Sunday, September 27, 2020

Lord Bonkers' Diary: When teddy bears terrorised Britain

Lord Bonkers peered over my shoulder at the Liberator website. "It says there 'the film Rock Around the Clock,' but I think I meant Blackboard Jungle. That was the one that got all the teddies stirred up. Be a good chap and change it here."

"The ethics of blogging require..."

"Remember, your rent falls due on Lady Day."


A correspondent asks for my memories of Britain in the 1950s. I reply that the decade is perhaps best remembered for what the teddy bears got up to. It all began at showings of the film Blackboard Jungle, where they slashed the seats, threw bottles and fireworks, and put in shop windows. Soon they were being denounced as hooligans and criminals – I remember writing a trenchant editorial for the High Leicestershire Radical along those lines myself. 

It was an old Chinaman who put things right: apparently some child had made the mistake of feeding his teddy after midnight and that had led to all the disorder. After the headmaster of a leading prep school went on to Children’s Hour to forbid this practice, there was no more trouble from the ‘Teds’( as they had become known).

Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South West, 1906-10.

Previously in Lord Bonkers' Diary...

No comments: