search for something...

search for something you might like...

Pam's Kind of Punk Diary #5: Punks not welcome at the local disco More back pages from the 70s punky days of Pam

Pam's Kind of Punk Diary #5: Punks not welcome at the local disco

More back pages from the 70s punky days of Pam

by Pam, Kind of Punk Diarist
first published: March, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

One of the gang had a motorbike chain in his hand and I was terrified that he was going to use it.

Punks not welcome at the local disco
Sunday 16 July 1978

(I was visiting T in Edinburgh)

We had brunch and then went down to the museum where we just looked around and then sat and watched.

In the evening we went out to Cramond where there was to be a disco in the church hall. On the bus were a few people obviously going to it and they seemed awfully young. Two boys were singing rude songs in the back of the bus which became monotonous after a while.

When we reached Cramond there was a whole trail of people walking down to the church hall so we just followed them. When we got there we went in and saw that we were just about the oldest there. We sat at the side and watched the boys doing their John Travolta acts- ridiculous, I mean! Two boys about three years younger asked us to dance and we refused with disdain! Soon we got up and went onto the stage. T asked the DJ whom she knew if he'd play some punk he said no not yet. Eventually he played one of the Sex Pistols singles and everyone cleared off the floor except the punks who were doing their own thing in the corner of the hall. We walked over to join in but everyone started closing in on the punks and looking really threatening. The boys on the boys and the girls on the girls. We just stood and watched really angry. We wanted to do something but didn't know what to do. The lights went on and they said if there was any more of this there would be no more punk played- no punk! It should have been no more rock and roll- the punks didn't do anything- it was also stupid and childish. When the punk began again the same thing happened- we left in disgust and furious. 

At the bus stop we waited for a while and then this gang of boys came along- one asked how we'd enjoyed the disco- we ignored him. Then a couple of older boys came along and started accusing the others of telling tales about them. One of the gang had a motorbike chain in his hand and I was terrified that he was going to use it- PA said another had a sledgehammer down his trousers! There was a bit of grasping of collars and shoving around but no one was hurt as the bus came fairly soon. I reckon the disco had been stopped after a fight among the non punks and we saw a police car come. We sat at the top of the bus and some of the boys sat at the back and addressed some crap to us. T made some comments back.

After this we went back and had baked potatoes with fillings – chicken, sweet corn then went and sat on a bench by the Links and ate then went back and bought some coke (to drink). We walked back with me pretending to be drunk and being particularly mad. We were walking along when this Jag stopped. With two men inside. They asked where the nearest chippy was. T pointed. We walked on. Then the Jag returned and drew up beside us- we thought they were kerb crawling and were terrified less they grab us- they only said that it wasn't there. PA told them another place- they said they'd been there. PA shrugged they moved on then slowed down – shriek- said goodbye and departed. We were shaking. We then proceeded to walk home.

Essential Info
← Pam's previous punk diary entry #4

Kind of Punk Diarist

Pam Cross kept a diary when she was a teenager. During the period when she first started going to gigs in the late 1970s in Scotland's central belt she would travel from her small, home town to Edinburgh and Glasgow to watch some of the well known and less well known punk and new wave bands of the time. These are her stories...
about Pam »»



All About and Contributors


Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]


If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]


Ooh Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha May 29th

outsideleft content is not for everyone