Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Carol Derry, Bill Fuller and the 4.30 Boutique┃430 Kings Road


While rewatching the dvd release of David Batty's 'My Generation' documentary a few months ago, I leisurely slowed down and paused on all of the fantastic archival footage filmed around Carnaby Street and the King's Road in the 1960s…which is exactly what I had wanted to do ever since frame after frame flashed before my eyes when the documentary—narrated and presented by Michael Caine, had screened at the IFI back in March 2018. Of the many images that caught my attention, one was of particular interest to me…it's just a cropped shot of a girl waiting on a friend outside Bazaar at 138a King's Road, Chelsea. She has already done some clothes shopping, but she hasn't bought them from Mary Quant…because as the camera panned across I noticed that the carrier bag she was holding came from 4.30 Boutique! 

The Sweet Jane blog ┃4.30 Boutique┃430 Kings Road

A carrier bag from 4.30 Boutique, 430 Kings Road, owned by Carol Derry and Bill Fuller.

What did I find so interesting about the sighting of this particular boutique's carrier bag you may ask?...because it doesn't look or sound like much, and was visible for less than a second. Well, 4.30 at 430 Kings Road, was owned by Carol Derry (26) and her boyfriend Bill Fuller (33)...and to my knowledge, for a period of time in the mid sixties they were the very first to trade as boutique owners at the now legendary location before 'almost' disappearing into complete obscurity. But thereafter, the landmark fashion outlet and the legacy of its future proprietors would be well documented and widely known. Beginning with Michael Rainey's 'Hung On You' after he had relocated from his Cale Street premises to 430 Kings Road in 1967, 430's reputation continued to gather momentum when it became Mr Freedom under the partnership of Trevor Myles and Tommy Roberts in 1969, that was followed by Trevor Myles' Paradise Garage in 1971, before completely changing ownership once more to become Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's Let it Rock in 1972, Too Fast to Live Too Young to Die (1973), SEX (1974), Seditionaries (1976), and lastly, it became known as the Worlds End in 1980, and it remains as such to the present day. 

The exterior of Hung On You, after it had relocated to 430 King's Road in 1967. There are quite a few photographs of the shop at its previous Cale Street address, but very few available of it at this location. I scanned this one from Paul Gorman's highly recommended 'The Look' - Adventures in Pop & Rock Fashion (Sanctuary Publishing Limited, 2001). You can view some further images and information about Hung On You at 430 Kings Road in one of my previous posts On the Boutique Beat

I can't be certain, but I think the very first time I ever heard of 4.30 Boutique was around twenty years ago. I'd seen it mentioned very briefly in a couple of books from the period about the scenemakers and boutiques in sixties London, one published in November 1966, the others in May and July of 1967. At this point I don't have an exact launch or closing date for the shop, but they were definitely still trading there during the same time period as Granny Takes a Trip, which had opened further along down the road at 488 in February 1966. But long before Carol Derry or Bill Fuller took over the lease at 430 Kings Road, the premises in its many previous incarnations had initially been residential before becoming a pawnbrokers for several decades, it was also a cafe run by Ida Docker in the 1950s, a yacht agency, and a motor-scooter dealership until they came along, indelibly altering its course and establishing its future in fashion.

4.30 Boutique, 430 Kings Road. The boutique opened Monday-Saturday 10.30 am-6.30 pm, on Thursday's it closed at 1pm, and on Friday's it was open until 8 pm. It mostly sold girls clothes and accessories, but also stocked a good range of trendy belts for men.

I'm well aware that there was an abundance of boutiques throughout London during this period, apparently another seven new ones opened in this area between November 1966 and January 1967 alone, many were short lived and have disappeared without a trace, but while others came and went, something about this seemingly unlikely location had staying power! So i've always thought that the acquisition of 430 by Carol Derry and Bill Fuller was such a pivotal moment in both the cultural and fashion history of the street that it was a shame there was no visual record to document their presence there...I have of course searched regularly over the years, but never found anything and eventually gave up until I'd spotted the carrier bag, which inspired me to give it another shot..and as luck would have it, that very same day I came across not just one but six photographs!...all of which were taken outside the 4.30 Boutique. The images above and below are just three examples of the six photographs which turned up for sale as negatives on Ebay a few months ago. 

