Project to look back at the Norwich rockers of the 60s
PUBLISHED: 12:08 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:45 16 April 2019
At a time of women’s liberation and sexual revolution, a group of bikers with rebellion in their blood were at the forefront of a flourishing youth-driven subculture in Norwich.
Leather-clad rockers would descend en-masse to local Saturday night haunts such as the Boundary Buttery, Number Ten in Thorpe Road and the 'three Cs' Charing Cross Centre in Norwich Lanes, where hundreds of bikers would hang out during the swinging 60s.
Despite the 'ruffians on bikes' image, many of the rockers would gather for a ride to Great Yarmouth or simply catch a midnight movie at ABC Cinema in Prince of Wales Road, which now houses Mercy nightclub.
Most people from that era would probably remember nasty PC 49, known as Ivan the Terrible, or Snowy the ABC manager, who would try in vain to contain order in the cinema after a rowdy few would let off smoke bombs in the theatre.
But remnants of that age have all but disappeared, with little left to remember the significance of the subculture in the city.
Chloe Baker-Cooper, 21, who is a self-confessed biker from the age of 15, is hoping to speak to as many bikers from the bygone era for a project to preserve their memory.
Miss Baker-Cooper, who is studying a masters degree in photography at the Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), said: “I'm trying to get hold of people to get their first-hand account of things. I am trying to collect their memorabilia for an exhibition and small publication.
“I just did a huge project on a group I ride with and it got me thinking about how people think about us - we're seen as yobs and people don't really like us in general. We're noisy young people.
“But I was thinking about the Ace Cafe in London and how people look back on it with nostalgia and think it's wonderful, there used to be something like that in Norwich all those years ago.
“I have come across people and photos but it is almost undocumented.”
One former biker, Tony Moore, 69, still remembers the lively atmosphere of the three Cs and the thriving biker community among the youth in the late 60s.
“The trouble is at the time people used to think we were a bunch of ruffians on bikes, we didn't look particularly nice,” Mr Moore said.
“But we did what we did. When you're a kid everything is a laugh, you had no responsibilities and you lived for the day.
“We never thought about history and I guess people just forgot or they moved on.”
Are you a former Norwich rocker? Contact Chloe Baker-Cooper on 07717 323304 or email CBCphotography@hotmail.co.uk.