I found myself reading through this interview the
other night, having not seen it for years
and thought as long as the websites still here I should maybe withdraw
my “that was then
and this is now” attitude and add a footnote/update.
I have to admit that I had lost touch with the scene, apart from seeing
or hearing from a
few old friends now and then. Since that interview back in 2002, I quit
teaching, moved to
the village next to Cleggy (remember him?) in France and lived in
squalor for a few years
while myself and the family renovated an old house and a couple of barns
usual). I know that sounds like a mid life crisis, but worse than that I
bought a big moto
guzzi and went on some biker events.
The good news is that its all finished now and Im living in one
converted barn with Annie
and our daughter Holly, doing holiday lets in the other barn and Ive got
the best studio Ive
ever had in the upstairs of the old house. Our son Sams doing a fine art
masters degree in
Brighton and the younger one Lukes in the last year of a fine art degree
Apart from having the fine art thing in common the three of us have all
bought T5ʼs in the
last year.Sam even wrote an article for Scootering about them! Im
planning to do some
french rallies this year and youʼll probably be seeing a couple of 20
something punks at
some of the english rallies, so make sure you buy them a drink as
Last year I decided that I like living here so much that I organised
Paddy Smiths Sunrun
and had a brilliant weekend with old friends (including Bill Mac - see
old staff - shame
Vince couldnt get time off work) and made new ones from England, France
and Spain. It
made me realise that Id been missing something - even though the weather
(shouldnt have called it sunrun) scooterists know how to party better
than anyone else Ive
So onto this year: Another ex pat scooterist Ian Graham and I are
working on another
sunrun for next year (2012) which will be a week long scooterist holiday
with loads of stuff
to do and see including a normal weekend rally with djs and live music.
Check out Paddy
Smiths Sunrun 2012 on http://www.facebook.com/
I cant really believe Im going to be 60 this year so in an attempt to
ignore it Sam, Luke
(Uncle Bob*!?) and I are planning a road trip on the T5s through Italy
and North Africa ( as
long as theyve finished revolting) in September. Wee thinking of setting
out from the IOW
rally, so maybe see you there!
Keep the faith
PS If you want a holiday down here check out our welcome at:
If you want to see my recent artwork:
or my new (non scooterist) T shirts:
The man him self (on the right)
Bill Mac on the left
The following article appeared in Scootering Magazine
May 2002 and is reproduced with their kind permission.
Paddy Smith is a name as common to most rally-going scooterists as
Malossi, RAC or flight jacket. His legendary scooter run patches were
part of the scooterboy uniform: a cheap cloth symbol of mile-weary
buttocks and the only tangible relic from weekends of youthful oblivion.
What many people don’t know is that Paddy Smith was more than a patch
printer and mischievous weekend bar-prop, but was also involved in the
early scooter rally committees, the birth of several British scooter
magazines and was a vocal opponent of the outsider promoted pop-festival
rallies of the mid-80s. During the heyday of the British scooter runs,
Paddy and wife Annie worked entirely within the scooter scene, just
printing rally and club patches as a thriving cottage industry. So how
did the least cool Mod in Kenilworth 1967 come to be a leading brand
name for scooterists 20 years later? Questions by Sticky & Andy
What was your first scooter, and how did you come by it?
When we were 13, Mod was the thing to be, and what we aspired to, so I
wanted a scooter. My first scooter was an Excelsior Monarch, which I got
as a 16th birthday present from my dad in 1967. He knew I wanted a
scooter and since we lived near Coventry and they had made Excelsiors in
the Midlands, I got this one which had been rotting in some old boy’s
garage. I was not too chuffed with it really. My mates had Vespas and
Lambrettas and I had this bloody awful fibreglass thing with a foot
gearchange, which didn’t work too well. It was the most uncool scooter
you could possibly have really. My main memory of it was when me and two
mates went to the local youth club and parked our scooters outside.