These look like they may be outtakes from press publicity shots to me, and I also think that's got to be Carol Derry..and perhaps her partner Bill Fuller, although there is another guy visible inside the shop doorway and he's also in several of the other photos. However, I came across a snippet of archival information which mentioned that a 'Vivienne Parker' was also involved in running the boutique, but ultimately, it seems to be Carol and Bill's association with the shop that has just about stood the test of time. Carol was the daughter of the test pilot John Derry, who is believed to be the first Briton to have exceeded the speed of sound in flight in 1948, her boyfriend and business partner Bill Fuller, was an ex-naval officer. Other than this, very little appears to be known about them except that their clothes were the cheapest in London next to Biba's, and certainly the lowest in the King's Road. Carol created the clothes herself and they also stocked a range of imported French designs. Summer skirts cost from 25 shillings to 2 pounds, and dresses from thirty-nine-and-eleven pence to seventy shillings. Trouser suits averaged in price from eight pounds to eight-pounds-ten, and there was also an extensive range of accessories available. All of which mostly sold to their regular customers, largely made up of working class dollybirds who were prepared to spend between £6 to £10 pounds here every single week, in most cases that was probably about half or more of their wages...which astonished Carol Derry. 

I always try to accurately credit photographers, but in this case it remains a mystery…as does the date that the photos were taken. I had initially thought 1965, but if you take a closer look at the window, you'll see what looks like possibly three lp covers, or more likely three record company A&R promotional poster boards on display…it looks like The Beatles circa 1964 on the right, there's a Miles Davis promotional poster on the far left, and in the middle is Barbra Streisand with circa 1963 Barbra Streisand hair, or at least how it looked on the cover of The Second Barbra Streisand Album. As i've said previously, I think these photographs look outtakes from some kind of press publicity shots, perhaps connected to the big announcement painted on the window, and upon closer inspection of the note on the shop door, they appear to be opening a coffee bar at 2.30pm on Saturday.


The mysterious Bill Fuller no longer remains known only as Carol Derry's ex-naval officer boyfriend and business partner, and as it turns out, he is in fact the chap seen standing in the shop's doorway in the photograph above. I've come across quite a bit of new information on him since first posting about the 4.30 boutique a few days ago thanks to Steven Thomas, who happened to see a link to the blogpost on social media, and mentioned that Bill also ran the Spot restaurant in the Kings Road. 

So, after some further research, i've discovered that he was quite the entrepreneur and that the boutique was not his first or last business venture. After his naval career ended in 1955, he dabbled in farming for a brief period before giving it up and moving to London where he found employment as a copywriter at the Mather & Crowther advertising agency. But by 1962, he had started a portable florist business in Chelsea known as The Flower Bar (Paris & Lambert Ltd.), which he ran with his French wife Jeannine from the back of a converted and customised 1930s London taxi-cab that they had bought for a tenner, a business idea that British Pathé found both innovative and quirky enough to become the subject of one of their short newsreel films. However, his career path would soon after take yet another direction when Clement Freud hired him to run the catering operations at the newly revived Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, a role which would last for six consecutive seasons, and on the back of its success he would also acquire the catering concession at the popular La Discotheque in Wardour Street, and eventually began to make his mark in the culinary world. 

La Discotheque, 17 Wardour Street, Soho W,1., as seen in A Raver's Guide to discotheques, Rave Magazine, April 1966. 

