Full-length Leather Coat

John Wood – “Did anyone have a full length leather coat made to measure at a gents outfitters on Pelham Street in the 60’s … six of us had leathers made there. You could have any colour – I had a Navy and mates had Red, Yellow, Green, Brown, Blue. Remember they cost us 21 guineas … £21. 21 shillings back then … unsure of the name of the tailors seem to recall … Clement?”

Mick Hatcher – “Got mine from Burtons, John, still got them.”

Leather Coats
Leather Coats

John Wood – “I more or less had to have clothes tailored – a slim waist and shoulder like a barn door … I still have a full length leather in tan got it some years ago now in Manchester.”

Roger Flowers – “I had a full length blue suede made there, can’t remember the name but it was on the left going up near the top – fantastic coat fantastic memories.”

John Wood – “Yes it was on the left … only a small shop.”

Peter Wilson – “Was it Swears and Wells near to Boots (now Zara) bottom of Clumber Street and High Street?”

Harry Wood – “I had a red leather from there, two of my mates had green ones and another mate had a yellow one. My dad said we looked like a set of traffic lights. I think they cost 39 bob, John.”

John Wood – “Stu Butler had the yellow one … and Sleppy had a green. I well remember your red one Pop … Happy days.”

Peter Wilson – “Was it Lafayette at the bottom of Market Street?”

Roger Flowers – “Lafayette rings a bell.”


Blue Nylon Mac

Joesephine Pate & Susan Davis in Skegness
Josephine Pate & Susan Davis in Skegness

Philip Jones – “I had a nylon mac for 10/6d (blue of course).”

Mick Hatcher – “Toytowner.”

Philip Jones – “Have not heard that for years, but very true Mick.”

Craig Strong – “Was there ever a bigger insult than ‘toytown mod?’”

Paul Thorpe – “Mick, don’t be so sniffy, lots of us started out with nylon macs (remember Tosh Harrison), yo’ were a raggy arse yersen back in the day”

Philip Jones – “Craig Strong, Colmans Clown?”

Craig Strong – “Apart from being called a greaser by a London mod in Trafalgar Square summertime 1966?”

Craig Strong – “Eh?”

Paul Terry Watson – “Forgot all about them macs, cool!”

Peter Wilson – “Pac-a-mac.”

Sharon Wilson & Eileen Smith in Skegness
Sharon Wilson & Eileen Smith in Skegness

Sharon Wilson – “Typical ‘uniform’ – plastic nylon macs and straw bags. Think the bag was from Farmers at the top of Exchange Walk. Cost about 2/6p.”

Eileen Smith – “The macs were nylon not plastic Sharon but you’ve got an amazing memory. I’m loving the drawings of the dungeon, that’s bringing back lots of memories.”

Sharon Wilson – “Yes you are right! Don’t know what made me put plastic. Have amended it now lol. Often think about you in your satin dresses and how you stood up on the bus so you didn’t get them creased!”

Eileen Smith – “The red satin suit under the fur coat was the best.”

Sue Hey – “I had a straw bag from Falmers, I think they closed on Thursday afternoon.”

Sharon Wilson – “Yes they did. Used to get my tights from there. Remember the diamond ones lol!!!!”

Margaret Kerslake – “So typical of the time. I think we all must have looked so similar.”

Sharon Wilson – “Yes it was like a school uniform. What about the hush puppies and leather coat which was mandatory lol.”

Diana Tompkin – “Remember mine so well wore it to death ! Sadly no photos.”

Roger Lowe – “Wore mine out, originally called pac-a-macs? Amazing what we thought was trendy?!”

Paul Thorpe – “Roger, I thought pac-a-macs were the plastic version, these we wore were nylon so didn’t tear easily, but made you sweaty just the same.”

Roger Lowe – “Paul you could well be right, mine was blue nylon, yes made you hot under the collar!”

Micky Moore – “Ha Ha. My mother and I had matching navy blue pac-a-macs, accessorised tastefully with see-through polythene rain-hoods with a white umbrella pattern that tied under the chin with a bow!”

Chris Garland – “Loved mine, never took it off lol. Remember the massive vanity bags we all had as well. Not much in them but always on the arm lol.”