There were all these Rockers in there who chased us out. My mates jumped
on their scooters and zoomed off, and I was left kicking this thing
over. It eventually started and burbled off, and there were all these
guys running along beside me at the same speed. I sold it quite quickly
and bought a Vespa Sportique which went like shit off a shovel compared
to the Excelsior. Anyway, we were the Kenilworth Mods, but we weren’t
the sort of Mods who wore suits. We were the sort of Mods who wore
Levis, white t-shirts and leather coats. We just liked riding our
scooters and getting into fights. By ’67 Mod had died off a bit, and
when I was 17 I got a car.
"It was the most uncool scooter you could
What happened to you then?
The next thing was that I became a hippie, which lasted through to the
early ‘70s when I decided that I preferred alcohol to cannabis. By that
time I was in Art College and met a couple of guys who were quite cool
but weren’t hippies. Then I suppose I just became an art student, and
art became more important that a particular label. After I left
Loughborough Art College I went to do a post-graduate degree in Texas. I
got pretty homesick and didn’t really like American culture so I came
back, rented a little house and spent a year trying to be an artist on
the dole, which was completely doomed. There then followed a series of
crap jobs in London where I met Annie ? who was living in a squat in
Stockwell ? and I moved in there. It was in London that I first started
working as a screen printer and got into that and the techniques
involved. When they decided to knock the squat down we had actually
saved quite a lot of money and decided that was enough to buy a derelict
cottage in Gloucestershire. I got another job at a screen printers
there, where I progressed to charge hand.
How did you get back into scooters?
I was getting pretty pissed off with not using my talents by this time.
One of Annie’s brothers who’d been to the Scarborough rally in 1980 said
it was all getting big and he was sure if I printed some T-shirts and
took them to the next rally then I would sell them. I printed 30
T-shirts on the side at work and took them to Skeggy in ’81 in the car.
I was very nervous so we went into the pub and got pissed. I was only
first aware of the Mod revival a couple of years before when I saw an
article in one of the papers and I remember thinking "Oh, what a load of
poncey London gits, why the hell should anyone want to be a Mod in 1979?
I knew why I wanted to be a Mod in the sixties, but why now?" Anyway,
when we arrived in Skegness it wasn’t like that at all. The pub was full
of ordinary geezers chucking beer down their necks and having a good
time. Even the way they dressed was different. They were all in combats,
which was what I was wearing, so I felt I fitted in. We sold all the
T-shirts in an afternoon and everyone kept asking us about rally
patches, and I said I didn’t have any. I asked where the next rally was,
which was Yarmouth, and at Yarmouth ‘81 I sold the first Paddy Smith
Having almost inadvertently found the scene
through your brother in law, how long did it take for you to get your
next scooter and become more involved in the scene?
By about the third run I’d bought a scooter, and
through using it locally I got involved in the scene in Gloucestershire.
I met a few people who had scooters with murals on around town and they
invited me to their club night. That was the Dursley Scooter Club, and I
joined them not long after and started doing rallies with them.
PATCHES, I’M DEPENDING ON YOU SON
How did the patches develop from the first ones
to the regular square format that we all know and love?
To begin with the designs were totally random for the first
year, and a mixture of square and circular the following year. I decided
to keep to a regular format for ’83 after seeing the way people sewed
them onto their jackets. At the time most club patches were 6"x 6", but
I don’t really know why I adopted the smaller size; probably to save
cloth or something like that. I t was never very high tech. At that
stage we used to print strips of them, and then I moved to printing four
of them in a block which allowed me to do them quicker and get better
The first patches were very simple. When did
the designs evolve?
The first one that really blew everyone away was the
Scarborough ’82 patch because I spent all winter designing it. That was
printed in 4 colours, and from then on they were always in 4 colours. I
was still using quite crude equipment any my own ingenuity. I had a
laborious process to make sure that the colours were never offset.
"The first one that really blew everyone away was the Scarborough ’82
patch because I spent all winter designing it."
