The Lone Lamp
for and about teds and rock’n’rollers
The youth phenomenon that was the teddy boy movement during the ten years that ran from 1953 to 1963 was a noteworthy aspect of British society of the 1950s. Already losing steam in the capital after 1958, the movement was no longer perceptible after 1963 when the 1960s really set in and the upcoming generations started to let their hair down, literally. In that unpromising environment, in different parts of Britain, a dwindling number of diehard teds were joined by a homeopathically tiny contingent of younger teds who kept the flame flickering. Teds look back on this period of doldrums as the ‘sicksties’ but those individuals who stuck to their guns were soon rewarded by the emergence of a dynamic revival of a rock’n’roll scene which lasted for fourteen years, beginning in 1968 and only losing steam about 1982. The style has never gone away and all over Britain and in some areas of Europe, at local rock’n’roll clubs, all-dayers and weekenders, one can find teds having fun and keeping the faith.
The ted dress-sense had its own particular British and European origins but it also overlapped to some extent with American rock’n’roll fashions (those which nowadays go under the label ‘rockabilly’). As soon as its heyday was over, teds who stuck to the style had often been, and not without cause, accused of nostalgia – especially as the 1960s got into its stride – but at the very least these teds of the doldrums can pride themselves in having been the pioneers of nostalgia, probably the greatest popular trend at present and for the foreseeable future …
From its location under the lone lamp at the end of a deserted alley, a fitting ted haunt, this site aims to inform and entertain perusers, in the form of blog articles, about everything pertaining to teddy boys and to rock’n’rollers, rockers and rockabillies in general. The music and our stars are always of interest but the focus of this site is firmly on the unsung heroes, the fans of rock’n’roll and the times in which they found themselves. Feel free to respond to the blogs and we welcome standalone contributions. As the Teddy Boy Federation’s logo puts it, this is ‘a site by teds for teds’; if others happen to like it, all the better.
Posts are arranged under general rubrics (or categories), three of which refer to the ‘Three Eras of the Teds’, namely :
- The Golden Era (1953–63), including the period before 1953
- The Colourful Era (1968–82), including the doldrums of the mid 1960s
- The Weekender Era (1983–), going right up to the present day
Otherwise there are rubrics covering :
- Attire (clothes, hairstyles, tattoos etc. etc.)
- Music/Dance/Reads (films, consumption of rock’n’roll music, origins of words associated with rock’n’roll, reviews of books/documentaries to do with rock’n’roll etc. etc.)
- Portraits (of well-known or the ordinary teds or rock’n’rollers. It would be great to get personal contributions from individual teds about themselves)
Any other subject that does not fit comfortably into the previous rubrics are placed under the key heading General which includes, especially, pieces of personal opinions on this that and the other rather than the generally factually-focused posts which form the majority of the posts elsewhere. The rubrics which have been arrived at are far from constituting exclusive categories and some of the posts certainly overlap over the categorisation. Where to place posts which are not clearly in one category or the other is left to editorial discretion.
The Lone Lamp site was launched as a one-man venture by long-time ted Iwan Wmffre and – although it might only reflect one ted’s view of things for the time being – the hope is that the site will attract others to contribute, whether in the form of posts or else comments (if you have posts you’d like to contribute send them to firstname.lastname@example.org). The more teds have an input in it the better it will be.
Guidelines for contributors and conditions attached :
- As is usual with such sites, any comments which are hateful, spiteful or outright inaccurate as regards any individual(s) will not be allowed on the site and will be taken down. As regards non-personal phenomena such as fashions, sartorial subcultures, music, objects etc. contributors can express their feelings as they see fit.
- As much as we like the music, The Lone Lamp is not meant to focus on the music but rather on the rock’n’roll fans themselves, most especially the teds. Generally, with some exceptions, the site is not a place to listen to rock’n’roll, there are plenty of rock’n’roll radio sites for this.
- Likewise, rockin’ events and rockin’ clubs will not be directly advertised on the site.
- The contributions which are added to The Lone Lamp generally stay with the site. Only in exceptional circumstances – especially if for some reason the content is prejudicial to individual(s) – will the editorial board accept the removal of a post or a part thereof. Personal contributors can keep full control of their personal portraits and withdraw them without needing a reason. And, whilst The Lone Lamp, keeps contributions sent it (and is free to publish them elsewhere as the editorial board sees fit), contributors are also free to publish any of their personal contributions elsewhere as they see fit with no need to consult the site’s editorial board.
That’s as far as ‘the letter of the law’ goes, more important perhaps is the spirit which The Lone Lamp seeks to convey, the fun and entertainment that is rock’n’roll along with a sensible toleration of everyone and everybody – even non-rock’n’rollers! (for square apparel, attitudes and dishevelled hair helps us look all the more elegant and cool 😉 ). And, contrary to some long-standing perceptions, teds, all in all, are good eggs with no particular political axe to grind; we wish good will to all women and men, whatever their origin, and that we’ll all manage to keep on rockin’ as long as we can!