Jean Heath – “When we went up the Mojo we always had a bottle of Yates wine in it.”

Philip Jones – “I wonder if you can still get them. I thought they were really good and wore really well, and it did not matter that much if they got lost or nicked.”

Phil Long – “… and a pork pie hat!”

Jeff Piggott – “Bought mine in Paul Smith, thought I was the dogs doo dahs.”

Jean Heath – “Also had brown suede hush puppies to wear with the mac – no P Smith one for me, think my mac came from C & A.”

Peter Wilson – “Who remember those Airline Bags i.e. B.O.A.C and B.E.A.”

Josephine Pate – “Us, cause u gave us one.”

Pete Wardle – “Had one with Aer Lingus, only one I could get.”

Danny W.Gill – “Just bought one. Back in the day I wore a black workman’s mac and a beige raincoat.”

Pete Wardle – “Never knew how that Mod fashion caught on yet so simple and classy.”

Micky Moore – “My mother would have been mortified if she had realised that pac-a-macs were actually fashionable! She disapproved of everything ‘mod’ or associated with the Dungeon: she bought pac-a-macs purely for their practicality.”


More Leathers

Philip Jones – “I had full length black and bottle green leathers both of which were nicked from cloakrooms, so it was Crombies after that.”

Mick Hatcher – “It was hard to keep up with the latest fashions when you were on apprentice wages, especially when the fashions changed every week.”

Diana Tompkin – “Haha.”

Paul Thorpe – “Craig Strong, went working in London in ’66, the Southern Mods didn’t relate well to our version of Mod mate!!”

Peter Wilson – “I was in London late ’67 used to go to The Witch Doctor Club in Catford.”

Maurice Moore – “I was in London in ’67 on IBM courses. I went to the Marquee, Flamingo, Scotch of St James. Stayed in hotels in Soho and when I walked around, got offered drugs, sex, whatever I wanted. I was also growing a moustache and got mistaken for Scott McKenzie.”

Craig Strong – “I was a school kid!”

Paul Thorpe – “Craig Strong I was only 15, but contracting, so you were sent anywhere.”

Penny Parfitt & Sue Abbott
Penny Parfitt & Sue Abbott in their leathers (maroon & green)

Penny Lambert – “I had a full length maroon one but can’t remember where I got it from, but I loved it, it was very soft I made it into a jacket in the end.”

Craig Strong – “Being a part-time jobbed schoolboy, I bought a girls leather off a mate, he had ‘borrowed’ it from his sister!”

Paul Thorpe – “Buttoned on the ‘wrong’ side Craig, everyone noticed, but nobody mentioned it at the time.”

Craig Strong – “I never wore it at The Dungeon!”

Sally Morpeth – “Yes we had them. We bought our leathers from the tannery near Trent Bridge.”

Margaret Kerslake – “I had a full length maroon one from Carnaby Street. Loved it.”

Sharon Wilson – “I had a black leather bought it from a shop called Renore, think it was somewhere near where Primark is. You could pay weekly and it was about £25.”

Peter Wilson – “Next to The Black Boy Hotel.”


The Workers

Wes Stala – “After working in Montague Burton on Hockley for a few months with the likes of Peewee and Duke, I then went on to work at Philip Arnold on Pelham Street, who also had a branch on Arkwright Street in the Meadows. Sadly after a few months working there he closed up due to Bankruptcy, I believe. We used to get the long leather coats made up at leather manufacturers/tailors in the Meadows. Ahhh, those heady days!”

David Picker – “The shop was called Philip Arnold. My first job on leaving school in 1966.”

Wes Stala – “Hi, David. It was my second job there, I came from Burtons on Hockley , small world.”

David Picker – “I left in 67. The owner was Mr Geoffrey Kirk. He also had a shop on Arkwright Street. Your right, it is a small world.”

Wes Stala – “So it must have been 1967 that I worked there, probably straight after you. I can’t remember the reason why, but he took me to his house in West Bridgford, beautiful property as I recall, I was most impressed…and then, sadly, he went through!”

David Picker – “I sensed he was juggling a number of balls whilst I was there. I remember his house off Loughborough Road. I bumped into him a few years later and he had a job as Rep for Ben Sherman.”