How did you decide what scooters to depict on the patches? During ’82 I
just used pictures of scooters that I’d photographed, but I only used
the shape of the scooter as a template, as in the way it was cut or
whatever, and I wasn’t too accurate about the colours it was painted in.
Later I tried to replicate the colour scheme of the scooter properly.
Who was your competition in the patch business
at the time?
There weren’t many people doing it the first year; Martin
Dixon (Scootermania magazine) was one, Ginger from Bolton started about
that time, and Lowie from Notts started doing them too. The first time
we met him, we were walking round the streets selling patches, and so
was he. We were quite new to the scene and we thought, "He looks scary,
he’s going to muscle us off the block." But we turned out to be really
good mates. Martin Dixon wasn’t very friendly to begin with, but then he
started to get me to print his patches and telling people to get their
club patches printed by me. There was also this guy who used to come to
the runs on a pink P200 with a suitcase on the back who had long hair
and a goatee beard. You only ever saw him selling patches on the street,
never in any of the pubs.
How did you originally distribute the patches?
After a few times in the car, we started going by scooter because the
patches were quite small and you could pack them in a bag which wasn’t
too much luggage if you stayed in B&B. We literally then spent the
weekend pub-crawling. We would make sure we went in every pub in the
town, and we’d have to have a drink in every one. When you got to the
last pub, you’d go back to the first one in case someone new had gone in
there. Generally what would happen is that people would catch up with us
at the sixth pub saying that they’d been to the previous five pubs and
everyone would say, "Oh, he’s just gone." We had the odd stall in ’82 or
’83, where if we thought it was going to be a big do, we’d take a couple
of T-shirts. I first started having a permanent stall in 1984.
When did you start to do scooter club patches?
I must have started in ’81 when I started meeting people on the rallies.
The first one was for Kings Lynn North Star, which is still going.
Glevum Stax were also pretty early on, and I did masses for Dursley
scooter club. That’s how we made funds for the club, we used to sell so
many of them. Other early ones were the Modrapheniacs and the A4
How long was it before you left your job?
The patches took off so quickly that it caught us out. I remember the
first time we made £1,000 on patches at Brighton and we went back to the
B&B and threw the money in the air like we were millionaires. I went
from a shit job paying £35 a week to coming home from a weekend on the
piss with a grand in my pocket. I think I left before the end of ’81 or
early ‘82, which was a bit foolish because we didn’t make any money
through the winter. By that time I’d set up a home-made screen printing
shop in our spare bedroom with bits I’d nicked from work. I set up the
business on the £100 holiday pay I got when I left my job. After that
rally patches were my full-time job until the mid-1990s.
"I went from a shit job paying £35 a week to coming home from a weekend
on the piss with a grand in my pocket."
Why do you think your patches were adopted as
the semi-official rally patch?
One reason was price. The first Yarmouth one was 75p but everyone else
sold theirs for a quid, so I did too. In ’83 I had the brainstorm to
sell them for 50p instead. I could handle it because I was selling
enough, and I didn’t have the printing costs because I was doing them
myself whereas the others were paying somebody to do their printing. The
other reason was that at the same time I decided that I would only sell
them on the event itself. Actually, that must have been in ’82, because
that was when Clive Jones tried to rip me off?
In what way rip you off?
I did a patch for Torquay in ’82 and Clive bought one. The next rally
was Yarmouth and we met up with the Norwich Broadsmen and went to their
do the night before. CJ set up a stall outside, and someone came up to
me and said, "ere, when you sold me that patch at Torquay that you
wouldn’t sell it anywhere else, but that bloke out there is selling
them." On the Saturday when he set his stall up at Yarmouth I went and
turned his stall over and told him that I’d sue him for copyright. He’d
printed an exact copy of it. His reaction was that I was being
unreasonable, but he never did it again. Only selling them on the run
was an important guarantee. Most of the other people like Martin Dixon
would sell their leftover patches to shops in Carnaby Street, but that’s
something I would never do. That was partly prompted by going to the
runs on scooters and thinking what was it worth. The patch was starting
to be worn like a medal, as proof that you went on the rally.
