Author Topic: Just thinking . . .  (Read 44 times)


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Just thinking . . .
« on: June 19, 2018, 04:59:49 AM »
I don''t reminisce that often but mention of feeling safe (and being allowed to) going to the local library alone at about age 7 brought back a few memories.

Things were not safe for some in the London of the 50s, the police always went round in pairs for mutual protections. There were gangs of "Teddy boys" who fought pitched battles amongst themselves, with bicycle chains, knuckle dusters (brass knuckles) and cut-throat razors as weapons. But, where I lived, they were more likely to protect young kids than beat them up and to help a grannie accross the road than mug her. Though they were heavily involved in the infamous Notting Hill race riots of 1958 and were violently anti police.

They were called "Teddy boys" because they wore a sort of pseudo-Edwardian style of clothes: "drape"jackets so long they were almost coats with velvet collars and cuffs and flapped pockets, fancy waistcoats (vests), "drain pipe" trousers (when 18" to 20" trouser bottoms were the norm), bootlace ties on sometimes frilly shirts and "brothel creepers", big shoes with maybe 1" thick crepe rubber soles. Their hair was slways slicked with a quiff at the front and a DA (ducks arse) at the back.

They liked jazz, skiffle and the original rock and roll bands with double basses, pianos and saxaphones as much as guittars and drums. Bill Haley, Eddie Cochrane and Elvis featured later in the era.

One often looks back at even violent racist thugs like these with a nostalgia that is not really warranted. The later "Mods and Rockers" and skinhead "bovver boys" that were their successors and are rightly viewed with disgust. Modern gangs are sometimes worse it seems, though there is less outright gang warfare reported.
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Re: Just thinking . . .
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2018, 12:52:53 PM »
Sounds scary though! :o

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