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A dedicated home for music memorabilia, exploring the past, present and future of music archives. Find your own piece of the story.

DJ Gracie T behind the decks at the Daytimers Boiler Room set, London, 2021 by Aiyush Pachnanda. Photo courtesy of MoYC

Did you grow up in Coventry, UK? Call out from the Museum of Youth Culture

Going beyond the headlines, Grown Up in Britain – 100 Years of Teenage Kicks will open at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum on 1st July 2022 and run until Feb 2023. Together with the Museum, the MYC has been visiting Coventry, collecting stories from locals and developing an authentic history of growing up in Coventry.

Curated by and drawn from the extensive photographic collections of the Museum of Youth Culture, The exhibition chronicles the everyday experiences and cultural impact of young people through photographs, objects and stories. Reflecting the diverse movements that have been forged by youth, the exhibition explores what unites us across generations and asks What Makes Britain?

The exhibition is centered around public submissions collected as part of the Museum’s ongoing Grown up in Britain campaign, with submissions representing people’s personal experiences of being young from across the UK. We’ve all been young once, from first loves to first jobs, Saturday hangouts to family holidays – what do you remember?

From photographs of the bomb-site Bicycle racers in post-war 1940s London, to the badges and posters of the Acid House ravers of 1980s Northern England, the Museum of Youth Culture empowers the extraordinary everyday stories of growing up in Britain. The Museum is home to the world’s most comprehensive free collection of content on young people: 150,000 photographs, objects and educational texts that celebrate grassroots, youth culture history; found not only in personal archives of professionals, but also in everyday people’s homes – stored away shoeboxes or found in bin bags spotted on the street. Specially for MAG_BTM, the team at MYC have chosen their favourite photos from the archives and tell us why…..

  1. Two environmental protestors camping out in a tree during the Newbury Bypass Protest, 1990s by Adrian Fisk

    Chosen by Jon Swinstead, Founder

    “My favourite image in the archive is constantly evolving, as new photographs or stories become relevant to the times. At the moment, with the growing, youth-led Climate Protests happening across the UK and the world, Adrian Fisk’s work documenting the emergence of this scene in the mid-90s has become so poignant. I’m drawn to this image of two protestors locked onto a tree and it makes me wonder where we’d be if we’d listened to them.”

  2. Two nu-metal fans queueing for a signing at HMV on Oxford Street, London, 2001 by Neil Massey

    Chosen by Esta Rae, Digital Assistant

    “This image speaks to me because I think I held a similar expression to the kid on the left for most of my teenage years. I love that you can read so much just from the pairs faces. Although the photo was taken about 10 years before I would have been having days out like these girls, the shelves of CD’s, grey walls and dark hallways remind me of music stores I would later be shopping around. The image is enough to bring back how the cold plastic covers would feel on your fingers and the sound of cases tapping against each other as you searched through them hoping to find a new obsession.”

  3. Sweaty ravers on main stage at The Haçienda, Manchester, 1989 by Peter J Walsh

    Chosen by Scott Hawthorne, Brand Partnerships

    “Love this Peter Walsh image – canalmot hear it! I think it perfectly captures the energy of a rave/night out. Also have to mention the clothing, the baggy jeans and a single stitch t-shirt, a style which is timeless!.”

  4. Teenage Slipknot Fan at Ozzfest, Milton Keynes Bowl, 2001 by Rebecca Lewis

    Chosen by Lisa der Weduwe, Archive Projects

    “I always say that everyone will be able to find a photograph in the Museum that relates to their experiences of being a teenager. This awkward teenage Slipknot fan reminds me of being that age, filled with teen angst and finding solace in heavy music. This photograph also marks an interesting point in time, just at the beginning of smart phones. The Emo scene of the mid-00s that followed is a real blank spot in the archive, as young people took on new technologies like camera phones and early social media, most of which is now lost.”

  5. Diggin’ The Dug, Dug Out, Bristol, 1985 by Beezer

    Chosen by Jamie Brett, Creative Projects

    “Hidden away in the archive, you have these scenes that had a huge impact on music & culture but have been largely forgotten. Beezer was in the midst of the Bristol Underground, documenting a new bass-led, heavy sound that helped influence the emergence of Rave in ‘88. I love the cheekiness of these lads and they remind me of young ravers you can find on a night out in London’s budding underground Bass scene today.”

  6. Neville photographing Smudge the cat in their garden in High Wycombe, 1980s by Gavin Watson

    Chosen by Debbie Sears, Archivist and Darkroom Printer:

    “The photograph I have chosen reminds me of myself when I began photography and black&printing in the late 1970’s..anything and everything was photographed, eager just to take a photograph, followed by the anticipation of waiting a week to get the film processed and printed to see how the photos’ turned out, quite often only a few were worth the wait.”

  7. Mod girls dancing at the Caxton Mod Club, a youth club that supported teens in Westminster, London, 1960s by Caxton Youth Trust

  8. DJ Gracie T behind the decks at the Daytimers Boiler Room set, London, 2021 by Aiyush Pachnanda

  9. Three Punks chatting in Stockport, 1981 by Shirley Baker

  10. London Hip Hop trio She Rockers get interrupted by a mounted police officer during a photography shoot, 1980s by Normski