Following on from part 1 of this feature from Honeyee, here is more in depth information from the renowned leather makers with part 2 of the feature.
Were any groups of young people going to Lewis Leathers specifically for the name by the ‘60s?
There were other labels around like Mascot, Pride And Clarke（＊1）, but Lewis Leathers was always the jacket to have partly through clever marketing, but also through the quality and styling.
The main thing was the 59 Club（＊2）, the motorcycle group set up by Father Bill Shergold. He was a motorcyclist, but he’d been watching all these kids dying trying to do ‘the ton’ and not understanding the danger they were in and not appreciating death. It was already called the 59 Club from 1959, but in 1962 he went up to the Ace Café and started handing out leaflets to come to this youth club in East London. They laughed at him a little bit, but they went on the first night and little by little more and more went and they would have dances. They would never try and force religion onto these kids, but they would council them and see if anything was wrong at home and they would work with the police and try and give these kids some sort of direction.
From late 1962, Lewis Leathers would go there, onto the stage in the church hall and take a load of jackets, badges and tape measures and measure up these kids – two weeks later they would come back with a jacket.
Father Shergold and Father Hullet would always dress head to toe in Lewis Leathers, boots, trousers, with the dog-collar underneath.
As Lewis Leathers were so closely involved with the 59 Club, they used to sponsor the Link Magazine: they put an advert in every issue. Basically, the look of young rockers from 62 onwards was Lewis Leathers. They could buy the jackets on instalments, and they became the jacket to have.
Prior to that we were already kitting out TT Racers, and the guys that rode around Mallory Park and Brands Hatch etc, and had been supplying riders in Brookland’s from the 20s and 30s so there had always been this position of motorcycle racing clothing as well as street-riding.
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