Suedes too

Diana Tompkin – “I had a full length brown suede from Smith Engelfield, think it was on Parliament Street.”

Peter Wilson – “Yes, bottom of Kings Walk. Sold all top class leather goods.”

Veda Bromwich – “Mine was Emerald Green but can’t remember where it was from.”

Veda Bromwich, Bill Bottle & Elenor
Veda Bromwich, Bill Bottle & Elenor

Diana Tompkin – “My sister’s was emerald green leather from Smith Engelfield. Still have some of the old buttons!”

Susan Foster – “Mine was from Renore, 20 pounds, worked at Pork Farms, Friar Lane to pay for it, it was sage green. Loved that coat, paid a pound a week. My brother worked next door at the Black Boy, Roger Walker. What a beautiful place, how could they have let that go to become Littlewoods?”

Gillian Williams – “I had a full-length blue suede and a really soft brown suede jacket, both off the peg couldn’t afford tailor-made. Only got rid of my jacket a couple of years ago, could kick myself now.”

John Batchelor – “I loved my leather, full-length, vent to the waist and a tie round belt. very dark ox-blood. Got it from a place on Arkwright Street.”

Eileen Smith – “Mine was from Renore too, my lovely mum bought it for me and paid weekly.”

Gary Maxton – “Got mine from a Sunday Morning trip to Petticoat Lane, also bought a suit length of tonic mohair. Stall holder asked us “Where you from lads?” “Nottingham” we said proudly,” Is that Norf Landan, Lads ” he replied. Lol”

Leather Coat - Gary Maxton
Leather Coat – Gary Maxton

Ann Barry – “My first leather was full-length, navy blue, cost 14 Guineas and I sold it later for £5. Then I got a three-quarter green leather from Trent Fur Company, cost £7.”

Wes Stala – “I sold them at Philip Arnolds but could never afford one for myself!”

Mike Beebop Smith – “Got mine from Hepworth’s next to Yates. It cost £36.00. I’ve still got it, only it doesn’t fit anymore.”

Mick Hatcher – “My leather from Burtons still fits 50 years on.”

Leather Coat - Mick Hatcher
Leather Coat – Mick Hatcher

Paul Thorpe – “Looking as cool as ever Mick, pity it buttoned on the wrong side, was it ‘lifted’ from the Bung cloakroom?”

Mick Hatcher – “It’s buttoned on the boys side you cheeky sod.”

Paul Terry Watson – “Can remember borrowing a bikers jacket to go clubbing, with Tats. Also leather rockers jacket, everyone thought it was cool, Johnny Doda ( college friends jacket).”

Neil Gilbey – “Had mine made by LJ (Lionel Jacobs) on St James Street just up from the Bell. You just simply went to ‘BOARDS’ leather shop and chose the skins you wanted.”

John Batchelor – “Lionel Jacobs was a lovely man and a great tailor. He did a lot of our alterations when I worked at Jackson the Tailor.”

Maurice Moore – “Where was ‘BOARDS’, Neil?”

Neil Gilbey – “If you went up St James Street then about opposite the Imperial pub, on the right hand side, there was a little side alleyway and you went up about 3 or 4 storeys to LJ. But on the entrance to the alleyway ‘BOARDS’ had a slightly curved window and was on the left as you looked at it. There were hundreds of skins hanging from the ceiling. I chose black and always regretted that it wasn’t brown.”

Danny W.Gill – “As a spotty young teenager about 13-14, into the music but not getting the clothes I wanted, I was at a youth club in Chilwell (the church next to College House school), a ‘mod’ turned up with full ‘gear’ – scooter, full length leather, hairstyle, everything. I so wanted a leather coat after then but didn’t get one until I was in Turkey around 2002 on R&R from Afghanistan, full length black leather, and since then a brown leather made when I was in Ethiopia.”


2 thoughts on “Fashion – Leather Coats

  1. I bought my bottle green from birdcage paid weekly could hardly believe when it was paid off. My sister Carol got a blue one at the same time we thought we were fabulous. Su


  2. I had my green full length leather coat made in that shop in Pelham street.It cost me £21.00.I am in the photo with Veda and Elenor.My dad said bloody hell you look like a roll of frigin lino !!! talk about deflating my ego.
    From Will (Bill Bottle)


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