Huntingdon Street squat, London, N1 – 1979 (Cini-film)

Thanks to Stewart (Jellyfish – shown above) for getting this amazing video together.

Please be aware that Ginny the lady who filmed it lived in Balls Pond Road near Dalston at the time.

Some outside footage is included in Stewarts edit of Balls Pond Road along side the edited footage set inside of the Huntingdon Street squat, which is along Caledonian Road near Kings Cross.

So two areas of London filmed and edited to one short film.

The editing is so good that I thought I should clear this up from the start in case you feel it is ‘set’ only in Ball Pond Road, Dalston, as the street signs would suggest!

Huntingdon Street squat 1979.

Witness this wonderful super eight footage by clicking on the link above

  1. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    June 8, 2008 at 1:16 am

    There were tears in my eyes during watching this. Such gentle people, so valiant. If you knew the stories…

  2. Stewart (jellyfishinthebath)
    Stewart (jellyfishinthebath)
    June 8, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Yes, despite the horror stories related elsewhere on this site, I think the vast majority of us (and certainly those of us at Huntingdon Street) WERE very gentle people. And sometimes – often – it felt like the might of repressed Britain was against us. And you know what? – (I know YOU know, Tony, just for anyone passing by who doesn’t…) – it may have been scary at times, but it was also empowering and liberating. Stepping out together as outcasts in our ripped clothes, make-up, and coloured hair – black and white, male and female, gay and straight, young and old – no-one caring what your past was, what you used to believe or do, all that mattered was who you were now and where you were going and whether you were with us or against us. And on the street you knew instantly whether someone was with you or against you. Some people crossing the road to avoid you when they saw you coming – scared? Or scared of becoming contaminated? I never wanted to frighten anyone – jesus, I couldn’t fight to save my life – but I still remember that powerful feeling of bouncing down the road on Doctor Marten airware soles and thinking I owned the world, that I could do anything… In fact, half the fun of it for me was being this scary-looking six-foot bloke in DMs with a mohican striding down the road who… hang on… is wearing make-up?!?! With nail varnish?!?! Who’s SMILING at me?!?! What the fuck?!?!
    We all move on – we’d be very sad people if we didn’t – but I’m still very much in touch with the anger I felt then at the injustice and oppression suffered by so many at the hands of so few. Many different people changed me for the better during those years (whether through positive or negative behaviour) and I genuinely feel blessed to have lived through that time. I remember very clearly that the reason I got my one tattoo (which is of the Angry Brigade symbol I have on the back of my jacket in the film) is because I was worried that at some point in the future I’d lose touch with who I really was, and I wanted a permanent reminder if I ever found myself losing my way in life. My interpretation of that symbol may be slightly different now, but I still look at it when I need to ground myself. I’m very happy with the person I am now, and I owe that to everyone who has been a part of my life and changed forever the way I live it.
    Sad as it may sound to some of you, I’m about to begin a new job in child protection as a children’s social worker (at the age of 46!) – and I hope to inspire as well as protect. For me, the seeds of change were planted by punk and everything that entailed – I hope to plant a few seeds of my own very soon…
    Je ne regrette rien… xxxxxxxx

  3. Stewart (jellyfishinthebath)
    Stewart (jellyfishinthebath)
    June 8, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    I posted a long reply to yours Tony, but it hasn’t appeared and I’ve had a long night shift and a long drink so I will do it again some other time… But yes, I think we were nearly ALL gentle people, and the better for it… x

  4. baron von zubb
    baron von zubb
    June 9, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I’d probably like to know the stories.
    But how moving. I dont know the folk involved but it really is something the way we are all being affected by this, and other threads.
    It doesnt matter that ‘our’ thread was popular or if any one reads or likes the barons prose.
    But what strikes me as special, is the depth of feeling its all bringing up.
    Incredible. Why is this I wonder?
    Is it because of the age we all were & the extremety of experiences? Or a middle age thing?
    Or is it because of the way we can communicate online without seeing the other people as they are now?
    Still its a phenominan.
    And I’m really glad that I have come across it.
    I’d love to read you’re long reply Stu.

  5. martin
    June 10, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    the girl with the blonde backcombed hair,is that sue?