"I went and turned his stall over and told him that I’d sue him for
What happened to your leftover run patches
We used to have a ceremonial bonfire with the old patches on November
5th. We used to stuff Guy Fawkes with them, soak them with paraffin and
put him on the fire. On the way home from Strasbourg, people were amazed
to see us cleaning our pots and pans with them, but they weren’t going
to be sold, so why not!
Have you ever been asked to produce a rally
patch to compete with your own?
Yeah, I used to both design and print the ones for Martin Dixon and also
for Hi-Style around the early ‘80’s, but obviously I never did such a
good job on theirs. I used to spend at least two whole days on the
artwork for my own.
What is the biggest bribe you’ve ever been
offered to put a certain scooter on a patch?
Nobody ever offered me anything serious really. I think one or two
people my have approached me in such a serious way that being a
pig-headed bastard I’d make sure theirs didn’t go on. There were also
one or two people who just nagged me and bought me enough beers.
Do you have a favourite
Not really. There are certain years when I thought it worked well, and
years that I don’t like. The patch for Scarborough ’82 means a lot to me
as the first 4-colour one. I must have spent two solid weeks designing
that. I only took 200 and we sold out in two hours just walking down the
street. The other ones I don’t tend to think of as individuals. I think
of them as sets.
Wasn’t there a year where if you got the whole
lot it was supposed to say or depict something?
Yes, we had a competition in Scootering in ’91. If you laid the set out
in two rows of four it said ‘10’ because I’d been doing it ten years.
It’s a bit hard to see (no joke ?Ed) but someone got it right. Another
year has a map of the world when they were all laid out correctly.
Were there ever any other subliminal messages
in the patches?
I got asked by the Borderline All-Stars to make the next rally patch
commemorative for a club member called Bruce who’d died. I wasn’t into
that because I was doing them in sets, but on the next patch design ?
which was Yarmouth 1990 - I put some stars in the background and one of
them was blacked out like it had gone out. I only ever did very subtle
things like that, but I still don’t think they were very happy. Also on
some of the Holiday in Holland ones I signed them Smaddy Pith and Paddy
Schmitt. That was a disaster. The Germans didn’t find that at all
What cock-ups have you made with the patches like wrong dates etc. or
forgetting to waterproof them?
There was the Exmouth ’89 patch that when you put it on your
jacket and washed it, the image completely disappeared. We put a note in
the magazine, and anyone who returned one to us had it replaced. We had
a conveyor dryer with an infra red lamp to dry the ink, but I turned on
the conveyor without putting the lamp on. The Quadrophenia shirts I did
for Scootering were another one. I spelt it ‘Quadraphenia’ with an ‘A’
instead of an ‘O’. We’ve got boxes and boxes of them, and we still wear
them as vests now. We shifted most of them at cost price on the runs. I
did a few club patches where I spelt the name of the town wrong, but I
always replaced them. There’s always one literate person in every
"There was the Exmouth ’89 patch that when you put it on your jacket and
washed it, the image completely disappeared."
What was it like to see everyone suddenly
buying and wearing your patches?
Quite good (laughs). I used to get an incredible buzz when I was
travelling around the country, and you’d just see someone walking down
the street and they were covered in my artwork. I loved the fact that it
meant a lot to them and me, but it didn’t mean a lot to ordinary people.
It was like a secret society. I still get the same buzz today.
Do you ever get asked to reprint old patches?
Only by one person, but I’ve never done it. There was one occasion at
Yarmouth where I hadn’t printed enough and came home (in Norfolk) to
print some more during the weekend of the rally itself. That was the
last time I had my little yellow van. We sold out of patches on Saturday
so I borrowed Bill’s scooter, rode back and spent the night printing
more patches. I rode back there and sold them again on Sunday and by the
time I was driving home again I just fell asleep. I remember waking up
and all four wheels were off the ground and then I hit this wall and
wrote the van off. The whole passenger side was crumpled in and this
cash box full of pound coins fell open and I was stumbling around
picking up pound coins. It actually made me think ‘you greedy bastard,
you shouldn’t have done it.’
