“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Lowestoft Dandies

Moving rapidly on from Australian Sharpies I fell to thinking about another youth fashion, movement would be too strong a word, that is possibly even more obscure. It was during the early 60's and I was working aboard a coaster in the coal trade. Myself and the other young seamen considered ourselves to be pretty snappy dressers. Remember those old photos of the Kray Twins? Well that was pretty much the style that we aspired to. One day we were due to be joined by a new deckhand and wondered if he would be a fellow Commie Modernist, some dull old bloke or, worst fear of all, a really hard Ted stuck in a time warp. We looked up from our work to see the most amazing apparition ascending the gangway. This bizarre young man was like nothing we had ever seen before. Rocker hairstyle and outrageous Cuban heeled boots that made negotiating the gangway problematic were the most notable features at either end but it was the bit in between that really caused our jaws to sag. The bloke was wearing a suit the likes of which we had never seen. Amazing colours, bizarre cut, masses of pleats, huge bell bottoms. What the fuck? We soon discovered that we had been joined by a Lowestoft fisherman and that this odd apparel was all the rage in the Suffolk port. Cut off from the mainstream of youth fashion the young fishermen had developed a unique style of their own.
I had forgotten all about this brief interlude in my life when years later I met a guy at a party who said he originated from Lowestoft. I mentioned early 60's fisherman's fashion and it turned out that he was a bit of an aficionado and involved in writing and recording images of the era. I have just located a short film by the same Peter Wylie here.


WDI said...

Wonderful post! I love it!

Gitane said...

Fantastic. Great stuff. One question what music were they listening to?

ray said...

I'm not sure about the music Gitane but reckon that Little Eva , Chubby Checker and Chris Montez will have featured.