  6. Stewart (jellyfishinthebath)
    Stewart (jellyfishinthebath)
    June 10, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Hi all! Yup, that’s Sue! And I’m touched someone would want to read my long reply, lol – I’ll try and post when I can! 🙂

  7. baron von zubb
    baron von zubb
    June 10, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Read it and saw myself.
    Gentleness is an admirable quality, that if i’ve come to it at all, i’ve only reached fairly recently. Tony Puppy once gave me a buddhist punk badge. How insightful that was.
    Good on yer Jelly

  8. Jah Pork Pie
    Jah Pork Pie
    June 11, 2008 at 2:07 am

    @Stu-> Beautiful post. You’ve summed up the whole thing for me there. I’d like to think that the gentleness I learned is with me still. And no, it doesn’t sound sad that you’ve got that job. If anyone knows about protecting people, it’s got to be our people from our times.

    And we DID change Britain. Just a little bit, but noticeably. And I’m proud of it.

    Just one thing (and this may just be from personal experience from people I’ve known in the 90s): I don’t think we necessarily have to move on. That involves forgetting. We have to grow, instead. Keep what we’ve got and use it, and learn some more.

  9. Phil
    June 11, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Huntingdon St was a real golden era for me. Things started to feel more safer than the days of Campbell Buildings the glue and tunol were replaced with the return of speed and lots of acid and i started to explore my/our politcs
    in a lot more depth.
    I dont think i wanted to frighten anyone being a Punk but i certainly wanted to shock people out of there complacency.

  10. Jah Pork Pie
    Jah Pork Pie
    June 11, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    @Phil->The only person I ever intentionally frightened as a punk was a teacher from my old school (the grammar-turned-public where they were all bastards to me, described earlier). Me, Wank Stain and (I think) Dave Ferguson were walking along the King’s Road and who should we see but this English Lit teacher who had been a particular bastard to me about 4 years earlier. He’d dropped a 2-foot pile of heavy-bound textbooks on my head from about 2 feet above my head for next to nothing. It hurt. And that was on top of the usual slipperings, canings, laps of the playing fields, humiliation, etc etc. It was a PURE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY!

    So we crossed over the road and started following him. First about 10 feet behind him, staring straight at the back of his head. He turned round and saw us. 3 punks, pretty aggressive looking. Chains and studs etc, plus DMs. And of course I was a foot taller then when I was being bullied by him at school. He stopped. We stopped. He started walking again and we got closer till we were about 3 feet behind him and started (once we could stop giggling) talking tough and loud enough so that he could hear us about what we were going to do to him once he got down towards the World’s End.

    He started stopping at various shops, waiting to see if we’d walk past. We stopped right next to him and kept staring him out. He started walking into shops, pretending that he was going to buy something. We just waited outside for him and started talking about him louder: “Oi, cunt, we’re gonna have you. You like beating up on little boys do ya? Wanna have a go at us 3 do ya? They’re not gonna recognise you when the ambulance comes”. That kind of thing!

    Eventually, with the bend in the road towards the Seditionaries and then the World’s End looming, he decided that he had to make the big decision. Now, remember, this was the days in which the Body Shop on the King’s Road was the almost exclusive preserve of some very tough sisters indeed. Boiler suits, crops and ATTITUDE. Not the kind of women who wanted their space invaded by some bedraggled pervy looking old twat who was breathing too heavily! He decided that this was the best of his 2 possible fates though, and went in. He fucking soon came out of there when they turned on him too!

    Anyway, we kept up the pursuit, him now walking faster and faster awaiting his fate. Just past Seditionaries we decided to put him out of his misery…

    We walked past him and stopped in front of him. He was quivering with fear, not at all like the vicious bastard he was when he had his teaching gown on. He was shaking so much he couldn’t even get the cigarette into his mouth properly (and he was a chainsmoker, even in class [don’t forget, that was the 70s when anyone could smoke anywhere]). Just another inadequate arsehole who got off on inflicting his problems on kids because someone had given him the authority to do so and because he didn’t have the balls or the brains to work in the big world outside. He went to get his wallet out (presumably he thought it was just a mugging) but I stopped him.