"It actually made me think ‘you greedy
bastard, you shouldn’t have done it."
ON THE RUN
What was your favourite
year of rallies?
There were so many good years and they all kind of blur. The year of
Strasbourg Euro-Lambretta (1989) was a good one because it was he first
year I went abroad with Scooter rallies. I always enjoyed the first year
when someone did something new like Holiday in Holland or Mersea Island.
I also liked it in the 80’s when Lowie started VFM because I’ve always
had a very wide ranging taste in music so it was very refreshing to go
to dos where it wasn’t all Ska, Soul or mod music. It was great to go to
a do where the DJ would play Talking Heads for me.
What about a favourite
That would probably be Isle of Wight for a couple of years ? between ’83
And your worst rallies?
Worst rallies are always Welsh. They have ridiculous bylaws like ‘No
Dancing on Sundays.’
"Worst rallies are always Welsh."
What is the furthest you have ever ridden on a
From Gloucestershire to Scotland, which I did more than once. I was
riding with about 40 other people who kept breaking down, so it seemed a
very long way.
Did you ever see an incident on the rallies
that made you really proud to be part of the scene?
Yes at Margate one year when there was lots of trouble with BNP or
whatever. What I was really proud of was that at the do when it was CS
gassed, that the scooterists chased them down the front and kicked their
What about an incident that made you wonder why
you were involved at all?
That will be IoW ’86, when the mob turned on the dealers. That felt like
your own family turning on you, even though my stall wasn’t touched.
We’d gone to bed quite early in the caravan and Annie woke me up saying
something has exploded, and I told her to shut up, but when we looked
out of the window there were all these gas bottles exploding in the
burning beer tent. People were going mad and it was obvious that they
were going to start coming through the dealer’s area. We’d locked the
dog in the van and Mick had the keys because he was sleeping there.
Annie took all the money and Sam in the pushchair and walked up through
the mayhem to the police. I went out with a lump of metal from the
stall. I’d decided that if anyone started attacking us, what I was going
to do was break the van window to get the dog out, and them me and the
dog were going to leg it. In the end Steve Foster and Cleggy came
running over to help me hitch up the caravan and we drove off the site.
I eventually found Annie in the Police station at Ryde with Sam at 3
a.m. We were no angels ourselves, and at previous runs we’d turned off
the generators in the beer tent and nipped in and nicked a couple of
barrels of beer while the lights were off. We’d been there and done
that, but without really harming anybody. It all got a bit out of hand
when they attacked the dealers and it was really upsetting. Ok so many
of them were making money at the rally, but most of them loved the
What was the aftermath of IoW ’86 for you?
Not long afterwards I got up on stage at a custom show just before the
prize giving and was allowed to make a speech. I’d already been critical
of Chris Burton’s involvement with the runs in letters printed in
Scootermania, but the events of IoW proved my point about scooter
rallies being taken out of the hands of scooterists. Some of the trouble
was the result of IoW rally being advertised in NME, which isn’t the
place to advertise scooter runs. I was sad to say that after IoW ‘86
Annie and I no longer felt it was safe to bring Sam on the rallies
because his life was at risk. He’d been on them since he was born.
Saying that made people think about the true seriousness of the
situation. YOU AIN’T SCENE ME, RIGHT!
What other aspects of the scene have you been
involved in such as the NRC/NSRA?
