Amazing Black and White Pictures of The Teds in 1970s England

In early 1954, on a late train from Southend, someone pulled the communication cord. The train ground to a halt. Light bulbs were smashed. Police arrested a gang dressed in Edwardian suits. In April two gangs, also dressed Edwardian-style, met after a dance. They were ready for action: bricks and sand-filled socks were used. Fifty-five youths were taken in for questioning. The following August Bank Holiday the first ‘Best Dressed Ted Contest was held. The winner was a twenty-year-old greengrocers assistant. The Teddy Boy myth was born. Similar to the rebelling youths’ of other countries (e.g. outlaw bike gangs of the USA, and the Bodgies of Australia), they were the aggressive symbol of teenage revolt. Owing their name less to Edward VII, the style of draped coats was identified more with the saloon shoot-out frock coats of the western gunfighter. They acted out the desperado myth of fast-living and anarchy, in a period when juvenile crime was on the increase. The style lasted from the fifties, though was replaced by other youth sub-cultures such as mods, rockers and skinheads, though there were still many self-declared Teds in the seventies and eighties. These amazing photographs were taken by photographer Chris Steele-Perkins during a renaissance in the Ted style during the seventies. (Photos by Chris Steele-Perkins)

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