News, Culture & Society

British skinheads in the late 1960s pictures

A collection of never before seen images have captured the defiant spirit and eccentric creativity of British youth in 1969. 

As the psychedelic wave of hippy culture was rising, it did not appeal to all the teenagers who were from new estates across the UK.

The skinhead fashion rose to love Jamaican street style, American soul music, German boots and some of them were originally mods.

Never before seen images have captured the defiant spirit and eccentric creativity of British youth in 1969

Huge groups of skinheads formed from the working classes filled the streets with their intimidating and well-known style

Huge groups of skinheads formed from the working classes filled the streets with their intimidating and well-known style

The collection of images come from new book Skins: A Way Of Life which is coming out next month for £16.95. 

The images in the book are described as: ‘Skinhead is the only British style tribe that still genuinely scares people. 

‘From the dancehalls to the football terraces, from the local pub to the tower blocks working class teens in the late 1960’s found their own form of rebellion. It didn’t come from Soho. You couldn’t buy it on Carnaby Street.

‘They looked the long-haired revolution in the eye and realised that it held nothing for them. 

The Skinhead style included brave short hair statement, when most young people were growing their hair long

The Skinhead style included brave short hair statement, when most young people were growing their hair long

Boots were one of the most important parts of the skinhead uniform before being classified as weapons (as a police officer is pictured asking for them to be handed over) and the Doc Martens style moved in

The Skinhead style included brave short hair statement, when most young people were growing their hair long

Boots were one of the most important parts of the skinhead uniform before being classified as weapons (as a police officer on the left is pictured asking for them to be handed over) and the Doc Martens style moved in

‘SKINS: a way of life. is a beautiful hardcover collection of photographs of skinhead culture from the late 1960s throughout the 1980s.

‘Many of these images have never been published before. Presented with a series of articles, commentary and quotations designed to celebrate the essence of the skinhead cult, without glossing over the darker side of the story.’ 

Trojan records, launched in 1968, becomes the symbol of the original skinhead movement. Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae and Dub were outsider scenes that attracted working class outsider youth. They laid the foundations for all the British subcultures that followed.  

In a time when people were sold the lie that all working class people are racists, and that all cultural movements come from art school teenagers with professional parents – it’s time for the spirit of ’69 to shine again. 

The intimidating culture was influenced by the working class who could not identify with the middle-classes hippy rebellion 

The intimidating culture was influenced by the working class who could not identify with the middle-classes hippy rebellion 

Police officers are often pictured controlling the crowds powerful brand of rock music they call 'Oi'

Police officers are often pictured controlling the crowds powerful brand of rock music they call ‘Oi’

The Skinhead look from the late sixties and early 70s is almost a forgotten fashion as most people associate Skinheads with the late 70s and early 80s.

Most people think of the 60s as the era of the Mods, then Flower Power and Hippies. 

The Hippy era though was mainly a middle class rebellion against middle class values but many working class young people found they could not identify with it. 

They never had the middle class lifestyle to rebel against. Whereas Mod embraced the consumer society, the Hippy movement, although later much commercialised, itself rejected it, these working class youngsters had nowhere to go. 

Skinheads were seen wearing a button down shirt which was often a Ben Sherman, who then struggled to keep up with the demand. Skinheads wore gingham check, sometimes other check patterns, or plain Oxford cotton

Skinheads were seen wearing a button down shirt which was often a Ben Sherman, who then struggled to keep up with the demand. Skinheads wore gingham check, sometimes other check patterns, or plain Oxford cotton

Skinheads were seen wearing a button down shirt which was often a Ben Sherman, who then struggled to keep up with the demand. Skinheads wore gingham check, sometimes other check patterns, or plain Oxford cotton

Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae and Dub music attracted this culture and paved the way for the subcultures that follow

Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae and Dub music attracted this culture and paved the way for the subcultures that follow

The late 60s and early 70s Skinhead took elements of Mod and was a clear evolution from it. The look was smart. 

Short hair was a brave statement in the late sixties, when most young people wanted to grow their hair long. 

The button down shirt was often a Ben Sherman. Skinheads wore gingham check, sometimes other check patterns, or plain Oxford cotton. Ben Sherman struggled to keep up with demand and alternatives from Brutus and Jaytex were also available in similar styles. 

Boots were one of the most important parts of the skinhead uniform before being classified as weapons and the Doc Martens style moved in. 

The worker boots often worn by coal miners featured steel toecaps and hobnail boots which included metal studs on its sole.  

The late 60s and early 70s Skinhead took elements of Mod style and evolved it into a smart new trend

The late 60s and early 70s Skinhead took elements of Mod style and evolved it into a smart new trend

The collection of images come from new book Skins: A Way Of Life which is coming out next month for £16.95

The collection of images come from new book Skins: A Way Of Life which is coming out next month for £16.95

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk