Why the Spirit of 59 Website?

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.  The only fire left there was from the Classic Section who pretty much did it all for themselves.

Contrary to popular belief the 59 Club struggled to deal with us 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. 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.

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 ever 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.

26 thoughts on “Why the Spirit of 59 Website?

  1. Spot on Lenny – more power to your elbow mate! The 59 has been a disgrace these past 30 years and has feck all concern for bikers, Rockers and anyone else but a narrow “clique” and their mates.

    I spit blood when I see comments from overseas Rockers who want to join and visit the 59 when they come to London – what a surprise they’ll get when , instead of a vibrant , all-ages biker / Rocker club they seem a stinking piss-poor “bar” full of grumpy old gits only interested in the £18 membership fee and eff all else!

    • Yes Ross, that’s a complaint I have heard many times. They appear to have no concept left of what the 59 club was about, by labelling me an ‘Old age pensioner, trying to split the Rockers up’, with a comment that starts with ‘Hi Guys and ends with, ‘We Love you all’ ? Who the hell wrote that ? From what I can make out the ‘Council of Management’ of the 59 club are old age pensioners to and from their obvious inactivity to organise anything at all for their members, I would say they are prematurely fossilised. They are taking the piss as well as our money.

  2. It’s a pity this is all happening. But the club does need reorganising somehow. It would be good to see more 59 club events. And it would be nice if they visited events outside London once in a while. After all, it’s a worldwide club, so at least they should visit some of our Northern England events once in a while. It would also be good to see the Link back in print, or available as a download. I have to agree that in recent years, we haven’t had much in return for our sub’s.

    • The committee have a ‘Jolly’ on the Isle of Man TT every year at their Barbecue, then they have a stand at the Rockers Reunion Annual dance in Reading and the Ace cafe rides to Brighton etc, it appears they are there to sell badges, T shirts and increase membership numbers, to my knowledge they do not organise any events apart from their Bizarre tinsel Christmas party in the months after Christmas, which I understand was cancelled this year ???! Does the club pay for the TT & other outings ? Does the Ace cafe get paid for their seemingly pathetic handling/admin work ? Has company/charity Law been broken by the 59 club in their offhand manner of tying in with Wilsmores Limited company without giving members notice or their voting rights ?

  3. Grew up a teenage Rocker in Blackpool.
    Now an old(er) Rocker in Walden, NY
    You have my support Lenny.

  4. I would like to join your group. I grew up in Hemel Hempstead, was a rocker and still am, despite moving to Australia in 1980. I’m a member of the 59 Club in Australia, I’ve visited the Ace and it was good to see life in the old place again. But I’m not happy with the commercialisation of being a rocker, nor making our life a fashion like the Hard Rock Cafe. Brotherhood, bikes and rock n roll!

  5. Father Hullets commitment and passion must be remembered, not swallowed up and spat out by what is turning into nothing but a cold hearted business. It was NEVER meant to be profiteering, just showing us youngsters there was always another better way. We MUST NOT let it slide into nothing.

  6. I’m a member of the 59 club Australia,having moved from Manchester 16 years ago now well into my sixties always been a rocker now seems I have to pay the ace cafe fees if I want to remain a member of a club on the other side of the world keep up the fight and the true spirit will prevail

  7. As someone who supports the ideals of the 59 club but have been disappointed with The current committees high hands attitude that has little regard for anyone other than UK members please count on my support.

  8. This is well over due , Australian 59 member 60 plus years young originally from the Isle of Wight always been a rocker greaser

  9. I know very little about this, but recognise that Father Hullet played a great part and that he is being airbrushed out. I would like to know why.

  10. I support everything you put forward. It is nothing but disrespectful to the memory and ethos of the originator of a charitable organisation to sell out to a money making concern.
    As it currently stands, if you pay the price asked, anyone who wants to ‘bling-up’ with badges, patches, pins and clothing can look the part without knowing jack-shit about what it all stands for.
    Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but this is about a movement not a circus or fashion show.
    Keep up your hard work.
    BTW : I am leading the International Rockers Reunion ride here in Australia and hope the rest of the world has a good piss up coz we will.

    • Have a great meeting and lets make this day the beginning of a Worldwide Rockers Reunion with all Rockers Riding in the same direction, that is away from the greed of people like Mark Wilsmore and the apathy of the existing trustees of the 59 club, who have in my opinion sold out to the ace cafe Ltd because they can’t be bothered to do the admin themselves. Since the ace cafe London Ltd have taken over the admin, they have taken peoples £18 on the basis of those receiving a Link magazine. To my knowledge no one has received them and subscriptions have since run out of date, no word of apology or explanation was forthcoming nor was any subscription renewal reminder sent, so quite what the ace cafe are doing apart from processing money and sending a cheap window sticker with an invite to purchase more regalia and issuing threats is a mystery, which I hope will be resolved when I have inspected the documents I have formally requested to view. This Saturday will herald a New day of unity if I have the support of the Rockers. Lenny Paterson.

  11. Rockers Forever! Supporting the hard work many true Rockers have put in over many years and continue in the true spirit of the 59 and the Rockers.

  12. After listening to your interview and reading your posts re: the 59 Club I would like to offer my support for your efforts to maintain the tradition.
    I am currently an Australian 59 Club member and would be willing to join the London 59 Club if you believe it would help in having paid up members suppoting your cause.
    Let me know how to help and I will do what I can.

  13. Hi guys
    I just received this link from a mate in OZ, all very interesting comments!
    I am now living in Spain, and have 4 bikes, restoring a classic BMW.
    Prior to Spain I emigrated to the USA in 1973, where I continued to ride mainly BMW,s I am trying to locate mates from the 64 – 69 London days, then I had a bonnie, trident , and installed a Bsa dbd in a featherbed frame. Regarding father Graham he was a great person and took a great deal of care with the club and members he approached me in 66 with the idea of starting a diving club I was dead keen and we soon had 6 members the minimum needed we even built a submarine may be some will remember it being in the club house upstairs. I lost track of the club when I went to the USA,
    But now mam looking to contact mates, I have been able to reach Mo still living in London, and John and Phil in OZ , if Bill Calydon, or Colin and Kathy are around please contact me. Mick Elliott mickdelliott@Hotmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *