Web Page No 2424
20th November 2017
First Picture: Teddy Girl.
Second Picture: Teddy Girl Group
Third Picture ; Teddy Boy fashion
Forth Picture: Teddy Boys and girl
Fifth Picture: Warning Poster
We all remember the ‘Teddy Boys’ and the havoc that some of them caused in the late 1950’s but who remembers the ‘Teddy Girls’?
The Teddy Boy, was characterized by an unlikely style of dress and fashion inspired by Edwardian period dandies fused together with American rock ’n roll fashion. They originally formed gangs based in East London through to North Kensington and became high profile rebels in the media and within a short space of time the movement had spread nationwide. But an important sub-subculture of the Teddy Boys, was the unlikely female element, The Teddy Girls.
In 1955, freelance photographer Ken Russell was introduced to Josie Buchan, a Teddy Girl, who introduced him to some of her Teddy Girl friends in Notting Hill. He vividly remembered a 14 year-old teddy girl, who, he said, had attitude by the truckload. The teddy boys were tough, they’d been born in the war years and food rationing only ended in about 1954. They were proud. They knew their worth. As they had the money they just wore what they wanted.
To understand the teddy girls style, we first have to go back to the boys culture. They emerged in England as post-war austerity was coming to an end and working-class teenagers were able to afford good clothes and began to adopt the upper-class Saville Row revival of dandy style Edwardian fashion. By the mid-1950s, second-hand Edwardian suits were becoming readily available on sale in markets around the country as they had become unwearable by the upper-class gentlemen once the Teddy Boys had started sporting them.
The ‘Teds’, as they called themselves, wore long coloured drape jackets, velvet collars, slim ties and began to pair the look with thick rubber-soled creeper style shoes and the ‘greaser’ hairstyles of their American rock ’n’ roll idols. Despite their overall smart style of dress the Teds were a teenage youth culture which were out to shock their parents’ generation, and they quickly became associated with trouble by the media.
Teddy girls were mostly working-class teenage girls as well, but considered less interesting by the media who were more concerned with sensationalizing the violent working-class youth culture of the boys. While teddy boys were known for hanging around on street corners, looking for trouble, a young working-class woman’s role at the time was still focused around the home.
But even with lower wages than the boys, teddy girls would still dress up in their own style of drape jackets, rolled-up jeans, flat shoes, tailored jackets with velvet collars and to put their feminine spin on the Teddy style with straw boater hats, brooches, espadrilles and elegant clutch bags. They would go to the cinema in groups and attend dances and concerts with the boys, collect rock ’n’ roll records and magazines. Together, they essentially cultivated the first market for teenage leisure in Britain.
In the end, it was the troublesome reputation of the teddy boys that got the better of this youth subculture. Some of the violence and vandalism, but not all, was exaggerated by the media, but there were notably a few gangs that chose a far darker path.
While most dedicated teddy boys were, at worst, involved in petty crimes, there were instances of gangs rioting and using razors, knuckledusters and knives to carry out attacks. The racist tendencies of some of the teddy boy gangs in the end lost to the unstoppable rock ’n’ roll movement centred around many African-American acts. The British pop boom of the 1960s brought new music and new youth cultures and the era of the teddy boy was coming to an end.
It’s certainly a great shame that such an interesting and elegant style of dress for young people had to be associated with such negativity and violence. The Teddy Boys were the first group in Britain whose style was self-created.
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News and Views:
On this day 20th November 1960-1965
On 20/11/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Take Your Pick (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
20/11/1961 the number one single was Little Sister/His Latest Flame - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 20/11/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 20/11/1963 the number one single was You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was Socialists win Dundee West by-election.
On 20/11/1964 the number one single was Baby Love - Supremes and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 20/11/1965 the number one single was Get Off Of My Cloud - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Liverpool. The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music.
A pound of today's money was worth £ 11.69. The big news story of the day was Take Your Pick (AR)".