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Mod to Suedehead - Page 736

post #11026 of 25645
Originally Posted by Lasttye View Post

Stonebridge Park it a Third World hell hole.... its been like it for the last 25 years..loads of money has been slung at the area....makes no difference.

So it's still like that now, nothing changes. I was working in the area some thirteen years ago. At the time it looked like it was undergoing some massive redevelopment, pulling all the old really shitty 1960s concrete flat blocks down. Those things looked like what we often have here in China!

I spent a few months working in places round the North Circular. Basically from Hangar Lane around to Edmonton, including Wembley. There's plenty of bad places, but seemed to me that Stonebridge was especially notorious. And the fact we had specific safety warnings about that area.
post #11027 of 25645
Originally Posted by Kingstonian View Post

Father Murphy's club in Stonebridge used to be good - attached to the parish church not far from the Orange Tree pub. You could smell the Rich Tea biscuits from the McVities factory. Decent Youngs pub by Harlesden station too.

I bet your McVities Rich Teas are not made in London these days, probably eastern Europe now, or even Asia.
post #11028 of 25645
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post

I bet your McVities Rich Teas are not made in London these days, probably eastern Europe now, or even Asia.

No the factory is still there. Still making Rich tea.

Grand Junction Arms is still there too - still selling Youngs beer though that is brewed in Bedford now not Wandsworth.

Thank heaven for small mercies.
post #11029 of 25645
Welcome to the Site Gsvs5,interesting read.In the late 70s I had a "Live-In" Girlfriend,who came from Wolverhampton.She told me about The Torch,Catacombs(a Club I would have loved to have gone to-in its heyday)Wigan etc.Seems like the Midland Crowd travelled around more than us,in the London Area(except to Football).

A Mate of mine(who is an exCopper)told me ,he used to have two Post Boxes.One for the regular Mail and one that was hidden under a Bush(which you could access from the Street).In this one the Postman would place all his Records he bought-he was a Dj as well.So I believe,his Missus never did find out

I fancy Margate again.Enjoyed meeting up and chatting to everybody.The Music was top-notch.
post #11030 of 25645
Great reading GSVS5. Good memories for on so young - must have had a big influence.
post #11031 of 25645
Originally Posted by Aces and Eights View Post

That's made me chuckle regarding the recent tips on smuggling expensive clothes in doors past 'the trouble and strife' without her noticing.  Its always been customary to deflate the price when asked as they do it all the time.

Around 15 years ago I purchased a 1956 Bedford RF 4 x 4 ex army lorry on a complete whim and when I parked in it on the drive she went ballistic.  It was 12 feet high with the full canvas and blocked out the sun all day (and summer).  It was a great talking point, cheap to insure, no tax or mot required but was a little hairy to drive, ie no power steering and drum brakes.  Maneuvering / over taking cyclists had to be planned miles in advance.

Anyway the point being when I sold it and bought and then immediately bought an ex army Land Rover wifey was all smiles and sighs as she said that could be parked in the yard round the back.  So by buying something big and ugly I was able to buy something small and ugly - and everyone is happy !!

Not my one but an example


Why wait 20 years - nothing wrong with the zip up furry boots - no confusing laces to deal with or or which boot goes on which foot - your be us one day !!

I believe that is what posh kids call a 'wizard wheeze'! biggrin.gif
post #11032 of 25645
Gsvs5 - your story is getting plundered for the book. Great to see things from the point of view of a generation 'looking up'. smile.gif
post #11033 of 25645
Originally Posted by Man-of-Mystery View Post

Gsvs5 - your story is getting plundered for the book. Great to see things from the point of view of a generation 'looking up'. smile.gif
Oh yes, very entertaining. nod[1].gif
post #11034 of 25645
Originally Posted by Gsvs5 View Post

