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Sunday September 23rd 2018

The Leather Boys | 1964

The Leather Boys filming location: Ace Cafe, London
The Leather Boys filming location: the biker hangout: Ace Cafe, London

The marriage of young Reggie (Colin Campbell) to Dot (Rita Tushingham) is rocky enough, when gay biker Pete (Dudley Sutton) comes along to confuse the poor lad in this slice of working class Sixties life, filmed entirely on location in the UK by Canadian Sidney J Furie.

The holiday camp in which Reggie and Dot spend their less-than-idyllic honeymoon is the old Butlins Camp at Bognor Regis on the south coast of West Sussex. If you fancy it, there’s still a Butlins on the site, though by the sound of it – “three contemporary resort hotels, a funky spa, restaurant by a celebrity chef...” – there've been a few changes in the last 50 years or so.

The biker café was the Ace Café on London’s North Circular Road. Built as a lorry stop in 1938, and rebuilt in 1949, its 24-hour service led to it becoming a legendary biker hangout.

It closed its doors as a café in 1969, to reopen as a tyre warehouse, but after a long campaign, the Ace was bought and is now open again. It’s on the A406 North Circular Road at Beresford Avenue, near Stonebridge Park tube station.