Breaking the Rules

Youth Subcultures in Southend – the last 50 years

A Multimedia Journey through Youth Subcultures by Young People from Southend


“It felt as though it was a group of us against the world…” – Julie (ex-Hippy)

“As a younger man it was adrenaline rushing, to be with the pack, to run with the pack” – Lee (ex-Teddy Boy)

“It’s important to go through a stage where you break the rules and you try out new ideas because what people don’t realise is that it’s only by breaking the rules that you know what’s important in life”
– Martin (ex-Punk)

It’s one thing to break the rules. It’s another to break them in style. Breaking the Rules is an exhibition that represents a mixture of the past and the present – local young people utilising the latest technology to shed light on the past. Over the course of 6 months, Jonathan from Relate has been working with 4 different institutions across Southend – Futures Community College, Focus Connexions, The Priory School and The Chase High School.

By rediscovering such movements as the Mods and the Rockers, Hippies, Punks and Goths, students have brought half a century of Southend’s youth culture back to life. Explore a treasure trove of historical colour through interviews with local people, memories collected through photographs and interactive maps, an exhibition of donated vintage clothing and the full archive of materials available on the project website.

Breaking the Rules is a project organised by Relate South Essex and working in collaboration with

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Relate South Essex Tel: 0845 2709401

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