I think it was 1968? I walked into my older sisters bedroom and for some reason this cockey little heterosexual urchin was taken by the image fixed loud and centre upon the wall.I think it was from Fab 208 or maybe Jackie? It was I discovered a fella by the exotic name of Andy Fairweather Low.In a pink shetland wool jumper and the coolest haircut ever he had captured the the bedroom walls of thousands of girls around the U.K.He was to sing one of my all time favourite records to this day.
If Paradise is Half as Nice.
And so it begins....My obsession with how I looked,how I dressed,what I heard,how i danced,how i lived ! Well at least for the next five years?
That was to be the last record sung by a white guy that I paid any attention to for the next few years (withe the exception of Dusty ,Tony Joe White,and a few others that were played on the Northern circuit that I thought were Black!) From then on it was Motown,Reggae and Soul - the more obscure the better.In fact apart from My Boy Lollipop,Telstar and Where Do you go to my Lovely,I recall very little musically from my youth.
We had just had a telephone put in the house which my parents were to discover was to be an expensive luxury.My elder sister was warned not to be on it talking to her boyfriends all night.I wasn't even consulted about the thing? Who the hell was I going to phone?Then the first bill arrived.....Who the bloody has has been making half hour  calls to Manchester ,Nottingham,Derby ? Who the hell is Reddington's Rare Records !
45 years later I can still see the look on my Dad's face as clear as dayas I got a severe bollocking.
All was well afew days later and my life couldn't have been sweeter as the postman showed up with a little flat ,brown seven inch cardbord envelope with The Right Track on Soul City by Billy Butler all the way from Hanaway Street in London.
This was the begining of part of a very expensive time in my youth.You see ,it was very important not just to look right,but you had to be the first to have the look,the sound, the whatever.It was part of being a 'Mod". 
The new found records got their first public airing at the local Youth Club.Here they could be played LOUD at proud to an appreciative audience of 14-16 year olds.It seemed that our club had a good reputation as we had coaches come from other Youth Clubs in Nottingham and Derby on Disco Nights to dance and hear the music.This was great in my eyes as we got to see what the other kids were wearing,learnt some new moves and maybe pulled a few birds.Pulling was not at the top of the list yet though.That was to come a little later!
I was actually really lucky that I had the influence of two elder sisters and generous,understanding parents who gave us more than they could comfortably afford.What they were to hear very soon was that I NEEDED a pair of Levis.I had seen some of the older lads wearing them (or Lee Riders ) and my Lee Coopers just didn't cut the mustard any more.
It was on a day trip to Wolverhampton with my Dad that I spotted a couple of lads about the same age/build as me wearing stiff,new,pristine blue Levis.Stopped in their tracks by me I was directed to Harry Rosenshine's  where they sold them.
More begging and promises to do everything asked of me,I was now the proud owner of my first baggy arsed,button fly levi jeans.In the drive back home to Stafford every rivet ,stitch and word on the label was inspected,read and cherished.These jeans actually had a SMELL ! The smell of pure un-sanforised,stiff ,raw,AMERICA.Nothing since has had that smell.Never.
Now I'm Gettin' My Kicks Out on the Floor........yeah.Yeah,Yeah !
This was my first foray into Fashion.I was dressing myself.My way.My taste.My style.
Mums money.
