The early 70s in England weren’t as culturally bereft as pundits would have it, particularly if you were lucky enough to live in London.
The evening news magazine TV show Nationwide (BBC1) and Thames TV’s local programme Today could always be relied upon to report from the far side (usually accidentally in their search for quirky stories).
Historically overshadowed as the siting of “the Bill Grundy incident“, Today featured many such off-beat items, usually sourced by hip researchers/occasional presenters Janet Street-Porter and Lyndall Hobbs.
With Grundy and Eammon Andrews rotating nightly as studio anchormen, Today’s regular roving reporter was Monty Modlyn, a self-styled schlemeil prone to shouting Tubby Isaac‘s cry from his popular jellied eel stall in Islington: “All the jell’!”
Guess you had to be there.
And so to this clip dug from the British Pathe archive.
The 25-second reel is likely to stem from 1972, when Malcolm McLaren created the new incarnation for 430 King’s Road in reaction to the sartorial and social conservatism of Let It Rock‘s neo-Edwardian customers.
Along with the new Ton Up lines of leather jeans and rocker tees, TFTL continued to stock creepers and take orders for drapes, hence the two Ernies lurking outside. Behind them, the shop’s previous name is visible studded into the back of a motorcycle jacket (and the new gear continued to be stitched with Let It Rock labels, like this shirt bought in 1973).
Right at the end of the clip, Monty Modlyn enters the scene to interview the Teds. Pathe says this footage was not broadcast. I don’t recall it. By the look of the end-frames there was hair in the gate or somesuch so it was likely to have been deemed unusable.
In the context of 430 King’s Road Modlyn’s name cropped up a couple of years later – on the “wrong” side of the You’re Gonna Wake Up And Know What Side Of The Bed You’ve Been Lying On! tee, between right-wing journalist Peregrine Worsthorne (the second person to say “fuck” on British TV before the Pistols Steve Jones became the third in 1976) and Angry Young Man John Braine.
You can see the Pathe clip here
On Youtube it has been stuck non-chronogically at the end of film of DAs being sculpted at British barbers in the 50s: