Book Project 

'Hanging Out’

The publication
‘Hanging Out’ will present the research and activities that have been at the heart of the Hanging Out project since October 2010. Project contributors from varied cultural backgrounds describe their own youth culture experiences whilst growing up in 1950’s and 60’s London, focusing on the boroughs of Brent, Lambeth, Camden and City of London. The interviews were conducted by the project’s young volunteers and the responses that young people had to these stories can be read alongside.

Clive Lawrence's parents Hanging Out in the 50's.
There are many varied accounts of youth culture to discover. Among the voices that will come to life through this publication is ACE Cafe owner Mark Wilson’s. Mark gives us many insights into his way of life, including the music tastes of the Rocker and why certain musicians were popular: “Billy Fury was a pretty boy, for the girls, whereas Eddie Cochran appealed more to the men...”

The ACE Cafe as it is today.
Bill Allen was also a Rocker during the 60’s and he explains that his lifestyle was “basically abut music, motor vehicles and clothes. Bikes for me… I love the smell of them.”

Another Rocker,
John Raymond, described the culture and clothes to young people at the Brent Oral History workshop, “leather jackets, identify different things, different badges – to identify this group here or that group there. So it became different bike gangs…”

John Raymond at the Hanging Out Projects Brent Oral History Workshop (image courtesy of Damien Walker).
The rivals of the Rockers were the Mods and contributer Devon Thomas documents how these smartly dressed individuals drew influences from the Jamaican Rude Boy culture.

The Rude Boy look. Image courtesy of Tuareg Productions Ltd.
Jamaican born Fred Peters, who can identify with both sub-cultures, talks about hanging out and performing in Brixton with his Ska band Freddie Notes and the Rudies during the 60’s.

Fred Peters at the piano (image courtesy of Miles Holder) and a Freddie Notes and the Rudies album cover.
George Kelly , who settled in Brixton in 1957, describes his induction into the Mod scene, “my mother gave me the deposit for a motor scooter… Mods rode scooters and Rockers rode greasy bikes. I decided I would be a Mod!”

George Kelly at a Hanging Out Oral History Workshop (Damien Walker).
Bus conductor Donald Hinds, who came to Brixton from Jamaica in 1955 when he was 21, reminisces how London could be an alienating place too, “I used to wonder where all the black people were, because I knew that on my bus I wouldn’t have a black passenger on my bus. So I was one of the loneliest men.”

Donald Hinds on his bus in the 50's.
Read David Jamilly's account of working for his father in the iconic Laurence Corner shop. Laurence Corner sold army surplus stock to the burgeoning counter-culture generations of the time; David recalls, "Laurence Corner was a renowned iconic shop, which was a hanging out point for youth culture in the 50's and 60's and running into the 70's... In my lifetime that's something I would call a cultural revolution, like a mini renaissance. It was the beginning of something totally new. Totally Exciting."

Items of clothing from the Laurence Corner collections.
Anne Femi , who grew up in Camden, shared her fashion experiences with our volunteer interviewer Julia, “For us in the 60’s, the hair was very important. We had a lot of influences from the United States about how we dressed and how we looked…”
Anne Femi at our Camden Roundhouse Oral History Workshop (Damien Walker).
Jean Clarke tells us about her expereinces hanging out in London and also about her holidays outside of the city, "Holidays were usually spent at Holiday Camps so from the age of 17, a girlfriend and I went off for two weeks in the summer to Brambles Holiday Camp on the Isle of Wight. It was great fun! There was so much to do and because the cost was 'all in' it was not too expensive. Days were spent taking part in sporting activities and evening ballroom dancing."

Jean Clarke at the seaside in the 50s.
Carole Steyn studied arts at St. Martins during the 50’s, “We were called beatniks sometimes and adopted maybe some so-called Bohemian attitudes at St. Martins…”
Carole Steyn in the 50's.
The Hanging Out project has shared many new skills with the volunteers who attended the workshops 1950s garment constructionoral history training , film, music and protest poster design. The publication will present the volunteer’s experiences, research and activities which have formed the Hanging Out project.

We asked young people how they kept in touch with their friends.
A collection of volunteer written monlogues  will be published that include 'The Worried Rocker' by Lee Greatorex and 'Going to the Pictures' by Malaika Tapambwa. These are based on volunteers interpretations of interviews with elders from project oral history sessions.

Hanging Out Volunteers interviewing at Oral History sessions (Damien Walker).
Transcripts and images from the Anti-War Protest Discussional Forum at the Imperial War Museum will be featured in the publication alongside work from the V&A Protest Poster workshops and the 'Images of Protest' exhibition held at the Rich Mix Gallery. At the forum, Tony Benn stated that:
"The strength of feeling by young people against injustice and war is as strong today with new forms of communication as it was in the 1960s and 70s. The Hanging Out forum will be an  opportunity to explore the importance of youth protest then and now."

Tony Benn at the Anti-War Discussional Forum, Imperial War Museum (Damien Walker).
Also in the theme of protest, PHD student  Raphaelle Schwarzberg presents an educational essay that documents the history of the Protest Poster and its uses within Youth Culture within the 60's, 70's and early 80's .

Volunteer work from the 'Images of Protest' exhibition.
The 'Hanging Out' publication will be launched at the V&A in May 2012 and will be widely disseminated free of charge, particularly to local schools and collages.

Click here for more information about the event

Click here for the Facebook page for the V&A display

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