Digital archive of ‘Punk in the East’ puts the pogo back into punk

A new website that catalogues punk memorabilia from the 70s and 80s is set to become the UKs largest digital archive of punk ephemera. It’s the latest development from Professor Matt Worley’s research exploring the relationship between youth cultures, politics and social change. Find out how you can contribute to the online archive.

Punk in the East is a digital collection of original punk photographs, gig ticket, posters, clothing and ephemera from Norwich, Norfolk and across East Anglia. As content continues to come in it is fast becoming the largest digital UK punk archive.

The project began in 2015 when Matt, who grew up in Norwich, interviewed former 70s punk and Norwich Lanes marketing manager Jonty Young as part of his research into punk as a subculture.

Within months Matt was compiling a fanzine full of local memories and photographs while Jonty, in collaboration with Jenny Caynes, Curator of Community History at the Museum of Norwich, set about the task of finding and digitising all the content.

The Museum of Norwich continues to digitise content submitted from around the world. Email to find out how your memorabilia can be added to the online archive.

The digital archive also includes details of the events that made up the original Punk in the East festival which launched on October 22nd 2016 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the first UK punk single, New Rose by the Damned, and consisted of a 15 venue exhibition throughout the Norwich Lanes which attracted thousands of visitors from across the UK. now captured in this short film.

The event was organised by an army of volunteers and local shop keepers, who devised and delivered an eye-catching and thought provoking event that captured the public imagination and remained true to the DIY ethos of Its subject.

Earlier, in 2011, Matt co-founded the Subcultures Network, an eclectic group of historians who together have produced a series of works focused on the interrelationship between British punk cultures and transformative socio-economic and political changes of the 1970s and 1980s. Matt’s book, No Future: Punk, Politics and British Youth Culture, 1976–84, published in 2017  explains allpub

And, in September the Subcultures Network will meet at a conference to be hosted by Professor Worley at the University of Reading, with speakers including acclaimed author, Simon Reynolds.

To register for the event  (registration fee applies) visit

Simon Reynolds is author of Shock and Awe, Retromania, Energy Flash and Rip It Up and Start Again

Matt Worley is Professor of Modern History at the University of Reading.