At some point after 1962 his marriage to Jeannine ended, and he would later marry Carol Derry in 1967. It was around this time—which coincides with the closure of the 4.30 boutique, that he was invited by the impresarios Charles Ross and David Conville—managing director of the aforementioned Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, to open and run the Spot restaurant in the Kings Road, the first of three. He would eventually branch out on his own, becoming the sole owner of Spot III located on the Fulham Road. Upon his return to his native Yorkshire along with Carol and their children in 1979, he acquired The Drum and Monkey restaurant in Harrowgate, which he ran for the following 24 years before retiring in 2003.

Bill Fuller and his wife Jeannine selling flowers in Chelsea in 1962, from the back of a converted 1930s London Taxicab which they had bought for a tenner. I haven't managed to identify the model yet, but I think it may be one of the range of Austin London Taxicab's


(1967 - 1969)

(1). A rare photograph of the interior at Hung On You, 430 Kings Road, 1967, this was the changing room area. I had a conversation with former Hung On You employee Timothy Allen a few months ago, and he told me that the custom wallpaper design (just seen) was based on the wall mural in Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres's 'Odalisque, Slave, and Eunuch' (1839), the original painting which was previously known under the title Odalisque with a Slave, is currently held in the Harvard Art/Fogg Museum collection. 

(1969 -1970)

(2).The exterior of the first Mr Freedom outlet located at 430 King's Road, Chelsea, which previously operated as Michael Rainey's Hung On You before his departure from the premises in 1969. The refit was handled by the incredibly talented art collective known as the Electric Colour Company, and was carried out over a few weeks in July. The shop sign displayed the 'Mr Freedom' name in red and black concertina lettering embracing the planet earth, which was painted in blue and green against a yellow background. A flag bearing the comic strip profile of detective Dick Tracey in appliqué and plastic, rendered in the style of Andy Warhol's 1960 painting of the same image fluttered above a pole, and on the ledge over the shop there was a 50% life size hollow resin sculpture of 1940s Western movie star Roy Rogers on the back of his rearing steed Trigger, the refurbishment created the perfect pop art environment for Tommy Roberts and Trevor Myles new venture. 


(3).Trevor Myles on his flocked Tiger Stripe 1968 Ford Mustang outside Paradise Garage, 430 King's Road, in 1970. Photo: Tim Street-Porter.


(4). Sales assistant Addie Isman (centre), and co-owner/designer Vivienne Westwood outside Let it Rock, 430 Kings Road in 1972. Photo: Masayoshi Sukita.


(5).Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, 430 Kings Road, London, 1973.

(1974 -1976)

(7). The shop's legendary sales assistant Jordan, photographed standing in the doorway of Sex, 430 King's Road, London, Photo by Sheila Rock.  


(8). Seditionaries: Clothes for Heroes, 430 Kings Road, London.

(1980 - To Date)

(10). Worlds End, 430 Kings Road, London.  Photo by Paul Burgess.

Image Credits, Links & Further Reading

All images scanned by Sweet Jane from the following publications: Hung On You exterior and interior from The Look ― Adventures in Pop & Rock Fashion by Paul Gorman, Sanctuary Publishing Limited, 2001 edition. Mr Freedom exterior from Mr Freedom Tommy Roberts British Design Hero by Paul Gorman, published by Adelita Ltd, 2012. Trevor Myles/Paradise Garage from The Look ― Adventures in Rock & Pop Fashion by Paul Gorman, published by Adelita 2006...(yes, so good i've purchased it twice - this the recommended updated edition!). Let it Rock (1972) from Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly, published by Picador, 2014. Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die from Punka life apart by Stephen Colgrave and Chris Sullivan, published by Cassell & Co, 2001. Jordan outside Sex, from Boutique LondonA History, King's Road to Carnaby Street by Richard Lester, published by ACC Editions, 2010. Seditionaries  from Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly, published by Picador, 2014. Worlds End from Satellite Sex Pistols  by Paul Burgess & Alan Parker, Abstract Sound Publishing, 1999. 4.30 Boutique images courtesy of the Zafira88 Old Images Ebay Shop. 4.30 carrier bag screen shot via My Generation (Dir. David Batty - 2017). 

