Thursday, 17 April 2014

A vintage scooter club will rev it up Italian-style to mark the 50th anniversary of an infamous motorcycling and scooter rivalry.

Up to 50 members of Crawley Bullseye Scooter Club will ride their Italian vintage bikes to Horsham on Monday (April 21) and have them on show to mark the 50th anniversary of the infamous clashes between Mods and Rockers.

Karen Turnham, 55, and her partner Phillip Walker, 55, of Pound Hill, founded the club in 2009.

Karen, “the governor” of the club, said: “We’ve made a lot of friends through it and go out to lots of different places. It’s given people a life. It’s brought their youth back to them.”

Karen said the club had raised thousands of pounds at events it had put on for a various charities.

Among the fundraising efforts was £1,600 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity thanks to a 60s-themed music event at The Tilgate Pub, Ashdown Drive. Karen said: “It’s been increasing every year. We are recognised as a very active scooter club because we do so much.”

The group meet twice per month at The Snooty Fox pub, in Three Bridges, and go out on weekend rides regularly.

Karen said: “We’re all different, some are really shy when they first meet. It brings people to life.”

Vikki Thatcher, the pub’s landlady, was also a scooterist in Bournemouth.

Karen said the club was “thriving” with its membership increasing every year.

The group has around 50 members, the youngest being aged 18 and the oldest 66.

One member owned five scooters.

Phil said he started riding after his father bought him a scooter when he was 12-years-old. He attended Ifield Comprehensive School, now Ifield Community College, and became a member of the school’s motorbike club.

Phil, who works as a mechanic in Gatwick, said: “Other people from other places join us on these [ride-outs].

“People take photos of us. It’s great, the Americans can’t get enough of it.”

Karen got into scooters after she met Phil more than 14 years ago. She said most of their scooters were classic Lambrettas and Vespas from the 1960s and that club members had appeared in television commercials, film extras and fashion photo shoots.

A number of members were involved in the opening of the Brighton Marathon.

The Crawley Bullseye Scooter Club will park up in the bandstand in Horsham from 11.30am to 3pm.

‘Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales’ reports The Independent

Without wishing to disrespect Jack Dee, there can't be many things the British comedian has in common with the late, great, American actor Gregory Peck. Height, gravitas and the most scholarly diction are Peck's alone, although one could argue that Dee has the edge on deadpan witticism. But both are united in their appreciation of that most famous of Italian designs, the Vespa. The former liked to ride his in the opening credits to his witty BBC sitcom Lead Balloon, while the latter did similar – though far more suavely, it must be said – through the streets of 1950s Rome.

That cinematic segment of Peck's, which came halfway through William Wyler's classic 1953 film Roman Holiday, sent worldwide sales of Italy's leading utilitarian mode of transport through the roof, and transformed its image overnight. This was due not only to the elegance of its design, but the fact that Audrey Hepburn happened to be riding pillion, thereby creating in the viewer a subliminal link between the bike and the world's most beautiful woman. One cannot buy advertising like that.

The Vespa has remained a style icon ever since, and the release this month of its latest model, the Primavera, confirms it has lost little of its lustre. In the florid prose of Marco Lambri, director of the Piaggio Group Style Centre, where the two-wheeler is hammered into artisanal shape, "the Vespa was designed around man from its inception, placing the human figure at the centre. It was light years ahead of its time, and she is truly the daughter of functionality."

Yes, quite. In other words, it works. Like the Fiat 500, a machine also generous with its curves, it has been adopted, and adapted, for subsequent generations ever since. In the 1960s, it was the heavily accessorised ride of choice for mods buzzing down to British coastal towns looking for rockers to glass, and by 1979 its cachet was seamlessly revived courtesy of the film Quadrophenia, which documented that 1960s era. In the 1990s, Jamie Oliver gave it geezerish appeal (he rode it in between chopping onions on The Naked Chef), while Britpop included it as part of its nationalistic cultural obsessions, despite its thoroughly foreign style.

The Vespa was launched into post-war Italy in 1946, and has changed little in its 68-year history. "There's a reason for that," says Andy Gillard, editor of Scootering Magazine. "You don't fix what's not broken."