Shoes were to be a major headache.You see ,pathfinders do not sit well with Levis.My feet were not growing fast enough.I was an urchin with Adult aspirations.I was an outsider that Ravel didn't want or need to cater to just yet.Most of the older Lads were dropping some serious money  in Birmingham on sleek loafers,but they were beyond my reach.The other option were the Black MOD issue RAF dress shoes that were picked up at the Army & Navy,polished up and looked pretty decent with a solid leather sole.still,these did not come small enough for me? What to do ?
Grattan !
Ah.Grattan saves the day.My Mum had the new catalog and deep inside this crap filled fire lighter were a pair of very passable Brown brogue punched slip on Loafers (albeit with a rubber sole;( ) in MY size.
Convinced the old lady that I needed them and she could pay a few bob a week made the decision easy.
The shirts i recall were Benny's or Brutus for the checks but we also had a fair smattering of Grandad vests-usually dyed red,pink,yellow,navy and worn with a Fair Isle sleeveless V,or an M&S Lambswool long sleeved V.There was a time also when some lads just wore the L/S lambswool with nothing underneath.
Jewellery played a bit part in the look with a very small gold St Christopher and usually a Silver I.D bracelet the only choice if any? Military watch bands were quite often worn on your Timex,just to make it that little bit different.In fact quite a bit of stuff was adapted from the A&N shops.RAF Greatcoats were a popular alternative to the parka.
Spring time saw the emergence of the preferable Off White flyfront Mod Mac.It was a great look with a suit or jeans.A nice pair of thin leather Keyhole Back Driving Gloves in Navy or Brown sealed the deal.
At Eleven years old I was a regular at Stoke.It was either Stoke ,Wolves or United ( There was only one United )
I was born in Stoke,so that was it for me.Years of cold ,wet,evenings in the Boothen End.
Disapointment after disapointment under Tony Waddington.The chants were that Harry Roberts was our friend and the adopted Zigger Zagger.The Boothen smelled like Brut intermingled with boiled onions and steamed burgers.Like the scent of my Levis,this smell has permeated and haunted me (though negatively) for 45years.
Like many my age in those days,I was trusted to travel with a couple of mates far and wide on a Greatrex coach to see The Potters fail.The repeated cup meetings with Arsenal all so close and yet so far.Our big day was yet to come and it was to be against a legendary team with a legendary following and mod heritage.
It's funny but the name Eccles was dropped  as if it was one of the kids around the corner, not a hundred miles or so down the M6.I suppose some of the older lads were going down to london to follow Spurs and Chelsea in those days and the name travelled.On a rare ocassion that I took a train to Stoke,we were late and we bumped into a solitary four Chelsea boys from Peterborough.Very smart ,all in crombies,cream Sta prest and boots.We chatted and  were as cordial as snotty little upstarts are.We enquired about the famous Eccles and were told about another fella who wore a brown suede harrington.The name escapes me?On the return home we ended up in the same carriage with the same lads,but this time the whole train was all Chelsea.Older lads who started removing the light bulbs and slashing the the time we got to Stone I was shitting myself.I was sure the young lads we had met earlier would give us up as Stoke.Thank heavens,but for some reason they didn't.By the time we hit Stafford,the Police were waiting and we were all ordered off the train.We slipped off and out of the station.Home and safe.that was the longest train ride I ever took.
We were to meet Chelsea again.further down the road for our Big Day.
1971 I was a good year I went on a school trip. A Cruise to the Baltic.An Educational cruise with kids from everywhere in the U.K.This was an eye opener for me as we got to learn what was going on in London for a group of kids from North London.You see,we learnt a lot about style from the football matches and traveling around,but it was glimpses.The progression of styles was relatively slow and regional compared with today.Growth was organic,with no internet,MTV  and such.Not only with style ,but with food.The only Curry I had ever tasted was a Vesta ! I had never had a Pizza.
