Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Post 3 - Kiande- Teddy Boys are back in town!

All began in the early 1950's in England. Some teenagers gangs appeared in the East End of London; they were called the Cosh boys. It was very easy to recognise them. They wore a very special rig : long jacket with velvet collar and cuffs drain-pipe trousers like under the reign of Edward VII (1901-1910), bright ankle socks and slim Jim tie. There hair were "long" and greased. 

These 'Cosh' boys terrified the English society : razor attacks, fights between gangs but also against the police, robberies ... After the Second World War England woke up with an headache. Press needed a new term to describe these gangs which number increased each day? The word chosen was Teddy Boy and Teddy Girl, "Ted".

It seems that the first newspaper that used the term Teddy Boy was the Daily Express on September 23rd 1953. At this epoch, Elvis Presley was just a truck-driver !

The original Teddy Girls (aka Bombsite Boudiccas), were also followers of the Teddy Boy society. They would copy their wild ways as well as their tattoos. Cartoon characters like Betty Boop, swallows and anchors were most popular with the ladies.

The society of Teddy boys & girls were rebels against anything "normal" - (squares).
No dancing but bobbing heads at their milkshake diners, showing off their latest tattoo's, was a social status - i.e the more you had - the more rebel. Their tattoos consisted of a mixed genre from - 'sailors' - 'cartoons' - 'dancers' - 'cars' - 'idols' - 'animals' - 'flames' - ect...

Here is another example of status in the Teddy Boy & Teddy Girls in their tattoos.
Note were these are placed as well - more elegantly on the girls rather the males, but are also placed in the most visual areas of the body - they defiantly wanted to be seen.

There is still some rockers out there who swing and shake like the 1950's and do it well.
But this fella should get a better job because he makes this visual history, look sad.


  1. more links required otherwise a very interesting read