I used to go to the No1s meetings because Martin Dixon
asked me to. I didn’t go as a representative of Dursley Scooter Club
because I never wanted to be involved in that way. I didn’t want to be
the old geezer telling them what to do. The first one I went to was when
they had it on a rally. I couldn’t understand why Martin wanted me to
go, but I had something to say at that one, so I carried on going as
long as I was invited. From that I got invited to join the National Runs
Committee (the NRC were the pre-86 rally organising body) because they
wanted somebody to be a dealers rep. It was a pain in the arse because
basically I was a rent collector on the runs. We’d all agree what the
policy on stallholder charges would be, and then everyone would be
really tight about paying up. I think they only asked me because they’d
never had any problems with me paying. Then I realised it wasn’t the
same with all the other dealers. There were an awful lot of them who
seemed to resent putting anything back in, and I never questioned that
was what you did, because the rallies gave us our livelihood. I didn’t
enjoy that role at all. It was when I was on committee with Martin
Dixon, Ginger and Jeff Smith. It was when Jeff first became The Fuhrer.
I used to go up on Sunday to these meetings at Jeff’s house, and Martin
and I generally used to agree about most things and together we would
make decisions in committee and they would never be followed through.
Jeff would turn around and do the complete opposite. I was involved in
the decision to introduce membership cards after the riots at Isle of
Wight ’86. Back then I was in favour, but I would have dropped it a year
later. I thought the cards were needed for a year to cool things down,
but it did a lot of damage to the scene in the long term.
"There were an awful lot of them who seemed to resent putting anything
Were you also involved in the scooter magazines
in some way?
In the early days of having a stall, Stuart came to me when he was
setting up British Scooterist Scene just to see if he could sell the
magazine on my stall. It seemed like a good solution to me because
instead of closing the stall down every lunchtime to go down the pub, we
used to take it in shifts to man the stall and go down the pub. The
first issue was how I got to meet Bill Mac, because we were all staying
in the same B&B. We were all walking down the street in Scarborough
selling British Scooterist Scene ? which had union Flags all over it ?
and the police thought we were selling National Front literature. They
got quite uptight about it until we showed them what was in it. After
British Scooterist Scene became Scooter Scene, and Stuart sold it to
Myatt McFarlane (MMP), we thought that the magazine had been taken away
from scooterists. MMP sent a stall on the runs selling T-shirts with
pictures of hand grenades showing what to do with Japanese motorbikes,
and we thought they’d completely lost the plot. Bill and I knew that
Stuart was pretty pissed off when he left MMP, so I part funded
Scootermanic and Bill wrote it. It was only a modest contribution, but I
enjoyed taking photographs for it because I got my mates scooters in.
What is the funniest thing you’ve seen on the
I have no doubt about this. It was on our first Holiday in Holland run
at the big campsite in Ockenburg on the coast, where many on the
scooterists stayed for the week between the two rallies. We’d been down
De Golf bar on the beach all night and went back to my van with all the
tents camped round it for a drink. Three campsite security guards came
round on their bicycles to tell us to be quiet. While they were telling
us all to be quiet because some other campers were complaining, Mick
Clegg stole one of their bicycles and disappeared into the darkness. The
other two immediately jumped onto their bikes and went racing off after
him. For what seemed like a good hour we’d be sat drinking and Mick
would whiz past on this pushbike, ringing the bell, with these two
security guards puffing along some way behind him. We’d all cheer as
they went by, and then a few minutes later he’d appear out of the
darkness, skid up, throw the bike into the hedge and sit down with a
beer, and the security guards would ride past again. Then Big ‘Un got
his spanners out, nipped over the hedge and took the bell off the
bicycle. It went on till dawn with these security guards still trying to
find this stolen bike, and following the ‘dring dring’ of the bell, but
it was only Big ‘Un hiding in the bushes and ringing it.
What item from the scooter scene goes into Room
Mod ‘Christmas tree’ scooters. I rode down to Brighton one year with a
guy on a Christmas tree. It was Bank holiday and there was a six-mile
traffic jam and he couldn’t get his scooter between the cars, so we had
to just sit there in the traffic.
