//Viva Hamnell at Glastonbury Festival, from Amanda Bluglass’s short Viva Punk Rebel//
//Viva Hamnell at Port Eliot Lit Fest 2006 with her daughter Jane and son-in-law Rik Gadsby modelling McLaren, Westwood and Reid punk designs for The Look//
//The crowd went wild and jogged the photographer’s elbow: onstage in this blurry shot with Viva in Jamie Reid’s Sex Pistols Fuck Forever t-shirt, Port Eliot Lit Fest, 2006//
Punk had great freedom with no rules. I couldn’t sing, but I got up there and sung. It didn’t matter. You had to have the spirit and the energy.
Viva Hamnell, 2014
My first meeting with Viva Hamnell eight years ago was not untypical, I subsequently learnt.
74 at the time, she was viewing the various Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood and Jamie Reid designs I was co-opting friends and attendees at Port Eliot Lit Fest to model that year to illustrate an event for the newly published second edition of my book The Look.
//Hamnell goes about her Lollipop Lady duties in a 70s TV news item//
//Left in the 70s//
//Lining up with fellow members of The Bricks//
Having surveyed the Naked Cowboys, Mickie & Minnie and Snow White & Her Sir Punks, Viva plumped for Reid’s 1986 BOY t-shirt issue of his poster design for The Great Rock & Roll Swindle: Sex Pistols Fuck Forever set in flouro-pink.
And when she closed the show by strolling on stage wearing the shirt, the crowd naturally went wild.
Amanda Bluglass’s documentary portrait Viva Punk Rebel captures this indomitable rule-breaker, whose embracing of punk rock as a 43-year-old freshly divorced lollipop lady in 1976 set her on a life of adventure – taking in membership of Cornish punk band The Bricks and involvement in the Elephant Fayre and Lit Fest at St Germans and the Glastonbury Festival – which lasts unto this day.
Thanks to womenyoushouldknow.net for the link to Bluglass’s film.