Memories of life for teenagers in Epping Forest in the 1960s were rekindled by the publication of a book we reported on ten years ago this week.

The years when teenagers in winkle pickers riding scooters filled pubs and coffee bars in Epping Forest have been revived in a new book.

Alan Hammond was one of the Mods who toured the area’s youth clubs and village halls during the 1960s, finding the latest bands and meeting girls.

“All these places would have little youth clubs and they had their own bands,” he said. “A lot of the bands in the 1960s started off that way.

“We used to go to the Kings Oak in High Beech, and the Wake Arms. There was always good music there.

“We would also go to Theydon Bois. There was a good youth club there.

“There were lots of church youth clubs and people think that’s naff now, but it wasn’t.

“They used to put on bands and they’d only serve Coca-Cola, but you got 150 kids all dancing to a live band, with no aggravation, and it was great.”

He said the band The Pretty Things, who had several chart hits during the decade, often played around Epping, as well as teenage bands which had just formed.

“In those days we had no computers and all we did was go out and meet people at cafes and bars,” said Mr Hammond.

“It was sociable and I think teenagers in the 1960s could communicate better.”

In his book The Sixties Boys on Tour, he tells the story of his friends in Mod band Modern Edge reforming for a tour across the country.

He also looks back at his teenage years, spent driving his Ford 100E van between parties and dances in Essex, smoking Woodbines with his best friend Steve.

“I used to work in the City of London as a messenger boy,” he said. “I’d ask if there was anything happening in the workers’ home towns.”

He said coffee bars, given glamorous names like La Roulette or La Mumba, were also popular places for gigs.

“There were exotic-sounding names like La Saucier,” he added. “We got what we called frothy coffee and it was a really great atmosphere.”

He grew up in Romford, but said as many as 20 of his friends used to venture around Essex on weekends.

The Sixties Boys on Tour is available from Amazon, priced £9.