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 (obsessively as
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 in Norwich.
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 theyʼre both
impoverished students!
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 was awful,
(shouldnt have called it sunrun) scooterists know how to party better than anyone else Ive
ever met!
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
Paddy
PS If you want a holiday down here check out our welcome at: www.hirondelles-gite.com
If you want to see my recent artwork: www.galerienexus.com
or my new (non scooterist) T shirts: www.tee47.co.uk

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
possibly have."

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 patch.

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 detail.

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 Panthers.

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 copyright."

What happened to your leftover run patches then?
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 run patch?
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 amusing.

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 scooter club.

"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 event?
That would probably be Isle of Wight for a couple of years ? between ’83 and ’85.

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 scooter?
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 arses.

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 scene.

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 back in."

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 rallies?
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 101?
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 customising?
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 projects.

"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 thing.

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 pistol fight.

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 encouraged.


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.

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