My Scootering Days - Cookie from Halifax


Every week we'll be asking one of you to share your Scootering memories. The good, the bad and the f**king freezing. From sleeping under caravans at Great Yarmouth to the Beach at Brighton and everything Inbetween. These memories wouldn't be so special without all the drunken nights, the breakdowns and the truly shitty British weather. 

Today we spoke to Cookie from Halifax
Photo - Me in the middle

First Scooter? 

In 1981 or 1982 I bought a PX125 then shortly after I bought an sx200 cutdown. The PX was a nice dark blue and the SX was a metallic brown.

How Much did it cost?

I think it was about £650 from a bike shop in Halifax town center called Cable Motorcycles.

How would you define yourself and why? 

I'd say I was probably a mix between a skinhead and a scooterist, I used to wear my Donkey Jacket and I was always in a Crombie, all the Mods had parkas which I never had and I didn't really like the Mod music I was more into the ska music and all the Northern Soul Stuff. I used to love Wigan Casino in the late 70s and would often head over there for a few allnighters.

What first got you into the scene?

I used to go into a pub in my local town, Halifax, called The Bull. Everytime I was in there it was just full of skinheads, all drinking and always having a laugh. One night I got chatting to them and they told me about Scooter Rallies, asking me if I wanted to join. At the same time a lot of my workmates were also getting into the Scootering scene in various ways so we all went out and bought our scooters around the same time.

We then used to all meet at the same place and scooter clubs from all around West Yorkshire would come and meet us every Thursday. We would usually end up in a strip club on Bradford Road called The Furnace. Good times!

Photo - A ride out to Bradford City Centre

Do you remember your first rally? 

I think it was Blackpool in 1982. It was a bank holiday and I loved it. Literally a couple of weeks later I was ready for my next one and we went off to Scarborough. I remember we never booked a hotel or bed and breakfast, we used to just set off and we’d just fall asleep anywhere, literally, we’d just sleep in phone boxes at the side of the road. If you were lucky you’d manage to pull a bird and stay with them.

Best Memory to do with the scootering scene?

A big thing I loved was the people, being with all the lads, having a really good time, a fun night out and a great atmosphere. It was brilliant, it was like a way of life, one bank holiday to another.

One time I remember we went to Blackpool. One of my mates Will couldn't ride a scooter and wanted to come along and see what it was all about. He was riding on the back of another mate. As we stopped for a rest and were all parked outside, he was showing off to all us lads, without thinking he cracked a scooter up, started revving the tits off it and accidentally let the clutch out by accident. His face turned pure white as he shot forward and was inches away from flying straight through a pubs double glass window. We were pissing ourselves for hours, his last words before it happened were ‘I can ride one of these piss easy’.

Worst memory of Scootering?

Sharing a hotel room at Isle of Wight with Mally (one of the lads in our old scooter club). He used to snore like a fucking pig. It didn't matter where we went. One year we went to Skegness and about 7 of the 8 tents were radiating with horrible painful snoring, it was like sleeping in a fucking pig stye. 

Things you miss the most?

Going out with all the local lads every Thursday night in the early 80s. Although I remember back in the late 80s I used to work on shifts and one Thursday I didn’t finish until 10 pm.  This particular night a load of lads from the local clubs ended up getting into a big brawl and smashing up a taxi rank. A load of them ended up going to prison and it was a bit of a wake-up call.

Photo - The incident in the local paper

Things you don’t miss?

The Fighting. When I talk about what used to happen at Scooter Rallies people nowadays think I'm exaggerating. I've followed Leeds all my life and seen some of the violence at the football games but sometimes the Scooter Rallies were just as bad if not worse. People used to jump other clubs and you'd have fighting between Scooterists, Skinheads, Mods and Rockers. We once went to Bridlington and ended up getting attacked by a gang of skinheads, it got to the point where people were bringing a van with bats behind the Scooter club to protect yourself from being attacked.

