing a documentary based on interviews with participants of the May 1968 events.

He is also curating an online, open-access digital archive, featuring hundreds of official and unofficial documents relating to the campus events of the time, which you can find at