The 60s British Rockers and Ton-Up Movement - New Website!

"The menace is loose again running loud and fast on the early morning freeway, low in the saddle, nobody smiles, jamming crazy through the traffic and ninety miles an hour down the centre stripe, missing by inches ... like Ghengis Khan on an iron horse, a monster steed with a fiery anus, flat out through the eye of a beer can and up your daughter's leg ..." Hunter S. Thompson circa 1965.

[ Images all link to websites ]

Click to play musical soundtrack > 

    This is a collection of pages and links that start early in 1999 to save, document and authentic stuff about Tonup Boys, Fifty Nine Club and Rocker Reunion Movement. The authors and supporters include leading light original Rockers and those that have been actively involved in the scene over 4 decades.

  • New - The Spirit of 59 - new Rocker Movement website.

  • New - Trinity School - Japanese School for British Classic Motorcycles.

  • New - Rockers - The Seeds of Social Destruction.

  • Angels Flying too Close to the Ground - why bikers tell stories.

  • Must see - The Graham Hullett Collection - 270 plus largely unseen photographs from the cafe racing Rocker and 59 Club heydays!

  • Must read - 60s Rockers ; American perspective. Written at the time, one of the best original pieces of reportage on the subject we have ever read. Unedited version.

  • The Original 80s Rockers Reunion - CHS advertisement.

  • Johnny Stuart, R.I.P; author of " Rockers! Kings of the Road " sadly missed.

    cover cover cover

    Click on images to buy from Amazon

  • Last Rocker Reunion Run and First Ace Cafe Reunion. Photos by Tony Sleep

  • Bikes, Burning and Birds ; for some at least!
    South London rocking in the early 60s.

    cover cover cover

    Click on images to buy from Amazon

  • Father Graham Hullett ; The Real Heart and Soul of The Original 59 Club.

  • Reverend Bill Shergold's story ; " This is it, " I thought, " I shall almost certainly lose my trousers! "

  • Mockers ; Did it all really happen?

  • Rocker's requiem ; Micky Sheenan of The Glory Boys.

    cover cover

    Click on images to buy from Amazon

  • Gallery One ; General Memorabilia.

  • Gallery Two ; Margate - Mods and Rockers meet first for the first time.

    cover cover

    Click on images to buy from Amazon

  • Gallery Three ; Rockers Day 2004 Nara, Japan.

    Check out their website here and open a door into a whole new world of Rockerdom.

    Great bikes, cool wrenchs, dig about their site and you will find clubs, clothes and parts in Japan, as well as links to Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly.

  • Gallery Four ; More Kamakaze Rockers.

  • Gallery Five ; Rocker Day Organisers, Japan.

  • Gallery Six ; Ton Up Club, USA. Gunning your way soon.

    Check out their site for crazy Mods and Rockers Runs, probably served with tea, crumpet and fights on San Diego beach here or here for their Rocker's and Cafe Racer Forum.

  • Hooligans ; New American Rocker film in production by Rikki Rocket. Click here for a trailer > 8.25 MB Quicktime. Rikki is looking for original material; film, pictures, individuals ...

  • " If there's one fing that I loike, its a burn up on my bike, a burn up wif a bird upon moi boike ... " Definitive rocker audio track by Mike Sarne.

  • New - " Mods et Rockers ... " Utterly Shagtastic '60s audio track by French chaunteur Michel Sardou.

  • German 59 Club. 1965 Rocker Nostalgia : " The Norvin Burnup " - published in the September 1965 issue of the 59 Club's magazine " Link ".

  • Swiss 59 Club.

  • The Italian 59 Club.

  • The Australian 59 Club.

  • The Australian Ton-Up-Boys Club.

  • The Texas 59 Club.

  • The Belgian 59 Club.

  • Rockers England.

  • Ton-Up Pirates - gotten busted for doing more than a ton? These folks will take the sting out of it for you!

  • The Ton-Up Club of Tennessee - still independent, founded in 1997.

  • The Last Rocker Reunion Pissup organised by Len Paterson at the Battersea Town Hall.

    Pictures of many of the original characters that made the Rocker Reunion Movement what it is today by their looks, presence or their skills, including; the Late Sunglasses Ron, graphic artist Tombeau, Koji Baba - the first Japanese rocker to come to London, dresser Dave Whiting, pretty faces Robin, Yasmin, Emmanuelle and Mack, rockers and teds from as far as Germany and France. Headlining star - no less than Lonnie " Bubblegum on the Bedpost " Donegan.

    As an introduction to this new independent and international website for Ton-up Boy, Cafe Racer, Rocker and 59 Club Memorabilia, we would like to thank Len Paterson - proprietor of The Cylinder Head Shop, founder and prime mover in The Rocker Reunion Movement for his tireless work over 20 years in bring together rockers, tonup boys, cafe racers new and old; especially for help in inspiring and providing sources of information to start these pages.

    Len, an active Chelsea Bridge Boy and original 59 Club Rocker in the 1960s, organised The Rocker Reunion Club, Runs and Pissups [ or " Dances " for the more genteel clientele ... ] from the early 1980s onwards; breathing life live back into the tradition and community of the Ton-up Boys.

    While by no means the only key individual responsible for the original renaissance of the Rocker scene - and we hope to credit those other as time and accurate documentation allows - it was under Len's leadership and guidance that it rose from a handful of riders heading off to Brighton Beach from Chelsea Bridge to 12,000 strong Runs and thousands strong Reunions.

    It was Len that encouraged Mark Wilsmore to take over and develop the Reunion Runs as well as re-establish The Ace Cafe. We are sure Mark remembers with gratitude the long hours he spent picking Len's brain at the 'Mighty' South London Triumph Owners Club [ est. 1949 ]. Likewise, we remember original Rocker Derek Fox whose son's original artwork of the traditional 60's jacket badge inspired the new Ace Cafe "Rocker" logo but who was later threatened with legal action if he continued selling it. Even though he had been selling it at the Reunions since the 80s. More later.