Another thing I don't miss is sleeping rough. In Scarborough I remember waking up in a park with families and people walking their dogs around us, no tent, nothing. Luckily our Scooters were left parked up with everyone else's on the front somewhere.

One thing you couldn’t go to a rally without?

I went everywhere with my Crombie. I used to get them in Burton's as there were three in our town center. I got mine specially made, it was essential because it kept you warm and if it rained you could put a bin bag on-top. Easy.

Photo - Top of Halifax Town Centre

Favorite Rally?

I have a few. I always used to love Scarborough, it was close, everyone used to have a great time. (when there was no fighting) Then later on Isle of Wight was great, it became more like a proper little holiday. A few of us went to Holland two years ago which was also great. We rode from Halifax to Hull then got the ferry over.

The Isle of Man was always a good one also except the year Edwin Starr was meant to be the headline act but he died a few weeks before. I believe it was a big rally to celebrate Lambrettas 50 year anniversary.

Worst Rally?

It was Skegness in the late 90s or early 2000s, it pissed it down and we were all camping, three days of constant rain, it was horrible. I came home after the first night. We were camped up in a Donkey Field. Selecta were playing that night which was great but there was Donkey shit everywhere. I felt like Shrek in his swamp.

The last rally you went too?

Holland. All the lads (we're all over 50) got some joints and we were all absolutely blathered. We had to walk one lad back to the hotel because he almost fell into the canal. 

Photo - One of the lad's side panels, painted by a lad called Gatch

What do you think has changed Nowadays?

It's changed for the better I think, you can go now and relax and have a good time and you know there's not going to be lots of fighting and it will be more family friendly. I remember back in the day, we were constantly looking over our shoulder all the time, you had to watch yourself sometimes riding around town because people would run out and kick you off your scooter.

What could help get younger people into scootering?

I don’t know, you’ve got to want to be able to do it. It's not just the scooters, it’s the way of life and I think you have to be invested in it. One answer could be for more clubs to put on local little music gigs and events to get people excited in it again. But then there is the cost of scooters going up also. I don’t think they can afford scooters to be honest and let's not forget, back then when you were 16 you could drive a 250 engine. Now you have to ride a 50cc until you turn 17 I think.

Photo - Again, Artwork by Gatch

Anything else you want to add? 

I remember when I was first doing my 'legal' test. There was a group of us taking it, driving around the cones, getting used to the bike and stuff. Anyway, the guy teaching us said to one of the lads. 'In a minute, I'm gonna put my board out for you and I want you to do an emergency stop.' The lad must not have heard him, the teacher jumped out, and the lad taking his lesson ran the bastard straight over. We were all pissing ourselves whilst the lad on the bike was shouting 'Why did you jump out in front of me you bastard'... He still passed him...

Photo - Bull Green Roundabout, Halifax

Okay Lastly, what are your Top 10 Scootering Tracks.

Frankie Beverly and The Butlers - If That’s What You Wanted

Roy Roberts - You Move Me

The Fascinations - The Girls Are Out To Get You

Eddie Holman - Eddie’s My Name

Al Wilson - The Snake

Kim Weston - Helpless

Edwin Starr Twenty-Five Miles

The Vibrations - ‘Cause You’re Mine

The M.V.P’s– Turning My Heartbeat Up

Gloria Jones – Tainted Love

If you want to share your scootering stories, message us on Instagram @vespaboyuk or drop us an email at vespaboyuk@gmail.com with the words My Scootering Days and we'll get back to you.

3 comments


  • Guy Collinge

    Great piece and story. As a young lad growing up in Halifax (without a scoot in those days) remember some of those great but torrid times with quality music but lots of trouble always round the corner.


  • Mik

    What a great idea. And loved reading the story


  • Chris

    Brilliant story, wish i had got into scooters earlier ,i have always been into music but the scootering would have been the missing piece of the jig saw of my life xx


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