Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be: Daniel Farson’s Soho In The Fifties, Frank Norman, rogues and gents…

  • Frank Norman-playwright authour-Daniel Farson-Soho In The Fifties-Afterhours Sleaze and DignityNow, if you’re going to be a Soho rogue, well you probably couldn’t do better than this photograph. Something of a template for such things and indeed Afterhours Sleaze and Dignity itself.

    It’s the playwright/author Frank Norman, from Daniel Farson’s Soho In The Fifties book and could well sit quite nicely next to the work of that other heart of town rascal and sometimes shutterbugger John Deakin.

    As an aside Frank Norman co-wrote the musical Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be, various memoirs including Bang To Rights and the Soho ‘angin’ around tome Stand On Me, alongside co-authoring Soho Night And Day with a further fellow heart of town gent/scriber Jeffrey Bernard and later writing the 1971 fictionalised memoirs of a fairground gent Dodgem Greaser – which puts me in mind of the almost similar 1973 That’ll Be The Day film, with Mr Ringo Starr doing a turn as a ted.

    As a further aside, I seem to remember going to see an exhibition of/that included Dan Farson’s work in the basement of – also heart of town-esque- Mark Powell’s tailors shop a few years ago now. I think it may have been part of A Celebration of Style – Cool London Through the Photographer’s Lens (more on which can be found here).

    Peruse Soho In The Fifties here and here.


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