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Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe
 
 

History

The Ace Cafe – A Potted History

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The Return Of An Icon

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As from December 7th 1997, we re-opened the original and legendary Ace Cafe site on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Bank Holidays and on the first Wednesday of every month. Check for our present opening times get a taste of the atmosphere!!

We have opened part of the ground floor and the entire upper floor of the building to the public.

Inside the Ace Cafe:

The riders enjoying themselves whilst having a a cup of tea or coffee and exchanging the latest news and gossip from the biking world. The Sunday openings have been enthusiastically received and the plans to re-open the complete site are being pursued.

The architects plans and model are on display, as well as our specially selected clothing and accessories from the Ace Cafe London Catalogue, The One Stop Rockers Shop, also available on this website on our interactive Ace Cafe London Online Catalogue

Bikes, history, photographs and other related memorabilia and a football table for your fun and pleasure.

The refreshments are served up by Bob and his crew.

On the Forecourt:

Every type and style of bikes have turned out during the last months, representing an impressive kaleidoscope from the fifties to the nineties.

Classic and modern machinery

Cafe Racers

Milwaukee Twins and Japanese 4-cylinder machines

Classic racing bikes

Ducatis .....

... and powerful streetfighters

There´s always something going on at Ace Cafe. Is it a presentation of new bikes, prototypes, runs starting to other cool places or rock n´ roll concerts.

Sandra preparing for a burn out

Yamaha XS 1100 steam machine

Sandra did it again!

Hotrods and Custom cars visit the ACE....

in particular on the first Wednesday of the month...

when the Executioners car club regularly meet.

As said before, strictly no deckchairs!

Below you see Reverend Paul Sinclair stopping by to say
hello to the Ace.

Nearer my God to Thee

The Revving Rev is on a mission from God. He´s in a hurry, as usual, since he´s founding a new youth centre
complete with bike workshop to get the streetkids out of trouble.

Since we´ve reopened the original Ace Cafe site, thousands and thousands of riders have visited us, re-establishing it as

The Destination Bike!

We want to thank all of you for your continued support, and watch out, there´s much more to come!

Be part of it, kick your bike into life, rev up and Ride With The Rockers to ACE CAFE LONDON!

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Rumble Down The Ace

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Read on!....The day began like any other, starting with a successful bike run at lunchtime to the Museum Of London which is now showing an exhibition entitled "Rocking at the Ace Cafe", featuring powerful black and white photographs taken by RICHARD BYERLEY over the last two years at the Ace and other Ace events and rallies.On 6th March, Mark Wilsmore and the regular Saturday night crew were sitting in the cafe discussing the days event over a last cuppa before closing. At approx. 11pm, Mark and Ron went outside and continued chatting over a fag, surveying the assembled bikes when a strange "whooshing" sound caught their attention.It was one of those noises that one just knows isn´t right and they looked at each other wondering what the hell it was. Returning their attention back to car park they saw the tarmac lifting up about 4 feet in front of them. By now they thought they must be hallucinating (hey Bob what do you put in that tea!). This was followed by a rumbling and cracking sound, at which point they turned back on their heels and dived back into the cafe shouting for everyone to evacuate through the back fire escape.Outside the ground exploded and with great roar, a wall of water erupted some 20 feet wide just where
Mark and Ron had stood

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Bikes were flung into the air, disappearing in the torrent as they landed. The foaming white jet of water pitched tarmac, earth and rocks in all directions breaking windows and showering the building with assorted debris. Mark dashed back to check that everyone had got out safely, but some had run outside to rescue their bikes. By this time the water was coming through the door. The emergency services were called.

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Meanwhile, the water found a natural course onto the new North Circular Road underpass at the A406 Park Royal Estate junction, which became flooded to a height of over 25 feet, eventually reaching the tops of the bridges that cross the dual carriageway. Several cars were submerged underneath and frogmen were despatched to check that no-one was trapped in their vehicle

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The early morning light revealed the extent of the damage. A huge crater depicted the spot where a main London water supply pipe had burst approximately 10 feet underground.

The mammoth task of clearing up began almost immediately, with some 16 water pumps working together sucking up more than 14000 litres per minute.

The hole is now being filled in, returning 200 tons of
earth to the car park.

Shame it wasn´t summer because we could surf with the Rockers.

The pictures on this page were taken by Del (newspaper picture from the Evening Standard) over the weekend, showing the extent of the area exposed to the incident. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all our patrons and others for their good wishes and kind offers of help and apologise for any inconvenience. As BLONDIE sang "The tide is high but we´re holding on........"

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The Works

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On site works started at the begining of January 2001 with the delivery and set-up of our temporary accommodation. This included arranging water and electricity supplies.

Fencing was then erected to meet the requirement of the health and safety laws.

With the contractors site office installed, deliveries of various
items of construction equipment,
together with materials, then proceeded.

The next phase of the refurbishment saw the strip out and removal of panelling, suspended ceilings, partitions and stud work, all of which had been installed since the cafe closed in 1969. This stage has nearly been completed.

