Photos and images from Ace Cafe London, 30.08.2013
Info about the venue:
he Ace Cafe London is a former transport cafe in Stonebridge, north west London, England. It is a notable venue in motorcycle culture which originally operated from 1938 until 1969, then re-opened on the original site in 1997.
Ace Cafe opened in 1938 to accommodate traffic on the new North Circular Road. Because the cafe was open 24 hours a day, it started to attract motorcyclists. It became popular with the Ton Up Boys in the 1950s and the Rockers in the 1960s and was where the motorcycling priest Bill Shergold came to invite them to the 59 Club.
The cafe was rebuilt in 1949 after being destroyed in a World War II air raid. The building is close to the Willesden railway marshalling yard, target of the raid.
Events in the post-war environment made the Ace a success: the emergence of the teenager; increase in traffic; and the British motorcycle industry at its peak. Many young people started to meet at the cafe with their motorcycles and listen to rock’n’roll. Many bands and motorcycle enthusiast groups formed there.
The cafe closed in 1969 and part of the building became a tyre sales and fitting shop (Beresford Road end). The other end was occupied by a vehicle delivery company.
Following the success of the Rocker Reunion movement and discussions with its founder and original 59 Club member Len Paterson, the first Ace Cafe Reunion was organised by Mark Wilsmore and held in 1994. As with the Rocker Reunion Runs, it attracted as many as 12,000 revivalists and the cafe was reopened in 1997, with complete refurbishment completed by 2001. Rockers and motorcyclists from all over the world go to the Ace to share stories, fix bikes and see the legend. It is no longer open 24-hours but the cafe now has an extensive calendar of events for both motorbike and car owners. It also puts on live music and DJ’s, and is approved for weddings and civil partnerships.
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