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People of Punk bring the year of celebration to an end

21 September 2016


Museum of London

1 October 2016 – 15 January 2017

FREE exhibition

Punk.London, the year-long festival commemorating forty years of the enduring influence of punk across London is drawing to a close but it’s not going quietly.

Following a summer that has seen a punk themed closing weekender at the Design Museum, Don Letts’ curated film season at the BFI and even provoked Viv Albertine to graffiti in the British Library, there’s still more to come. A new exhibition and a high-profile debate mark the beginning of the end of this eventful year.

From handmade mixtape sleeves and DIY fanzines, to the radical clothes sold on the King’s Road, the Museum of London’s new exhibition, Punks, will tell the stories of ordinary punks of the late 1970s. In 1976 punk crashed into London and changed music, fashion and attitudes forever. In a move away from the big names of punk, the Museum of London invited people to share their punk tales and lend or donate their memorabilia to be part of this exhibition.

Punks featured in the exhibition, include:

Lesley Edgar had always been interested in fashion, so when punk arrived she embraced the opportunity to push the boundaries with what she wore. Shopping in jumble sales and markets, clothes would be customised with chains and safety pins. Tartan kilts and men’s string vests formed her look. Lesley cut the sleeves off t-shirts to turn them into mini dresses, which she wore with fishnet tights or homemade plastic trousers.

Trev and Bev met in 1978. They were both fully immersed in the punk scene, spending their weekends on the King’s Road and at gigs. Buying clothes in second hand shops, or hanging out in the Chelsea Potter, they embraced the sense of community that punk brought. Nearly 40 years later they still go to gigs and hang out with the friends they made in the 1970.

Zoe Neale was introduced to punk by her friend Jane. Bored of the prog rock that dominated the early 1970s, Zoe loved the energy and pace of punk. As she lived in the suburbs, she’d have to travel into London to attend gigs, and was a regular at the Marquee. Always experimenting with different coloured hair, her parents were appalled by her appearance, but eventually accepted her love of punk.

David Black was attending college in Norwich when he first encountered punk. He’d make trips into London to buy clothes, treating himself to a Destroy t-shirt from Seditionaries and a bondage shirt and mesh tie from Boy. Dave treasured his Destroy top and didn’t mind spending a lot to own it. But shopping on the King’s Road meant dodging the teddy boys, who were often looking for a fight

Jen Kavanagh, curator of Punks at the Museum of London, said:

“Punk was so much more than just the music. It was a philosophy, a lifestyle, a community. The 17 incredible people who have contributed to this exhibition talk about their punk days with so much passion and affection and we wanted to get this across in the stories we display. Punk touched the lives of teenagers and young people in London in 1976, and for many it changed their lives forever.”

The museum will also be holding a live, no holds barred debate in November this year, bringing together opposing ideas and arguments about the ideas of punk, its journey over forty years and what it means for the future. A high profile line-up will be announced soon.

Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said:

"Kicking and screaming, punk quickly established itself as a voice for youth culture. The upcoming exhibition at the Museum of London, and the whole Punk London year, looks at the stories of individuals who embraced the world of punk; from fashion to music and politics - how the power of punk changed their lives."

Further information about the Punks exhibition:

Further information about all other events can be found at



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About The Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

The museum is open daily 10am – 6pm and is FREE to all, and you can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 90,000 objects with more being added.

About Punk.London

Punk.London, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), is a year-long festival of events, gigs, exhibitions, performances and film that celebrates 40 years of punk in the Capital - a movement that changed the face of music, culture, art, politics and fashion forever.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery @HLFLondon