During the course of the demolition/strip out and removal period, aspects and items hitherto unknown have been revealed.

As a consequence, careful cost control and planning has been required. However, a number of original windows and openings have also been revealed which we now intend to utilise.

Installation of structural items, reinforcing to foundations, load-carrying steel beams, erection of support columns (removed following the cafes closure) has just begun.

Following the first set of photographs, showing the strip-out, removal of roller shutters and cladding from the former tyre fitting area, more of the original building was revealed (including enough grease to fry our chips!)

Plant machinery was required to break up
and remove masonary flooring.....

which had endured over thirty years of vehicular use as a tyre fitting bay, as well as to pull out "false" ceilings installed since the cafes' closure in 1969.

Temporary propping of concrete roof was neccesary, whilst the old steel beams were removed and replaced
and brickwork reinstated.

The strip-out phase of works are now complete and the construction refurbishment phase has now started.

Works are proceeding!

The following set of pictures documenting the status during the 3rd week April 2001.

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This shot shows the demolition of the internal back stair way, which was inadequatly housed in a timber structure
added since 1969.

The stairway is now replaced with one constructed of brick to comply with current day building regulations.

The Upper floor has now been partitioned off to accommodate Toilet facilities, staff changing room, office and storage, with three large windows lending themselves to a view of the
North Circular Road.

Panoramic view before the installation of the windows.

View from the inside, looking out of the new windows.

Front view with windows installed. The face of the Ace!

The next pictures have been taken in July 2001, showing the steady progress of the works.

Workmen laying the floor. The 'jailhouse' at the far end is painted dark red with a black and cream chequered floor.  This area will be where bands and DJ's will perform. The floor shows first layer before chequering to cream and maroon.

The staircase leading to toilet facilities, staff room and storage area.

The strip lights are covered with wire caging to give
the flies a chance!

To the left the bar structure can be seen as well as the hatch into the kitchen.

Next two shots show the logo patterned floor.
Here is the Rockers logo ..

..and here is the Ace Cafe London logo.

The cafe comes to life!

A portion of the inside was decorated with posters, memorabilia and our old tables and chairs.

This and the next photo were taken when the BBC came to film for a new Autumn series called 'Mary Anne's Bikes'.

Mary Anne is in the red leather suit, just interviewing
Mark for the programme.

New steps leading to the `jailhouse´ have just been installed.

Ace Cafe London front elevation - not complete yet,
but full of promise ...

Today we´ve made it - and the Ace Cafe is alive and kicking.
Thanks for staying tuned and watching history in the making!

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The Grand Re-opening

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No - it´s not 1964, welcome back Ace Cafe!

This year´s Ace Cafe Reunion was the biggest ever yet. From Wednesday to Sunday, an officially reported 75000 riders from all across Europe and even from America and Australia enjoyed partying at the Ace, joining the Ride With The Rockers and rockin´ & rollin´ on Madeira Drive in Brighton!

The event started on Wednesday 5th September

Flamin' Ace Riot with The Executioners Lowbrow Lowriders, Kool Kustoms, Krazy Klassics and Hot Rods!

Burning some rubber...

This Way Mr Watt...

Flamin' Ace Riot

Thursday 6th September

March of the Mods! My Generation - High Numbers Night!

High Numbers Night at the Ace

Talking 'Bout My Generation!

Twist & Go Sounds with Diane

Keep On Running!

Friday 7th September

WEEKEND WARM UP NIGHT

Two Pints of Lager & A Packet of Crisps Please!

Friday night... outside the cafe tonning up was up....

Rockers!

British Rockers!

German Rockers Facing The Camera

Chat Up! Roger Glover & Johnny Lightfoot

James Carlino Surveying The Scene

Saturday 8th September

ALL DAY PARTY

Mark Wilsmore & The Wolfman Johnny-B Greet Rita Tushingham

Jess Conrad meets Colin Campbell,
star of the film "The Leather Boys"

Police Pals in Period Costume

Tex Childs - former night manager at the Ace

Chillin' Out

Must've Been A Sad Song

David - Hot Boogie Kitchen!

Mark Wilsmore testing the LSL-Clubman Bonneville

Daddio Paul Griffith

Give Us A Quiff Graham...

Right, were there .. errr ... Rock ´n Roll Bands?

Y E S!

Rockabilly Rebel Graham Fenton

Steve Hooker

Ricky Lee Brawn - Drumming Up A Storm!

Carlo Little All Stars

Coffee Bar Cowgirl Helen Shadow

Cutting The Mustard with Wee Willie Harris

Crazee Jay & The Partytimers

Sunday 9th September

RIDE WITH THE ROCKERS
ACE DAY BRIGHTON

An officially estimated 45000 riders on Madeira Drive!

Of course it was sunny! It´s Ace Day!

Hot sun & cool drinks!

Ace Cafe Reunion Weekend - Ride With The Rockers - Ace Day ....

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"Ace Times" The History Book

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