For some reason this documentary popped into my head today. I can vaguely remember watching some of it on its original broadcast (shot in summer 1984, screened in February 1985. I was 14 in Feb 1985) but I would imagine that either bedtime encroached (I had a paper round to get up for) or one of my parents perhaps thought it was a bit racy and I was ordered to bed. What really got my appetite flowing for it though was when Johnny Vaughan talked about on a TV show about TV a few years ago. And now some complete and utter genius has put the whole thing on You Tube.The Outcasts tells the story of a group of bikers (like Hell's Angels but not allowed to call themselves Hell's Angels) in Great Yarmouth. They're led by a guy called Tramp, or Bobby to his mum (pictured below). Tramp likes his bikers to be rough and ready, but not too rough and ready. He doesn't allow anyone to claim the dole if they're capable of working. And if you are capable of working then he'll find you employment at The Outcasts' burger van. The burger van is there to raise money for the club and help pay fines and for solicitors. Indeed, fines and court appearances seem to be an occupational hazard for the gang. Apart from the burger van, the other un-rough-and-ready aspect to The Outcasts is that they have their own cheque book held at Lloyds Bank.
Not just anybody can join The Outcasts though, no sir! First you go through a period of 'hanging about' as your introduction to the gang. Then you have to go through different ceremonies and initiations before you're fully accepted and receive your 'Top Rocker', 'Bottom Rocker' and are allowed the club tattoo.
Tramp even goes so far as to inform the local police inspector when they're having a party. "Watch what yer doin" the inspector tells Tramp down the phone. "Oh, we will" Tramp replies, before adding "There'll be no messin' around wi' wood". This refers to a previous party when gang member Wulf was killed in a freak non-motorcycling accident. One of the gang is a qualified embalmer so did the honours for the funeral. The embalming process presented difficulties as half of Wulf's head was missing. Oh dear.
What I love about this is that it's a snapshot in time (check out the Squezy washing-up liquid bottle and old Heineken tins). I mean, you don't see proper grebos anymore. And I mean proper grebos, with chromed German helmets and a general air of muckiness. The last time I saw any Hell's Angels was a few years ago when me and my sister went to see Hayseed Dixie at a local festival. The St. Ledger chapter of Doncaster Hell's Angels were out in force there but everything was just a bit too clean. They had haircuts. Not right. Take it from me, there are men who attend heavy metal festivals these days wearing make-up. Bloody make-up! Can you imagine wearing a man wearing make-up in front of Tramp? No, it doesn't bear thinking about.
Anyway, keep watching because this edition of 40 Minutes will be discussed on Did You See..? (remember that? Ludovic Kennedy? Ben Elton: "Did You See..? Yes, I bloody well did see, thank you") and there's footage of a youthful Dougie Donnelly presenting the World Indoor Bowls Championships for afters. Terry Sullivan of Wales won in 1985, if you're interested. Before he went on to be in Brookside.
So, please watch 40 Minutes: The Outcasts, you won't regret it. But I'll warn you, watching this will make you want to join The Outcasts, they're that likeable.
And you have to love any TV show that puts this over the opening titles, don't you?