1956, sixty years ago, was a watershed year for Teds. In September that year the Bill Haley film Rock Around The Clock arrived in the UK. With five records in the top twenty, Haley was a major star and the film screened at some three hundred cinemas across the country. It wasn’t long before the riots started. At London’s Elephant and Castle Trocadero seats were slashed, and when the police attempted to disperse a throng of jiving, singing teenagers, bottles and fireworks were thrown; four shop windows were smashed. Two police were injured and nine Teds arrested. There was further trouble in many other cities including Manchester and London whilst in Birmingham, Blackpool, and Belfast the film was banned.
Originally published in 1979 The Teds looks at this phenomenon. A classic of British documentary photography, it is a vivid and absorbing book combining image and text to tell a fascinating story that spans some three decades. (DEWI LEWIS)