My name is Lenny Paterson I am a Chelsea Bridge (London) Rocker from late ’65 on, and a member of the 59 Club from 1966. I started the Rockers Reunions in London, 1981 and gave it up in early 1994 to concentrate on my family & business.
In 2005, the Spirit of the 59 website was launched to formalise a motley collection of webpages on Rockers that we had established on the internet since 1995. Being directly involved in the Rocker movement of the 60s and the creator and organiser of the ‘Rocker Reunion’ movement in 1981onwards, we felt it was time to pay our overdue respect to the man who had been the ‘Spirit of the 59’ Club … and how had ‘strangely’ been written out of 59 club history and excluded. Father Graham Hullett.
Most rockers, bikers and a few sociologists are well aware that the vast majority of what has been written about rockerdom is a load of bollocks. Our concern was not that. The mass media has only been interested in demonising, ridiculing or exploiting for their own financial gain the rocker lifestyle. Our concern was the shit that has been said and done within our own ranks.
And righting it.
Within the Rocker movement of England, and particularly within the 59 Club itself, there are some a nasty, ignoble and unresolved wounds. Wounds which caused a great deal of loss not just to the Rocker movement but the biker one that followed it.
I met with Mike Cook, in 1984-ish when the 59 was still in Yorkton Street, to discuss organising a Rockers Reunion dance and Run with the 59 Club to help reinvigorate and revitalise what was even back then the dying embers of a once holy grail for us “bad boy” Rockers.
Mike Cook was not interested at all, even though I offered to organise everything. All he needed was to staff the bar/canteen and let us use the premises. It was clear to me that the commitment was no longer there, complacency had set in.
Many others had similar experience, despite the fact that the man creamed a full-time “youth worker” salary off the local government. At that point, the club had not seen any “youths” since the 1960s
The only fire left there was from within the Classic Section, who pretty much did it all for themselves.
Contrary to popular belief, the 59 Club struggled to deal with we Rockers and that is where Father Graham showed his true grit & leadership. For example, when the Road Rats MC was formed from some of the Chelsea Bridge Boys, the 59 Club did not want to allow them in. The same happened when the local Hells Angels grew out of other rocker/59 Club elements. Again Father Graham stood up and reminded them of the ethos of the club and that, my friends, was the beginning of the end for Father Hullett.
Rather than abandon his principles, and those of the 59 Club’s charitable remit, he left and with him left the Spirit of the 59 Club.
A shame members of the current management council carry. And how different things might have been in British biking scene if only the 59 had remained what it was, and opened itself up to others.
How ironic that the Ace Cafe (London) Ltd 46 years later wants to throw out members in the Australia 59 Club Section ( and have since removed them from their register) for pretty much the same thing.
When Father Hullett passed over in 2012, he left me (Lenny Paterson) his vast collection of photo’s and the ‘Spirit of 59’ Enfield Bullet presented to him by some of the old 59 Club members documented and aired by Dilly Barlow on BBC R4 Home Truths in 2005.
Unlike others, I wanted the photos put out on the Spirit of 59 club website for all to enjoy for this was my passing gift to ALL Rockers. Father Graham had no time for greed. He was one of us and the 59 Club have, by handing over it’s membership to the Ace Cafe (London) Ltd, shown their contempt and arrogance towards us Rockers by doing so without a care for our concerns or wishes.
A few questions remain in our minds.
Why, when Father Bill Shergold, ex-club leaders Mike Cook and others were directly connected to Johnny Stuart, was Father Graham Hullett erased from the history of the club and movement, denying access of the rocker world, now worldwide, to the images and memories of its heyday?
Why had he at that time been erased from 59 Club history by the current leaders, individuals who had removed him as trustee without his knowledge we understand?
Why were we being fed a fabricated, sanitised version of our and the club’s history ?
Why are the 59 Club refusing to reply to any questions, are they hiding something ?
Father Graham Hullett stood up for us less desirable Rocker element of the 59 Club virtually alone, what finally pushed him to leave?
Father Graham Hullett has always been a far too principled individual to discuss the past. But we are not. Because we are Rockers. And our opinion is, if we had known what had happened at the time, we would have fucked them off out the club for ever … and the club been far better for it.
It’s time the world started to know, especially those fine young rockers and rockettes who have embraced our lifestyle on every continent, about the realities … good and bad.
This is the new beginning of a LONG overdue public debate about the 59 Club. If you support the aims of this site then please email us or put your name down in support.
We will raise the Spirit of 59 to embody the old tired body.