    The Rocker Reunion or Rocker Revival Movement has now spread to become an international movement dedicated to 60's roots rock'n'roll, cafe racers and the lifestyle of those times. It has attracted many new, younger individuals. In truth, the spirit may have been ignored, abused, suppressed, ridiculed or attacked - but it never went away nor died. It never will. It remains the roots of counter culture motorcycling in the UK and had its like movements all across Europe, America and Japan, e.g. Les Blousons Noirs [ trans. The Black Leather jackets ] or Bosozuko [ trans. Speed Tribes ].

    The views contained within these pages are entirely independent from any of the individuals portrayed, business or organisation - least of all Father Graham Hullett or the 59 Club of Paddington, Ltd [ of which he was club leader from 1962 to 1970 ] - and are a faithful attempt to capture the true " Spirit of 59 ", examine it in truth, document its real rather than re-written history and explore its effect on Society as a whole. 1959, the year the most British motorcycles ever were sold.

    As our site grows, we will be publishing unseen photographs, stories, news and information from around the world. If you have a story or an opinion, we want to hear it. Expect the unexpected. The truth, not the romantic re-writes. And a few controversies and a laugh or two as we take the inside line on those days and now.

    If you were part of those times, or would like to keep them alive, please contact us at ; info. If you are part of them now, who knows, you might be in here.

    Its a strange thing to remember but when we started promoting the Rocker Reunions and Pissups, there was no support or interest from the motorcycle press at all. Worse, the antagonism from the old British Motorcycling Establishment towards the Rockers was still deeply embedded within the industry and media and quite openly hostile.

    The Rockers were always seen as " bad for motorcycling " from a desperate and out of touch industry rather than ripe to be capitalised upon for their style as happened later on. Even the hipper press saw the scene as a throw back to another era, full of anachronistic boring old farts or grumpy old bastards; homophobes and racists one and all.

    Even beyond the complete disinterest of the plastic crotch rocket obsessed bike media, we can distinctly remember one response from the editor of the most major motorcycle publication in the UK saying, " ... wot's that got to do with motorcycling?! "

    Of course now, with new blood in editorial positions, the media are all over themselves at the spirit of it all.

New -
59 Club - Father Graham Hullett ; Lifetime Achievement Tribute 2005.

For British bikers, there was only one leather jacket. And that was a Lewis Leathers jacket. As close to perfect as any cow's backside might ever be. Back in business with 100% authenticity. Great heritage section. Link above

The Tonup Club of USA. Try rolling over and clicking on the broad above. The Ton Up Club has chapters spreading States-wide. Download the Charter and get onboard now and make it International.

Funny how the Japanese can get things just *so* right and look so cool *and* ride on the right side of the road! Who else can fly a Rebel Cross, a Union Jack and a Rising Sun all at once!?! Big cafe racer scene.

The Brit Iron Rebels were established in 2004. A worldwide group of individuals focused on the preservation, restoration and promotion of true classic and retro-styled British motorcycles, related events and discussion. The BIR is a club based on the retro style of the British Rockers.

59 Club Legend France.

Peter Fischer, an influential Rocker from the time of the early Reunion days in the 80s. Funnily enough, just like British Royalty, he came from Germany. Escaping under The Wall to come to London to live the life.

We like bikes. We like girls. We like leathers. We like oriental girls. Oriental leather girls on classic bikes. Oh dear, I think that I am going to sin.

Marlon Brando as Johnny looking, well ... Brandosexual as they used to say. The image that launched a 1,000 Schott Perfectos

The Wild One ; banned in the UK, first showing at The 59 Club.

Pandora Pitstop looking, well ... just plain sexual as they will say for a long time to come, I fear. The image that will launch a 1,000 ..... and all on 22 BHP of throbbing 4 stroke single. Ought to be banned, probably bound and beaten first.

Johnny ... erm, Jimmy ... no, it is Johnny ... 40th Anniversary of the death of heartbreaker James Dean

The Royal Enfield Clubman, arguably the last authentic cafe racer still made today! The Cylinder Head Shop cannot recommend Enfield importers Wastonian-Squire strongly enough. The strength of quality and outstanding principles of the management and team is exemplary amongst the motorcycle industry.

Mitakuye Oyasin. They used to say that, " the Last Englishman alive would be an Indian ". Now we are starting to think that the Last British Rocker alive will be Japanese. More Nihonjin Rocker-style. Anyone that wears their clipons right down besides their bottom yoke is OK by us.

" Folk Devils and Moral Panics ; the Creation of Mods and Rockers " by Stanley Cohen. Folk Devils and Moral Panics ; Creation of Mods and Rockers is a classic study of deviant subcultures and the moral panic they generate in the media and in public debate. It has never quite made its way into the motorcycling world before as it is a classic sociology book.

Apparently, it is a " foundational text " - a proper, well respected, big words book for big word men - in terms of investigating the workings of subcultural groups, identifying what leads to such groups as Rockers being vilified in the popular imagination and what inhibits rational debate about solutions to the social problems such groups represent.

They say that the insights Cohen provides into The Rocker Movement and its effects on " mass morality " are as relevant today as they were when the book was originally published. The author's introduction for this new edition, in which he tracks moral panics over the last thirty years, comments on the demonisation of young offenders, asylum seekers and on the News of the World's "name and shame" campaign against paedophiles.

Generally, most so called scientific research of the motorcycle world puts the word anal into analysis, as in where they authors had their heads, but this is as interesting as it gets - as long as you dont expect lots of pictures in your books.

Stick to Johnny Stuart's Rockers, Kings of the Road if you do.