Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Way We Were: The scooter scene in the 1960s reports The Stoke Sentinel

The photograph of me on my scooter was taken around 1965, outside my parents' house in Milton Street, Shelton. I'm on my Lambretta Li 150 Pacemaker Silver Special. 

We were all part of the Hanley scooter scene then, and used to go to the Golden Torch in Tunstall. We would park the scooters on the spare ground next to the cinema, opposite the police station. 

But our most popular haunt was in Hanley at the ABC Cinebowl, where all the mods congregated, either in the bowling alley or upstairs in the concourse cafeteria. However, if we didn't buy anything we would be thrown out. 

We sometimes went bowling, but mainly just congregated, looking at the various scooters with all the chrome mirrors and spotlights – the more the better. 

I remember chrome car hub caps were very popular at the time. They used to fit inside the spare wheel on the rear carrier and look brill, although the local police didn't think so because they had probably been borrowed from a parked car. 

Sometimes we would have a ride up to the services at Keele for a coffee and then ride back. There used to be about 20 scooters – all Vespas and Lambrettas – which used to look great. 

There always used to be quite a few scooters lined up outside the Bowl (as we used to call it). Sadly, I don't see any of my old scooter mates now. 

The other photograph was taken a couple of years later. We were five of the scooter crowd. 

From left: Ray Furnival, from Bentilee; Peter Howell, from Shelton; Dave Blakey, from Meir; John Goodwin, from Shelton; and myself (Allen Barnett), also from Shelton. 

But there were loads more from all over the Potteries. 

We used to go to Rhyl every now and again on Friday nights and sleep in tents on the sand dunes. We'd meet up with others from Liverpool, Manchester and all over. 

It used to seem as if it took us hours to get there because there were no motorways then. 

As for my five mates, John is now living in Australia; Peter, when I last heard 40 years ago, was in London; and perhaps Dave and Ray will see this article and get in touch. It would be nice to hear from them. 

We had some good times back then – I remember them well. To all you old scooter boys, all the best. 

I loved the 1960s and still do. The music and the times were great – I wouldn't have missed them for the world. Happy days. 


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