OldCiren - Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK
Cafes – Greasers and Mod haunts.
Meeting a friend in town for a Coffee the other day, I remembered a time when there were very few places you could actually go to at all for a Coffee in Ciren. I remembered, in the 1960’s there was the Castle Grill were you could be sure of tea, and also coffee, which in the 60’s was a far less popular beverage than it is now. The Castle Grill had two sides; a coffee bar mainly for the youngsters and a “posh” side where you could sit at a proper table and order a meal. The coffee bar in the 1960’s was primarily the haunt of the motorcyclist or “Greasers” as they were known at the time while Scooter riding “Mods” went elsewhere. As a part-time “Greaser” at the time, I have no idea where the Mods actually went, but I guess they went to the Copper Kettle café a little way further down Castle street. Readers will probably correct me on this, but the Castle Grill had the only jukebox in town and for a “tanner” (6 old pence) you could select a record from the latest hits – as long as the owner had filled it with them that week from Carrols Record Shop in Cricklade Street.
The “Greasers” and the “Mods” in Ciren largely dropped away as the 1960s progressed and by 1967 “Flower Power” had started to drift into Ciren in its place. Many of us teenagers were by now sporting Bell bottom trousers and floral pattern shirts with wide collars. It was time when you had to “ Be there or be Square” and the “there” place to be in the late 1960’s was no longer the Castle Grill; it was the Mad Hatter Café opposite the Grill where you could sit and drink frothy milky Coffee at twice the price you used to pay over the road.