1. A pre-Pogues Shane MacGowan takes his pet sheep for a stroll outside Buckingham Palace. As you do.
2. Maniacs frontman Alan Lee Shaw screams ‘I Don’t Wanna Go to Work’… in a suit fit for a job interview.
3. On the King’s Road, pasty-faced punks read the New Musical Express outside a launderette.
4. In 1977 punk school kids were the most creative school kids. Especially when it came to accessorising their school uniform.
5. RIP punk, 1974-78?
6. Vivienne Westwood’s world-famous ‘Sex’ boutique, originally called ‘Let It Rock’, located at 430 King’s Road, housed the wardrobe that defined the movement. This was the place where every self-respecting punk got kitted out.
7. A dog collar can really tie your punk look together, as this girl proves.
8. Of course, shiny black boots can help too.
9. In 1978 punks marched down the King’s Road – as frequent as London’s iconic red buses.
10. And they were gonna get your attention one way or the other.
11. Face paint was one way.
12. Tattoos were another. Some could be hidden from parents and prospective employers. This is not one of those tattoos.
13. Three punk girls wait for a bus in Chelsea. No iPhones to pass the time, just a playful punk attitude.
14. Here’s proof that mohawks weren’t the only eye-popping hairdo back then.
15. FYI: ‘Oh bondage up yours’ isn’t a totally arbitrary punk statement to scrawl on your clean white shirt. It’s an X-Ray Spex song.
16. Punk fashion never considered what was practical. Tripping over your elaborate threads and chains was just something that came with looking the part.
17. For Chelsea’s punks, there wasn’t much to do but monkey around.
18. A punk reveals a tattoo on his knee that’s 100% emo – before emo was born.
19. Kitsch-22, just off the top of New Bond Street, was another punk hangout with outlandish garms.
20. So now you know where Keith Flint from The Prodigy got his hairdo.
21. This is what a lighting guy at a UK Subs show looks like.
22. Enter the stage, UK Subs.
23. Pogoing is arguably, to this day, the sweatiest ‘dance’ there is.
24. Patriotic punks snooze on the London underground.
25. A leather jacket emblazoned with the words ‘God wanks in mysterious ways’ leaves a woman bewildered.
26. Puckish punks on the Southbank destroy a statue of Johnny Rotten. Is this the death of punk? Again??
27. The Old Bill look on as this curious new breed of teenager passes by.
28. At a squat in King’s Cross a girl scrawls ‘WEST LONDON’ on a wall – because west London was cool back then. How times change.
29. By 1979 Vivienne Westwood’s boutique had changed names again. It was now Seditionaries, but it was still the beating heart of London’s punk scene.
30. Another squat, another punk with bucket loads of charisma.
31. Rudi sing their punk anthem ‘Big Time’ in 1980.
32. A punk sifts through vinyl in the legendary record store Good Vibrations, in Northern Ireland. Hey, remember record stores?
33. Three girls, a bottle of vodka, and a pack of fags. Just another night in a London squat.
34. The punk and the priest. An unlikely friendship at a time when punk was grabbing the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
35. The best mohawk in London in 1981?
36. In Peterborough, young punks kill boredom in the street.
37. A local Peterborough punk decides the best place to be interviewed is in front of a church. Naturally.
Images 1-4: The Punk Kebab Documentary (1977)
Images 5-20: Death Is Their Destiny (1978)
Images 21-26: Punk Can Take It (1979)
Image 27: Don’t Dream It – See It (1978)
Images 28-29: We’re No Angels (1979)
Images 30-32: Shellshock Rock (1979)
Images 33-37: Squatparty (1981)
The film and stills on this page are taken from Britain on Film, a digital archive of UK places that mean the world to you. 10,000 film and TV titles from 1895 to now will be digitised and can be watched for free on BFI Player.
Britain on Film is funded by the National Lottery funding and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.