Kent Messenger Maidstone

He’s a dedicated follower of fashion


MAIDSTONE author Ian Snowball, whose book Thick As Thieves recalls his reminiscen­ces of The Jam, has been recalling the music and fashion scene of the County Town in the 1980s. These are some of his observatio­ns on various locations. Huckles: The only menswear shop that sold Fred Perry, Sta-Press, boating blazers and anything a mod, punk or skinhead needed. Then they supplied the casuals with their Pringles, Farahs and Lois jeans. The shop is now the newsagents opposite Konya Kebab in Week Street. Image: Another menswear shop in the late 80s in Week Street. By this time, it was paisley and floral shirts and pegged trousers. Our Price: One of several record shops then in Maidstone. Always a hub of activity. The original shop was in Week Street opposite Subway. Then a second shop was opened in the Stoneborou­gh Centre, now the Chequers. The Our Price red and white plastic bags were the best to sport around town. Longplayer Records: Another good record shop. One level sold classical music, and the other anything from Abba to Zappa. They also stocked Motown, Stax and an assortment of re-issued rare northern soul records. Their orange bags were not as classy! The Wander Inn: A cafe on the corner of Mill Street (opposite Rootes). This was the place where the young mods would hang out to drink tea. There was a car park at the rear where the scooters could park up. For any young aspiring mod to be seen here with the ‘faces’ was an achievemen­t. Kent Hall: A disco. Under-18s on Monday nights, over-18 on Fridays. In what is now Market Buildings. The music was Chicago house, Beastie Boys and rare groove. Trinity Disco: Inside Trinity Church. Dark, gloomy, cold and a health and safety death zone … But to us it was the place to be on Friday nights. A place of varied music and fashions, and there was always the chance of a slow dance to a Spandau Ballet song in the final 10 minutes.

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