Fundraiser launched for rocker film featuring Hackney Wick’s famous 59 Club

Fr Graham Hullett, who founded the motorbike section of the 59 Club, with members.

Fr Graham Hullett, who founded the motorbike section of the 59 Club, with members. - Credit: Archant

Hackney Wick’s famous 59 Club is set to feature in an animated documentary about rocker culture – if enough money can be raised to fund it.

Throughout the 1950s and ’60s, rockers swept through British society with their raucous fun, motorcycle fumes and rock ‘n’ roll music.

Now director Chris Michael Tew is trying to bring their story to life with his film, Dog Collar Rockers.

The 59 Club, a world famous biker hangout, was founded at the St Mary of Eton Church at the height of the rocker scene. Its success was down to the work of Fr Bill Shergold and Fr Graham Hullett, who started the motorbike section of the club in 1962.

Chris said: “The church was a place for wayward youths to find something they couldn’t find elsewhere. Somewhere to belong.”

Using a combination of animation and the voices of six people who lived through the rockers’ post-war heyday, Chris will recreate the era and the locations so central to the subculture such as St Mary of Eton Church, Chelsea Bridge Stall and The Busy Bee diner in Watford.

“Atty” is one of the Rockers that the documentary will focus on. In support of the documentary he said, “We’ve lost some good mates and their stories have gone. We can’t let this rocker story die. That’s why we need to make this film now.”

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Chris needs to raise £8,800 to make a teaser trailer for the film. This can then be used to get backing from a major studio.

So far the fundraiser has been live for over two weeks and raised around £1,000.

The Spirit of 59 Club, a splinter group from the original club, has thrown their support behind the project and has already contributed £340.

“We wear leather jackets now but people have forgotten wear it all comes from” Chris told the Gazette. “With this film a younger generation can relive what it’s like to be a rocker. It’s a way to connect with those from the 50s and 60s.”

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