The School from London was from Highbury I believe,but the lads were from Muswell Hill,Edgeware,Burnt Oak etc.The girls had mostly suits with the white tights and patterns down the side.There was one older lad called "Titch" from Edgeware who had the most amazing shoe collection with him - Fringe/buckle loafers,tassled loafers,Royals,boxtops,everything your hearts desire.But i sensed from him that as new as some were to me,they were old hat to him.It was the very first sign that things were moving in a different direction.He also had cords with a flare,floral patterned shirts,longer hair,longer collars.As Marvin said .....whats going on?
Friendships were struck and I was invited to visit Highgate at a later date.This gave me my first encounter with London.Chapel Market.A candy store for style.
Back home in the Midlands I was lucky enough to be at what we thought was the epicenter of our scene.Manchester had The Wheel,Stoke had the Torch,Tottenham had the Royal,we had The Top of The World.This was a classic Mecca like dance Hall.I was able to see the legends seemingly every week.Junior Walker,Major Lance,Detroit Emeralds.
3000 people dancing and clapping in unison to Ben E King.It felt like the whole building was moving.This was where we headed in our best gear.I recall taking the bus down there on a Monday night one summer.I stood the whole way ,upstairs on a half empty bus because i dindn't want to crease the line of my new mohair suit trousers.
It was an enormous place but everyone knew everyone and if you weren't from there you stood out.There were some run ins with lads from Wolverhampton usually.Stoke didn't come much as they had plenty happening in Hanley and Newcastle.The biggest thing I ever saw go off was a night when a big group of fair ground guys came and took over a big section of the dance floor,getting very lewd with their women and encroaching on our girls.
There was always animosity when the fair was in town.We didn't like them and they knew it.half a dozen of us would go to an empty rifle range stall and pre -planned - we would all let loose at the same time shooting at the chalk dog prizes and the goldfish in the bags.It was fucking hillarious seeing the expressions on the womens faces.It was always the women running the stalls and the fellas doing the rides.Happy days.
Life was more good than bad as i remember.Always able to do what we wanted ,when we wanted.Lots of laughs and mischief ,but nothing too serious.A couple of lads drifted into gear .screwing around with Dymiryll (sp) which gave you hallucinations,speed and such,but I never touched any.More started using stuff when Wigan started but to me the Northern scene was over by the time Wigan was going,It's funny I read a lot of crap about this song and that song first being played at Wigan when I know it was played years earlier at Stafford Rugby Club by Barry Morgan.There is a lot of nonsense written out there and you can't believe a lot of it.
'72 was an epic year and quickly changing.Stoke went down to Wembley and won the day.Chelsea did not take it well.
They left before the end and proceeded to smash literally every window on every coach in the car park.It was a cold ride home for many.
A new lad joined our school from Wycombe down south and turned me on to the Faces.This was honestly the first home grown music i had listened to.I went to Birmingham Odeon to see them and it was the start of a new chapter in my life.
The Northern Soul scene had sold it's soul for me and  seemingly everyone and the BBC was about to jump on the bandwagon and hijack it.
'73 Budgie Jackets and Bolan Satin Blazers were sported with French flares and Derbers crepe wedges . We all were looking more like Leo Sayer (without the Clown Gear !)
I left the Midlands,moved South and learned to walk in clogs.Small steps......

