Coffee Bar

  • Theme - Leisure
  • Year - 1961
  • Location - Bury St Edmunds
  • Filmmaker - Boudica Film Club


This clip is taken from a Digital Heritage/Reel Heritage in Education documentary called 'My Generation' focusing on the post-war evolution of teenagers, the youth subcultures that emerged and exploring the ‘moral panic’ that challenged authority and gave youths a new identity. Narrated by Arthur Smith. Check out the 'Education' page for more information on this special educational resource.

Coffee Bar is a fictional drama made and performed by the Boudicca Film Club, who were based in Newmarket. The main theme of the film was street violence among teenagers, focusing of the causes of the clashes between rival gangs, being reported in the press in the 50’s.
In this edited version of the film, young people arrive at the Black Cat cafe in Newmarket, on motorbikes and scooters. Most are wearing hairstyles and fashions in the style of rockers or teddy boys. Inside the Black Cat, one group of lads behave badly, piling up cups. When the gang leader‘s advances are rejected by the girl he tries to "pick up”, the gang take their revenge by beating up her boyfriend in one of the back streets as he makes his way home.
The Black Cat was in the High street in Newmarket and was a popular cafe for young people at this time, as it was among the first to have an espresso coffee machine and a jukebox.


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