Discover more about the story of  Paradise Garage created by Trevor Myles and his posse of designers on the rebound from his first love Mr Freedom over on the magnificent Wonder Workshop. My review of Mr Freedom Tommy Roberts British Design Hero by Paul Gorman, published by Adelita Ltd, 2012. View some film footage of the Let it Rock stall at the London Rock 'n' Rock Show at Wembley Arena, 1972. Examples from the Seditionaries: Clothes For Heroes Mail Order form. Defying Gravity Jordan’s Story by Jordan and Cathi Unsworth published by Omnibus Press 2019. Punk's Original Provocateur - The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren by Paul Gorman, published by Constable 2020. More on the rise and rise of the fashion boutique in some of my previous posts: The Carrot on Wheels David Bailey's Boutique! (1965). The Birdcage Boutique Nottingham (1965). The British Boutique Boom (1966). Gear Guide A hip-pocket Guide to Britain's Swinging Fashion Scene (1967). Jenny Boyd on the Kings Road boutique beat in 1967. The Fool and Apple Boutique (1968). Apple, the Beatles' London boutique is the beginning of a whole new Beatle empire! (1968).  And finally, The Boutiques Business (1970). 

Friday, 20 March 2020

A Day in the Life of Cathy McGowan | Ready Steady Go! (1965)


Friday's always begin on Thursday night for me. I'm not strong-minded enough to be an early-riser, so organising make-up, shoes, spare nylons, a substitute outfit―in case the one I've planned to wear develops a hitch!―and one hundred and one other things must all be done the night before. Sounds highly organised, doesn't it? But it never is. By the time i've found some missing eye-shadow, answered a dozen phone calls and collected my wits it's usually hitting midnight! Friday morning Mum wakes me with a cup of tea―I always drink gallons of the stuff on Fridays―and with a bit of luck, and a dozen more calls from Mum, I'm downstairs. After a quick breakfast of toast and more tea, and a quick chat with Mum, I make tracks for the hairdressers. This is the one time during the day I can put my feet up and relax while my hair is drying.

Ready Steady Go! Cathy's Friday by Cathy McGowan (1965).

By 11 o' clock I'm winging my way across to Kensington and my dressmaker to pick up my gear for the show. An hour and two cups of tea later I head for the studios to meet the cast for a chat over sandwiches and coffee―tea for me. If Sandie's on the bill, no one gets a look in conversationally. We practically talk ourselves hoarse! One o' clock and I'm in my dressing room. I always lay everything out before rehearsals―so that at 5.30 when rehearsals finish, I can just hop into my clothes and put on my make-up. Rehearsals begins at 1.30. Everyone's always terribly friendly and the whole thing is very informal.

 Cathy McGowan winging her way across Kensington to pick up her gear for the show from her dressmaker, 1965.

At the hairdressers - Cathy McGowan (1965).

In between my interviews I chat to journalists, usually about fashion, have pictures taken and get hauled off to admire for instance, The Moody Blues' new stage suits. During one of the breaks the Director always tells me I'm blinking too much again on camera. I never realise I'm doing it, but it's only because I'm nervous. My boss usually has a chat with me and advises me on my interviews. All the time the Ready Steady Go! team is dashing about―''Keep talking, Cathy''. ''Can't find Sandie. Help!'' 

Cathy McGowan gets ready to host the Friday night show, 1965.

At 5.30 everyone is getting a bit keyed-up―30 minutes in which to change, make-up and be back in the studio! I always rush away saying ''I'll never do it―I won't!'' But I always do! 6.08 and we're away. I'm always worried if I'll fluff anything. Then honestly, it hardly seems the show has started before we're winding it up again for another week. Back in the dressing room, Phyllis, our wardrobe lady, is waiting with cups of tea and everyone relaxes. Sometimes I go to the Ad Lib club afterwards, or out to dinner with a couple of friends, but more often than not it's straight home to Mum for a chat―and another cup of tea

Cathy McGowan with Ready Steady Go! Producer Francis Hitching, 1965.