Top Fucking Draw mate

post #11035 of 25645
Originally Posted by Lasttye View Post

Gsvs5 Great story mate thanks so much for sharing..You should write a book old was you in 68 ?

Originally Posted by buttons View Post

Great reading GSVS5. Good memories for on so young - must have had a big influence.

Cheers boys,yeh it was a huge influence on me.I do have so many memories from then on that I probably could write a book,but only you lot would actually "Get it " I have had an amazing run for my money in the things I have seen and done and I know many would consider bullshit,but it just happened that way.
I will enlarge on it as it is healthy bringing back all these snippets and putting things in some context.I have not read every post in this thread yet,but I have come across some very old ones that I think I have a valid comment to make,so rather than address each one individually,I'll state them in a general post like my last one if I can.
68-73 was both a great time and yet a difficult one personally.There was a lot of domestic trouble in my house which eventually led to divorce and my move South.Probably in part due to this I did get spoilt bye my Dad as some kind of compensation.We spent a lot of time going to the Odeon,,day trips around the Midlands and the North and holidays to Devon and Cornwall with just him and me.He worked as a Prison Officer and the image of what I was turning into didn't sit we'll at times.I recall one night after dying a Grandad vest Yellow and proudly parading down the street in my Fair Isle,Levi's and Monkey Boots (Brown Zusch or Zuch - Polish I believe?) when he caught eye of me.That night when I got in,he looked me up and down and said "you know Son.....I lock people up everyday that look just like you "
Those few words stayed with me as I know they had come from someone who was a worried man.Being in the Midlands meant that the prisons were full of London lads.It was purposely done,keeping them a distance away.He was very aware of the styles of Mods and only came across the ones who had crossed the line somewhere.The funny part was when they used to let the "trustee" prisoners come to your home to do gardening or painting/decorating.I used to play some of my records if I spotted one that I recognized as probably being mod.One day this lad opened up to me about his time before he was nicked in London .He was the first person to mention the Flamingo in Wardour St to me- way before my time.I could have listened to him for hours spilling the beans on that scene,but it wasn't to be.just time for a tea break and back to work.Hopefully I made at least a bit of his bird go easier.
Soul was integral.i
I had my Mum pick me up Blues & Soul magazine from a news agent she knew in Tunstall as it wasn't that easy to find in Stafford.I eagerly awaited each issue,like I used to with the Dandy.There was a journalist called Dave Godin from Essex who is reputed to have coined the term Northern Soul.He wrote a column every issue that covered the Northern scene.Ironic that a southerner was covering the North,but this guy knew his stuff,was very influential in breaking Soul music in general in the U.K and seemed to have respect for what was going on even though he was more into deep Soul personally.
Apart from local places like The Top of the World,The Yeoman,The Riverside,The Grapes And Sunday nights at the Rugby Club,I only travelled to Hanley Top Rank for the All Nighters and Newcasle for Tiffany's.Older lads were going to the Torch ,The Wheel and Cats ( The Catacombs ).
If I had to rank them though,for me,The Rugby Club was the best night.Small,spartan,hot and sweaty.It was a place that was hidden down a dirt track near the Station and everyone really did know everyone.Just two rooms.One with a small dispense corner bar where the DJ was and one with the lights on where you piled your coats on the back tables and chatted.There were two DJ,s,Barry Morgan and Dave Lowe.I reckon these guys although not well known outside of Stafford,where monumental with there influence.I heard that Dave died in a car crash in the early 70's?
Barry had a metallic purple Mini estate that turned heads everywhere.All the older lads used Mini's to get around.Usually standard with the addition of a couple of Rally Fogs on the front and maybe a steering wheel change.He was friends with my Sister and was responsible for supplying me with my first bootleg and Northern favourite Gotta Have Your Love by The Saphires on Lost Nite Records.
Records were like Trainspotting to some.I knew a couple of lads who took great pride when naming a record and then reeling off the little coded letters and numbers inscribed on the inner circle of the discs ! yeah that's so and so on TMG 159.......! Crazy.
Every town had it,s meeting points and favored Caffs.Ours was the Market Square bus shelters and Jenks (Jenkinsons Cafeteria)If you we're in town,then sooner or later you would pass bye both of these places.Jenks had a big long communal table as soon as you walked in the door.Every Satuday this was occupied by a dozen or so people continuously.It sticks in my mind like that painting of jesus christ and the last supper.It was the "in crowd" table.Everyone who entered that cafe was scrutinised from that table.It was an endurance game between the staff and the Mods,but that table was always held onto for a good few hours every Saturday.Couples would come and go,often just to go across the street ,upstairs in Smiths,to cram in a booth and listen to some new records.This was part of a Saturday ritual,unless of course there was a match to go to.Saturdays were also the preferred day to go and check out the fabrics in Burton's.Take all your mates along,show them what you have ordered.How longs the vents Wilf?How many inches on the ticket pocket? crucial sartorial decisions needed imput from your mates.No second guessing for your Mohair.I only ever had two suits done for me (incredible as I was only 12 ! )
But when the time came,I instructed the tailor in every minute detail what and how I wanted things.I was prepared.I had been schooled.Just like a year earlier when I was moving up to High School and I wanted a Barathea Blazer with metal buttons instead of the thick old wool ones.They always used to hang better with the top button done up,parted,and your hands deeply entrenched in your trousers,didn't they?
Which brings me to touch upon shirts.M&S was great for the Lambswool jumpers and socks.But when my old lady pushed me into Bri Nylon school shirts due to the easy iron/ low maintainence issues it was a lost battle for me.I endured it for four years.That was the last time a synthetic fabric ever touched my bare flesh.No one explained to my old lady that looking good took a little effort.Thank god she fucked off when she did.
MY tailor was impressed.
Edited by Gsvs5 - 3/6/13 at 7:29am
post #11036 of 25645
Originally Posted by browniecj View Post