The only real change has been a merciful one: the replacing of its original two-stroke engine – which may well have explained its name (vespa, in Italian, means wasp) but also made an ungodly racket – to the quieter four-stroke, so much more amenable for the man or woman about town. Though its popularity is perennial – 1.3 million have been sold in the last decade – the average owner today is pretty much Jack Dee: a chap in his late 40s/early 50s, likely experiencing the quiet beta-male midlife crisis, content to let his alpha counterpart rev himself silly on a fat Harley-Davidson. As Andy Gillard points out: "The Vespa's fun, but it's also practical. Lift the seat, and you can put your shopping in. Handy."

It isn't exclusively the plaything of balding men, however. Lucia Jordan, a 41-year-old digital marketing executive from the Wirral, runs, an online appreciation society with thousands of members worldwide, many of whom convene up to 12 times a year for international rallies. "We have many women members," she assures, "and we're all very friendly."

Its enduring appeal, she suggests, is a fundamental, pan-gender one. "You know when you see a dog sticking its head out of the car window, grinning in the breeze? That's how I feel on my Vespa every time. I'm as far away from my computer screen as I can get. I'm free."

The Vespa Primavera 125cc retails at £3,371 (inc OTR).

Paul Weller - 'More Modern Classics' 3-CD Track-listing

More Modern Classics is the long awaited follow up to 1998′s Modern Classics which showcased the first part of Paul Weller’s highly successful solo career.
This album confirms Weller’s status as the most resilient survivor from punk’s class of ’76 and outclassing and outperforming many of his earlier and later years’ contemporaries.
It showcases his continuing progression as an artist, never afraid to take chances, move forward and buck trends, always staying fresh and transcending the zeitgeist.
More Modern Classics continues to serve as a reminder of his wide range and gift for melody and song writing.

Track List: -

Disc 1

 He’s The Keeper

 Sweet Pea, My Sweet Pea

 It’s Written In The Stars

 Wishing On A Star

 From The Floorboards Up

 Come On / Let’s Go

 Wild Blue Yonder

 Have You Made Up Your Mind

 Echoes Round the Sun

 All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)

 Push It Along

 22 Dreams

 No Tears To Cry

 Wake Up The Nation

 Fast Car / Slow Traffic


 That Dangerous Age

 When Your Garden’s Overgrown

 The Attic


 Brand New Toy

Disc 2


 With Time And Temperance

 A Bullet For Everyone

 One X One

 Don’t Make Promises

 One Way Road


 Blink And You’ll Miss it

 Roll Along Summer

 The Pebble And The Boy

 Empty Ring

 Why Walk When You Can Run

 Night Lights

 7 & 3 Is The Striker’s Name


 Up The Dosage



 Be Happy Children

 The Olde Original

 Disc 3 (Track List subject to change)

 All I Wanna Do (The Sun Session)

 From The Floorboards Up (XFM Session)

 The Attic (Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music Session)

 Around The Lake (Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music Session)

 Andromeda (Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music Session)

 That Dangerous Age (Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music Session)

 When Your Gardens (Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music Session)

 Wake Up The Nation (Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music Session)

 Savages (Capital Gold Session)

 Time Of The Season (BBC Radio 2 Session)

 Aim High (Black Barn Session)

 Daydream (Loving Spoonful Cover) (XFM Session)

‘Paul Weller children win damages from the Mail Online’ reports the BBC

Rock star Paul Weller has won £10,000 for his children after their pictures were "plastered" on the Mail Online.

The High Court in London ordered Associated Newspapers to pay the damages after Weller complained.

Seven paparazzi photos were published in October 2012 under the headline "A family day out: Paul Weller takes wife Hannah and his twin sons out for a spot of shopping in the hot LA sun".

The couple said the shots were "plainly voyeuristic".

They sued Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and Metro, for misuse of private information on behalf of their daughter Dylan, who was 16 when the pictures appeared online, and twin sons John-Paul and Bowie, who were 10 months old.

The one-time frontman of The Jam and the Style Council was not at London's High Court to hear the ruling by Mr Justice Dingemans.

A paparazzo had followed the family on a shopping trip in Santa Monica, California, and took photographs without their consent despite being asked to stop.

David Sherborne, lawyer for the Weller family, said Hannah Weller - the mother of the twins - had not been in the public eye before her marriage and had taken active steps to prevent their faces being seen in the media.

Photos taken in the street, and not in circumstances such as premieres or for promotion, were a "blatant impediment to the natural social progress of children", he said.

In court, Associated Newspapers argued the images, in which the children's faces were not pixellated, were entirely innocuous and inoffensive and the Wellers had previously chosen to open up their private family life to public gaze to a significant degree.

Following Wednesday's ruling, the organisation said it planned to appeal.

"The photographs showed nothing more than Paul Weller and three of his children out and about in public places," said a spokesman.

"There was no claim and no finding that we had followed, harassed or targeted Mr Weller or his children and no request had ever been made to pixellate the children's faces.

"Our publication of the images was entirely in line with the law in California where they were taken by a freelance photographer.

"The suggestion that children have an expectation of privacy in relation to publication by the media of images of their faces when one child (now nearly 18) has modelled for Teen Vogue, images of the babies' naked bottoms have been tweeted by their mother, and their father has discussed the children in promotional interviews is a worrying development in our law, as it has conferred unfettered image rights on all the children.

"This judgment has wide-ranging and serious consequences not only for local, national and international digital journalism but for anyone posting pictures of children on social networks. We intend to appeal."

The judge agreed the images could have been published legally in California, but said their appearance in the UK violated the right to privacy enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

"There was no relevant debate of public interest to which the publication of the photographs contributed. The balance of the general interest of having a vigorous and flourishing newspaper industry does not outweigh the interests of the children in this case," he added.

Weller recently announced a new greatest hits collection, More Modern Classics, featuring songs from the last 15 years of his solo career, including From The Floorboards Up, That Dangerous Age and new single Brand New Toy.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

"Paul Weller in a jam over hypocritical damages case against MailOnline" reports The Independent

Paul Weller was accused of hypocrisy in court on Tuesday over a series of interviews he gave discussing fatherhood while promoting his latest album as he seeks damages from the owners of MailOnline for publishing a series of unpixellated photos of some of his children.

The 55-year-old musician was accused of wanting to portray an image of a “devoted dad” in a bid to bump up record sales, the High Court in London heard. Known to millions of fans as "the Modfather", Mr Weller told the court he had “no public image” and that talking about his private life “made no difference” to selling records.

MailOnline published an article headlined “Modfather’s day out” alongside seven photographs of himself with teenage daughter Dylan, and baby twins John Paul and Bowie on holiday in Los Angeles. Mr Weller said he objected to the “exploitation” of his children he said were being used for commercial gain.

Antony White QC, counsel for MailOnline publisher Associated Newspapers Limited, pointed to a series of interviews the musician had given to promote his 11th solo album Sonic Kicks where he had discussed his private life at length. One Big Issue article was headlined: “Who’s the daddy? Paul Weller shares parenting tips”.

Mr White said: “Could you not adopt the same policy as JK Rowling and simply refuse to discuss any details of your children?”

Mr Weller, immaculately dressed in a pinstripe suit and cravat, said: “We could have… I wasn’t unhappy about the article. To me it is just some father gushing about his family without any specific personal information.”

The musician, who has seven children across four households, told the court if he gets asked about his private life by journalists then he answers them. He said: “Why should I not talk about my family? The publication of pictures of my toddlers and 16-year-old that I have not consented to is a completely different thing.”

Mr Weller also said the series of articles Mr White referred to were examples of “lazy journalism” and that he had no control of what appeared in print. The former The Jam and Style Council frontman said he was unaware another of his daughters, Leah, had published a photo of herself with the twins, now aged two, where one of their faces can clearly be seen. An unofficial Facebook fan page republished the image.

The musician interrupted tersely when Mr White began to ask that if neither his daughter nor the fan page found publication of the picture of the twins objectionable what the problem was. The musician said: “I’m their father – that’s the difference.”

He said he and his wife Hannah asked Leah to remove the picture as soon as they found out.

The musician also gave a series of combative responses to Mr White when he was questioned about the differences between Dylan engaging in a photoshoot with Teen Vogue magazine when she was 14 and MailOnline’s decision to publish the series of photos featuring Dylan and the twins.

Mr Weller told the court: “Taking pictures of a very frightened 16-year-old looking after her baby brother is completely different to agreeing to have your pictures taken in a controlled environment.”

Mr White said: “So for you it all comes down to consent?” to which Mr Weller replied: “Yes”

Mr Weller’s wife Hannah, mother of the twins, had earlier told the court that although she posted on her Twitter account information about the young children and pictures of the young children, which do not show their faces, she is “careful” about not showing their faces. Mrs Weller, 28, said: “[My pictures] could be of any toddlers.”

Dylan Weller, now 17, also gave evidence from Los Angeles via videolink. She told the court the MailOnline pictures made her feel “extremely uncomfortable”.

Mr Weller is seeking £45,000 damages on behalf of the three children and an injunction preventing the use of the photos.

The trial continues.

“Scooter rally will bring original Mod style to Redcar” says the Gazette Live

“Fifty years on from the heyday of the Mods, enthusiasts have arranged a weekend-long rally at Redcar Rugby Club”

They rode Vespas and Lambrettas, they loved groups like the Small Faces and The Who and they had a style all of their own.

And now, 50 years after the original mods had their heyday, the era is set to be recreated at a scooter rally in Redcar.

On June 6, 7 and 8, a full camping weekend at Redcar Rugby Club aims to bring the best in scooters, scooter sounds and traders to the town.

Musically, there’ll be Mod, Ska, Northern Soul and more. But there’ll also be scooters - lots of them.

It’s the brainchild of scooter fan Damian Hunt and his old school friend Paul Power, who organised the VW Power event at the same venue.

And while some people associate Mods with seaside violence, both in the 1960s and the Mod revival in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Damian, 45, stresses the Redcar event will be a peaceful, family friendly affair.

Damian, manager of the Stainton Lodge nursing home and a former pupil of Redcar’s Sacred Heart school, said: “I remember the rallies coming to Redcar in the 1980s, but I didn’t have a scooter and I was too young to go.

“Since then, there hasn’t been anything like it in Redcar, which is a shame.

"Bridlington, Scarborough, Whitby... they’ve all had scooter rallies and they’re incredibly popular.

“Thousands of people turn up so I think Redcar has been missing out.”

Damian, who admits The Who movie Quadrophenia was a “big inspiration” to him, got his first scooter, a Vespa, when he was 20 but has since progressed to a Lambretta.

He said: “I love the sight and sound of them. People stop and stare when there’s a group of them together.

“I like the 2 Tone music, the fishtail parkas, three button suits, Fred Perry clothes - it’s a great style and the music’s fantastic too.

"Mods got a bad press in the old days, but thankfully the days of violence have gone - now it’s all about the music and the scene.

“And it won’t just be Mods - we’ll have skinheads, punks, a range of people who just want to express themselves and share something they’re passionate about.

“We are putting on a professional, family-orientated rally for people to come and have a look at the vehicles, listen to the music and get some young blood into the scene.”

Writer’s Mod youth in Havering inspires ‘Yesterday’ book centred around Clacton '64

A writer has published a novel about growing up in 1960s Havering in a world of changing fashion, music – and violence.

A writer has published a novel about growing up in 1960s Havering in a world of changing fashion, music – and violence.

Sheila Norton, 64, now living in Chelmsford, spent her youth in the borough and has used these memories as inspiration for her latest novel, Yesterday.

She said: “I have written novels but they were all contemporary rom-coms. This time I wanted to try something a little different and since I grew up in the 60s, it is a time I know very well.”


The plot centres around the feisty female lead, Cathy Ferguson, who is caught up in a violent outburst between Mods and rockers.

Tensions between groups of warring teens resulted in hundreds of arrests in Clacton in 1964.

However, it is only when she is a middle-aged journalist that she is asked to relive those memories.

Sheila said: “I always thought of myself as a Mod. I was only 14 and still at school so wasn’t really part of the group but I liked the way they dressed, their music and Cathy is the same way.”

Sheila spent most of her youth in Ardleigh Green, Hornchurch, attending Romford County High School, now Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls, in Brentwood Road, Romford. It was then Sheila started to develop her love for writing.

She said: “What I remember most is probably Romford Market when it was still a cattle market, seeing it filled with cows and sheep, and the brewery smelling of malted barley and wheat.”

Sheila added: “Your teenage years is the period you often go back to when you’re older and the sixties in particular was extraordinary.”

‘Yesterday’ is being released on Thursday first as a Kindle edition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the feud.