Cathy McGowan chatting with Ready Steady Go! Producer Vicki Wickham, 1965. 

Showtime! Cathy McGowan on the set of Ready Steady Go, 1965.

Cathy McGowan on the cover of Ready Steady Go (TV Publications Limited) 1965. 

All images scanned by Sweet Jane from the Ready Steady Go! book (1965), original Cathy's Friday feature written by Cathy McGowan, Published by TV Publications Limited, Television House, W.C.2., Photographer uncredited. View one of my previous posts about Cathy McGowan: Ready Steady Go! Cathy McGowan Raves about Barbara Hulanicki Rave Magazine (1964). Listen to Eyewitness to History Vicki Wickham's 60s: A first hand account of the Swinging 60s from Vicki Wickham, who edited the cult television programme Ready Steady Go! and, later, managed Dusty Springfield. Ready Steady Goes Live! No more miming as Ready Steady Go moves from Television House to Wembley in 1965. Ready Steady Goes The last ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’ is transmitted on December 23rd 1966, Here Francis Hitching, who has worked on it throughout, sums up. And finally, Generation X are in love with Cathy McGowan. 

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Jackie | Your long-read paper to brighten winter days! | Jackie Magazine (1970)



Marijke Koger and the late Simon Posthuma (1939 - 2020), founding members of The Fool Design Collective. Cover photograph by Frank Bez. Jackie Magazine, issue No. 318, February 1970.

John Lennon – Jackie Magazine poster, from Issue No. 318, February 7th, 1970. The photograph is one of the many taken during the Beatles final photo session around the grounds of John and Yoko's home at Tittenhurst Park, Berkshire, on the 22nd of August 1969 by photographers Monte Fresco and Ethan Russell, with additional pictures taken on the day by The Beatles’ assistant Mal Evans.   


When Elaine Bateson isn't serving in her brother-in-law's discotheque, she's serving other types of goodies in her sister's boutique. Elaine, a fair, slim, 23-year-old, has been helping Pauline run Leeds boutique, Togs, since it opened almost a year ago. Pauline and Elaine's fashion know-how stems from modelling experience. Pauline did a modelling course when she was 18 and Elaine models Togs togs in their newspaper ads. And she, herself, is one of the best ads a boutique could have! Pauline and her hubby, Leonard Cohen (no, not THE Leonard Cohen!) had their first Togs in Great George St., Leeds. This was a bit far from the raving scene, so, when the opportunity arose to take over an  old bakery shop in Briggate, they jumped at the chance, and landed smack bang in the middle of Leeds main shopping centre. Once they painted up the shop in striking red and black, they  were off to London to grab the pick of the clothes.

They certainly stock the best of the bunch, and Pauline and Elaine, being two very understanding people, try to keep prices down. Dresses range from as little as 79s 11d for a fine jersey-knit or cire shift, to £6 16s for something really special, in soft black velvet by Miss Impact, it's softly ruched on the top half of the sleeves and at the waist above a gathered skirt. Elaine loves loves working in Togs but her friends love her working there even more. It means they can choose gear in the comfort of their own homes. Every so often Elaine and her friends congregate in one house and they have a right old ''henny'' party, choosing and trying out all the latest clobber, hot from London. Kweens, Gay Girl, Jamie, Shar-Cleod, Slimma, and Gerry Finn are among the famous makes stocked at Togs. Also, local girl Wendy Smythe designs some fantastic blouses and skirts, made up in specially imported Swiss cotton. One, a cerise polo shirt with raised full sleeves, tied at wrists, looked fantastic teamed with Gay Girl flared pants in Courtelle. These are only 79s 11d. and give a super slim leggy look. Special feature is a row of matching buttons on the outside ankle. Sling a few chains round your middle ― 21 bob from Corocraft ― and off you jolly well go! Elaine and Pauline are full of bright fashion ideas. ''If someone buys a plainish dress,'' says Elaine, ''we suggest she tries trousers with it, or wears a few chain belts around her neck for a bit of difference.  ''But we don't put on the sales pressure. There's nothing worse!''

