Memory lane trip
Green glass bottle of Brut about 2 – 3 inches high with silver chain and plaque. Cost about 10 bob (50p). A mate huddled us together and said as if in secret “if you put some of this behind your ears the birds will come flocking after yer” After forking out the hard earned cash on a bottle the only birds that came flocking were seagulls. I really thought that the Brut fragrance was a memorable aroma that all skinheads smelt of until Henry cooper got involved with the ‘splash it on’ adverts and Brut became public knowledge and was the used by your dad and so became un wearable. I still buy the odd can of Brut deodorant now and again just to jog the memories with a whiff of it. Sadly what was a great aftershave smell is now sold in the cheap discount shops. Later after shaves were Aramis and Aqua De Selva
The clothes I remember wearing in the 69 / 70 period were
Ben Sherman long sleeve shirts on Oxford weave in stripe, plain and small check
Ben Sherman short sleeve shirts in thin cotton and plain pale colours
Fred Perry shirts polo shirts in plain colours with the stripes to the collars and cuffs. We never referred to them as polo shirts – always Fred Perrys
¾ length sheepskin coats, Navy or black fly front macs, Navy or black Crombies, Harrington jackets and Levi jean jackets.
Some lads wore folded silk handkerchiefs in the top pockets of their Crombies, but I can’t recall the tie pin being used round our way. I remember buying Levi jackets later in life and they had introduced the front side pockets and inside pockets – I don’t recall these on the original Levi jackets
Levi jeans with a zip fly, ex USA army greens, Levi sta-press in an off-white/ cream? and a grey, Tonic mohair trousers
Made to measure tonic mohair suits - popular ones Blue/gold and green/gold
Dr Martin boots, Royal brogue shoes
A small gold sleeper earring was also worn by our gang members in the right ear. Allegedly meaning you was looking for trouble. Earrings in lads was quite radical 40 odd years ago as the only other people wearing them were gypsies
Most of our gang were heavily tattooed in what is now described as ‘old school tattoos’. These were designs left over from the war years. Our most popular tattooist was Jack Ringo in Woolwich. It was amusing to think now that we would queue up in Jacks small Tattoo Parlour with Greasers and there was never any trouble because although we were from different cults we had to share the same tattooist as they were generally towns apart. So it would mean a travel of 10 miles to the next tattooist if you were thrown out for scraping.
The majority of our gang had the ‘Simon Templar Saint’ tattooed on to our right forearm with cherry red boots on. All these years later its still clear to see and I have never had any regrets. Its part of your life. If I find out how to load photos on I will post a picture of it if anyone is interested. Did other gangs have similar markings?