Welcome to the Site Gsvs5,interesting read.In the late 70s I had a "Live-In" Girlfriend,who came from Wolverhampton.She told me about The Torch,Catacombs(a Club I would have loved to have gone to-in its heyday)Wigan etc.Seems like the Midland Crowd travelled around more than us,in the London Area(except to Football).

A Mate of mine(who is an exCopper)told me ,he used to have two Post Boxes.One for the regular Mail and one that was hidden under a Bush(which you could access from the Street).In this one the Postman would place all his Records he bought-he was a Dj as well.So I believe,his Missus never did find out

I fancy Margate again.Enjoyed meeting up and chatting to everybody.The Music was top-notch.

Hi browniecj,

I'm sure the travel was due to the music and the fact that the scene was built on rarity and exclusivity.Certain DJ's had a following and big reputations.The rest of the country were going to clubs and dancing to the same shit they heard on the radio or TOTP ( As I did when I moved South !) The exception may be a place I heard about in Canvey Island called the Goldmine or Moondogs?Those names stick in my mind from back then and I don't know why I would have any reason to remember them other than that they were doing something special down South?

I've seen some photo's somewhere on the internet of some veterans from the Cats who get together for a Trojan night In Wolverhampton I think?I must say that I was impressed how they looked and authentic they have kept their look to this day.( Edge trimmed blazers/small levi jacket label over left breast pocket etc.)

I don't adhere to the styles of yesterday,but my buying decisions are heavily influenced by them.People tell me I have had the same haircut for 50 years!

Most of my shoes are Crocket and Jones.I have a full length suede from Ralph Lauren,a silver/green MA-! and a Leather Harrington ( OriginalGolden Bear ) from John Simon.I try and incorporate these into my rotation without looking obviously nostalgic.The only thing I would like from the past that I never had would be a Full length chocolate brown suede crombie style coat with a leather collar and flaps.I only ever saw a lad wearing one once ,and it's burnt into my retina.I will have one made before I die.

post #11037 of 25645
Originally Posted by Man-of-Mystery View Post

Gsvs5 - your story is getting plundered for the book. Great to see things from the point of view of a generation 'looking up'. smile.gif



I better be careful what I say here.

post #11038 of 25645
Originally Posted by Gsvs5 View Post


I better be careful what I say here.

Dont worry mate its already been said 736 pages of it,smile.gif
post #11039 of 25645

Gsvs5.Great recollections.Yes M.O.M. is compiling the memories on this thread for a book.We all feel it will be the best book on this subject.Welcome Gsvs5 we value your contributions.

post #11040 of 25645
Originally Posted by browniecj View Post

A bit of useless Info.Bunty.Saxone,Lilley and Skinner etc.,were all part of the British Shoe Corporation(in the 60s)When you were a Member of Staff,some of the Branches let you have discount.When I was a Shop Manager in Brixton,the Saxone Shop opposite used to let me have Shoes discounted.

Now I am racking my Brain but Clarks came out with the Desert Boot first.It was the same with Hush Puppy-never a Fashion Shoe but became fashionable.

Thanks for that Brownie, I thought you might know smile.gif Can't remember what you told me but did you ever pinch bowling shoes too? It wasn't a myth was it?

loempiavreter - Thanks for the info. on the Toff Boys, I've heard of Mods using toffee hammers as weapons too strangely. Must have been some sort of way around 'possession of an offensive weapon' or just easy to conceal.

Gsvs5 - Blimey what a start, welcome. Great read mate.

Kevin Donovan - Friends Reunited.

Summer '69. Schoolgirl Skinheads.
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