Bodgies and widgies, leatheries and teddy boys

Helena has kindly lent me The Gap: A Book to Bridge the Dangerous Years.

A terrifying account of how in 1962, Perth’s parents had caused teenage delinquency to spiral out of control, and how the world would probably end because mothers were working and fathers were enjoying a pint in the pub.

Firstly, just admire Paul Rigby’s fine portrayal of the Narrows and Perth skyline.

Then, to whet your appetite for a short series of how people born in the 1940s were never going to grow up to be responsible adults (are you listening mum?), a quick taster:

In the office of Inspector C. E. Lamb at CIB headquarters, Perth, is a big box which could well be labelled “Remember.”

For in a mute, concentrated form it represents the highwater mark of juvenile delinquency as it loomed in this city three years ago.

That box and its contents are kept as a constant reminder of what was, and what could be again.

It is packed with a firm collection of in-fighting weapons.

Zip guns, flick knives, knuckle dusters, slashing dress rings, honed bicycle chains, timing chains, coshes… they are all there.

They were taken from bodgies and widgies, from leatheries and teddy boys, from plain larrikins.

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