Elaine's favourite from the boutique was a Kweens navy jersey dress, with a Polo neck and long sleeves, it has two thigh pockets, piped with red, and cost £5 19s 11d. To complete the ensemble, as they say, a pair of pillarbox red tights from Ballito would really knock 'em out! For work, Elaine likes to wear casual separates. A Gay Girls herringbone skirt with a little button-down pocket and a putty coloured Shar-Cleod ribbed sweater was her rigout of the day. For a touch of zing she had added a bright neckerchief and hot-red, knee-length boots. Togs feature lots of super Shar-Cleod knits. A tiny twinset two-some, in red with contrasting Shetland pattern, was only 44s for the sweater, and 39s 11d for the waistcoat. Self-coloured, cable waistcoats are the same price and long-sleeved, pocketed cardies are 45s 11d. Skirts have the average price of 39s 11d in various shades of Courtelle, plaid, and tweedie ones with three buttons. All by Gay Girl. Another Wendy Smythe top I noticed was in fine creamy cotton with a pin-tucked, lace-edged jabot, lace-edged high neck, and long raised sleeves. Typically Victorian—imagine it with a wine velvet maxi! From Victorian elegance to present day disco swinging ­­– this Miss Impact tricel smasher with the swirly pleated skirt has a sexy low-cut back, and costs only £517s 6d. It's also available in gold. A super array of of Corocraft jewellery is on display at Togs, with rings from 9s 6d for chunky ones. Colorful elasticated beady bracelets are only 7s 6d. and delicate silver bands cost 25 bob. 


Break the rules in Regulation Gear! Jackie Magazine, Issue No. 318, February 7th, 1970.

Break the rules in Regulation Gear! Jackie Magazine, Issue No. 318, February 7th, 1970.

Break the rules in Regulation Gear! Jackie Magazine, Issue No. 318, February 7th, 1970.


Stockists of Gillian Richard dungarees include Marshall and Snelgrove­­­­­–Just In and all branches; Guys and Dolls, London and Manchester; Goodhams, Chiswick; Stop the Shop, King's Road.◼︎ Dorothy Perkins sweater from all branches or by mail order from Dorothy Perkins M.O. Dept.,Wokingham Road, Bracknell, Berks., adding 3s p&p.◼︎ Dollyrocker outfit from: Miss Selfridge and branches.◼︎ Shelana pinafore dress from Dickens and Jones; Kemps of Croydon; Calverts of Widnes; Miss Janet of Liverpool. ◼︎ John Craig shirt and trousers from Stop the Shop, Kings Road; Neatawear and branches; Barker's, Kensington. 

All images scanned by Sweet Jane from an original issue of Jackie Magazine, Issue No. 318, February 7th, 1970. Cover photo by Frank Bez. John Lennon poster photography uncredited. Fashion illustrations uncredited. View some of previous posts about The Fool Design Collective, Jackie Magazine, The Beatles, and Boutique fashion: Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly Boutique Sheffield|Jackie Magazine (1969);  Show Yourself In Your True Colours|Jackie Magazine (1971); Jess Down English Boy Ltd Model & Artist|Jackie Magazine (1969); Baby Doll Make-Up Woolworth's|Jackie Magazine (1969); Apple, the Beatles' London boutique is the beginning of a whole new Beatle empire|Rave Magazine (1968); The Hippie Hautes Couturières! Felicity Green on the Flower Power Fashion Scene (1967); The Fool's Paradise|Apple Boutique (1967); The Boutiques Business (1970); The Birdcage Boutique Nottingham (1965); The British Boutique Boom!|Rave Magazine. (1965). View interviews with the late Simon Posthuma, Pattie Boyd, Tony Bramwell, Edina Ronay and more about Apple Boutique, filmed for BBC Newsnight in 2008. And finally, visit The Fans of Jackie Magazine Facebook Group. 

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