    “Your name’s Cuddon, innit? Jack Fucking Cuddon?”.

    “Er…. no, I think you may have mistaken me for somebody else”. Sweating.

    “No I haven’t you dirty bastard, you teach at E****** School. You don’t remember me though do you pal?”

    “…. No, I’m sure you’re mistaken… please…. don’t… “. Pleading. This was good.

    “You nearly broke my fucking neck when I was little. And you don’t remember that now I’m big, do ya? Have you moved on to some more little kiddies now, you sad wanker?”

    “…please, no, don’t….. I’m only….” I think he would have given us anything and everything he had in the world at this point. I remember thinking that this must have been how he felt every time he walked into a class… Powerful. The bastard.

    “Anyway, you know what I’ve gotta do to ya now, doncha? You know you’re gonna get what you deserve?”

    … and with that I swapped back into the nice public school accent him and his mates had spent 4 years spending their every moment smashing into me, smiled and gave him a very firm handshake, and said “Jolly nice to see you again, hope you enjoy your afternoon’s constitutional. I’d make it a more gentle stroll though, it’s far too warm a day to walk too briskly. Do say hello to the chaps at school for me, won’t you”.

    And we walked off pissing ourselves laughing. I like to think that it might have taught him a little lesson of some kind! Which kind of made me a teacher!

  11. Phil
    June 12, 2008 at 8:27 am

    I remember when scrutiny guards would start to follow me in shops and i would turn the tables and just start shadowing them!
    Had great fun winding up authority figures.

  12. Stewart
    June 12, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Lol! Right, got that book today which mentions Huntingdon Street (I know it was on another thread, but I can’t remember which one and this one seems the most appropriate anyway). It is called “Prejudice And Pride, Discrimination against gay people in modern Britain” edited by Bruce Galloway, published 1983 by Routledge and Kegan Paul, copyright the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. ISBN: 0-7100-9916-9 (pbk.) The author of the “At home” section is Anna Durell, and the part she includes about gay punx and Huntingdon Street (not mentioned by name) and quoted earlier is indeed written by Pip: it is referenced “P.Smith, unpublished report to Gays in Housing for the ‘Crashpad’ report.”

    Hope that’s helpful to anyone interested (though obviously it would have been more helpful if I’d put up a link to the text, but I have no idea where it is and can’t do that anyway, so tough…) 😉

  13. Wog
    December 15, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    I’ve only just found this site, stumbled on it by mistake, just like I stumbled into Puppy Mansions and Huntingdon St 25+ years ago, and it’s totally broken me down. I’m so blown away at the memories of you all. It was about the first time in my life I felt safe, and the first time I felt I had a family that understood me. You all gave me my education, and encuraged me to explore, my mind, my power, my sexuality, without judging me, Things changed later on, but those first two years of being in the Puppy Collective and visiting Huntingdon St, Tollington Way, Baston Rd, and on and on… Oh I’d been Punking for a while and had lived in Campbell Buildings etc a couple of years before but that was not nurturing, that was angry. The only person I’m still in contact with from then is Australian Jessica, who lived with Ruthless at Campbell Buildings and she has 100’s of photo booth pics of people (was amazed when I saw proper photos here, I only remember Val Puppy havin a camera), Phil, Pip, Cory, Irish Stew, Bob Short etc etc and once in a while we go through them and wonder who is left alive? So happy to have found this site, hope to meet up with people who remember me, It was an Oasis of love in a decade of hate for me. Big love to you all.

  14. John No Last Name
    John No Last Name
    December 15, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Wog,

    I’m really happy to see you posting on here, welcome back!!!
    In case you were wondering which John this is, the first of two houses on Offord Rd, Islington, with Cory, Matt, Gary, Ripper etc. I saw Val in the summer and we both were asking about you, so it’s good to hear you made it through.

  15. luggy
    December 15, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Hey Wog, great to hear from you, it’s been a long while. Look forward to you coming to a Puppy meet-up soonish. If you’re interested, The Turdburglars song about you is on here somewhere:

    Don’t know if you still wear pointed shoes though!

  16. mark m
    mark m
    December 16, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Hi Wog Great to hear from you. Often wondered what became of you. Theres a good pic of yourself in the albums on the way to the Centro tripping on the tube. Its often made me laugh over the years. Likewise I was blown away on finding us all again after so long. Perhaps we’ll see you one of these days and catch up properly.

  17. Wog
    December 17, 2008 at 1:18 am

    oh oh oh this is tooo mad, not been able to sleep too much last two days as when I put my head down, I seem to find my self in a screening room, showing the early ’80’s; walking from West Hampstead to Stoke Newington in snow, London Fields, Offord Rd, crazy colour every where, makeup, stretch jeans and pointy shoes with leopard skin cloth wrapped around the ankles… Memories of the Music Machine… no a water mill near Oxford, eyelashes singed from blowing flames, taste of paraffin in my mouth. Knitting holey mohair jumpers with smarty tube needles, get up and dig out some vinyl for sound track, Blood& Roses E.P., Mob, Zoundz, Wasted Youth, Basement 5 etc… and as the sun comes up, though its been so many years I can still taste the North London industrial sulphate in the back of my mouth, then the urge hits me to put on some New Age Steppers or Lee Perry heavy dub… shout “alf a mix” out my window and float off…
    Yep Lugworm, will def come to next reunion xx too all
    I remember it and you all… just not in the right sequence, names and faces a little muddeled up.
    Thank god you were all there.

  18. Penguin
    December 17, 2008 at 1:27 am

    You should like a lot of the vinyl and cassette material I upload on this site WOg by the look of your comment above. It will take you an age to get through it all though! Well over a year of downloads since Tony D asked me to help out with this side of the site. There are many many writings by folk like Bob Short etc on this site that may interest you, as well as a fair few browsers (a lot of people you would have known) commenting on all kinds of posts. Have you got a free six months to read them all?
    If you want Campbell Buildings horror stories start with the 750 odd comments on the Chris Low Obscure Punk Tape post linked below.

    KYPP reunions have occurred three or four times this year. Next year will be the 30th year aniversary of the fanzine so maybe a few decent get togethers throughout 2009.

    All the best.

  19. Wog
    December 17, 2008 at 1:38 am

    was just on your my space Penguin, but my old eyes are starting to fade

  20. Stewart
    February 18, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Thought I’d post these links here as well ‘cos closely connected to Huntingdon Street –

    here’s Pip playing with the Managing Directors on their tour of Sweden in Sept 1983 and here’s me massacring Rock ‘n’ Roll at the same gig

    I know neither of them are their reggaeish stuff, but still give a good idea of the times… 🙂

  21. Ian
    February 19, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Great DBC t-shirt, still got mine.

  22. Stewart
    February 19, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Any ideas where I can get a DBC t-shirt now, anyone????

  23. Stewart
    February 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Thanks Ian! Funnily enough, I think I just bought the last copy off eBay! But thankyou for looking and posting… 🙂

  24. Stewart
    August 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    What a good-looking bloke in that photo. Anyone know where I can get in touch with him?

  25. Penguin
    August 5, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Phil R can probably help you find yourself Stewart. He knows everybody and everything ‘cept Oscure Latin Swear Words, which by his own admission he is slightly rusty on.
    And I have just remembered something coming up soon which you are cordally invited to attend…

  26. Stewart
    August 6, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Oh my god!!!! How did you know it was me?!?! 🙂

  27. hughpenzance
    June 4, 2010 at 7:39 am

    ha, remember it well pip stu quick phil n the rest. good people, amazed to see meself in the vid after all this tyme hope all are still standin against the tide….

  28. hughpenzance
    June 4, 2010 at 7:51 am

    wonder how many ov us still left standin?

  29. Stewart
    June 4, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Hugh! Yes, who would have thought THAT cine film had survived. Probably a boring story which I will bore you with one day… Good to see YOU’VE survived! There’s more of us than I ever thought possible… 🙂 x

  30. MorganScorpion
    June 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Still standing, on a stick mainly.

    Met Cory in the Hope and Anchor one night and he brought me home. It was that or the street.

    Survived homelessness in London. Ended up in the civil service, after University. Now on the sick, recording audiobooks for free.

    Glad so many of us made it.


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