Have you ever been involved with scooter
No, the only one I had a part in was ‘Memorabilia’ for Vince from the
Olympics who worked on the stall. He wanted to do a scooter with my
patches on, and I said I’d got halves on the paintjob at John
Spurgeon’s. I got the original films of the patches that he wanted and
made screens of them and printed them directly onto the paint using
epoxy inks, which was quite tricky. Do you have a favourite custom
scooter? There isn’t a particular scooter, but there was a particular
guy who cracked it, which was Jeremy Howlett. When Jeremy brought Dazzle
out, it was like a whole new level. I think Glyn Dove’s bikes were
probably better, but Glyn’s would never have happened without Jeremy’s.
Even though he was throwing lots of money at his projects, you can’t
help but admire the meticulousness, imagination and workmanship. Having
said that, there’s been lots of scooters that I’ve liked which haven’t
had lots of money thrown at them: ones that are just incredible personal
"When Jeremy brought Dazzle out, it was like a whole new level."
What scooters do you still own?
None now. My last scooter was that T5 which my son Sam now rides, and
Luke’s 50 Special is still in my name. I used to have a lot of scooters
that needed a bit of work, but which I never got round to doing, so I’ve
owned quite a lot, but I used to pay £30 for them. If I still owned them
now they’d be worth quite a ridiculous amount of money, and I really
resent that. I think that is part of the death of what I liked about
scooter runs. Teenage kids can’t afford to buy them or insure them.
Although I would like to have a nice Lambretta, I simply refuse to pay
that much money. I really dislike this rich, middle-aged nostalgia
Have you ever seen a conflict between what you
got up to at the weekends and being a parent and now a teacher?
No, certainly not with my own kids, or the ones I
teach. I have more of a problem with the establishment, and what we are
supposed to teach them now. I will say that my time on the rallies has
helped me as a teacher because I have come across just about every type
of person on the runs, so no kid ever fazes me.
How have you coped with your celebrity status?
A few years ago when we went to IoW, when we pulled up onto the site the
Hardly Rideables all got down on their knees and prayed in front of the
van. It was funny in the mid-80s when one of my oldest mates who’d been
a mod with me in the 60’s came to a Yarmouth rally. He couldn’t believe
he was hearing people say ‘have you got your Paddy Smith yet?’ He was
thinking, ‘what, that git I went to school with is a brand name?’
Why did you give up?
The patches were in decline when I gave up in ’99, which is probably a
fashion thing. The runs had changed because it wasn’t about going on
every run any more. It was something that people got very obsessive
about during the most successful period of the mid-80s. It was about
going to every rally, getting every patch and wearing your patches with
pride to prove it. Inevitably as people get older and get different
commitments. There are other reasons too. I got a full-time job as a
school art teacher and that meant that I didn’t have the time or the
energy to do every rally anymore.
So does this mean we’ve seen the last ever
Paddy Smith patch and you have officially retired? I can
almost certainly say never again because that was then and now is now.
I’m an obsessive person and I like being totally involved in what I’m
doing, and I can’t imagine being totally involved in it again. I have
retired, but what I do like is that if I meet anyone who has anything to
do with scooter rallies in any country and they find out who I am, then
they are always nice. I don’t get the impression that anyone thinks I
was a shit, and that means a lot.
Brighton 1981, the year when ‘mod’ metamorphosised into ‘scooterboy’
( personally I think it was Scarborough Ed).
Yuri Gagarin joins dursley SC in the traditional scooter rally water
Even as far back as 1981 some scooters had astounding murals.
The custom Vespa Patriot in ’84. Paddy simply Tippexed round the scooter
to get the basic shape for next year’s patch.
Soul singer Eddie Holman sports one of Paddy’s T-shirts.
The usual suspects to be found manning the Paddy smith Designs stall
while Paddy was on the piss. He was absent so much that many people
mistook Bill Mac (Right) for him, which is something Paddy actively
Paddy and Sam on the run in ’84. Cardboard cutouts of his friend Mick
and VFM’s Lowie advertise the scooter T-shirts. Paul Weller does the mod
ones, ‘because I didn’t know any Mods’at the time.
Vince from the Olympics custom GP ‘Memorabilia’, complete with patch
designs screen printed straight into the paint.