Ex-skinhead recalls her life on film

Ex-skinhead recalls her life on film

Sharon Woodward today

Sharon Woodward pictured in the 1980s

First published in News by

A former skinhead is making a film about her experiences in Oxford in the early 1980s.

Sharon Woodward, 42, from Headington, was one of hundreds of shaven-headed teenagers who regularly descended on Bonn Square and the Westgate Shopping Centre during the heyday of 'two-tone' music.

Her documentary is inspired by recent hit movie This Is England - which also followed skinheads in 1980s Britain.

Ms Woodward plans to focus on the girls involved in skinhead culture - as opposed to the common associations of skinheads as angry men with far right views.

The film, provisionally titled Thank You Skinhead Girl, will explore the music, clothes and areas where Ms Woodward and her friends used to hang out.

She said: "I think the general perception is that the skinheads were thugs and racists - but none of the skinheads I hung out with had those views.

"A lot of people who were part of that movement were very caring, kind and considerate. This is about real skinheads and what it really meant.

"What I want to do is delve back into my past and my youth and revisit that skinhead girl I once was."

This Is England followed the story of 12-year-old Shaun, who fell in with skinheads after his dad died in the Falklands War.

His story echoes that of Ms Woodward, who was 14 and living in care in Banbury Road, North Oxford, when the lure of music such as The Specials, Desmond Dekker, Tony Tribe and Madness persuaded her to become a skinhead.

She said: "I think it was one of the most supportive and liberating experiences I have ever had. There were hundreds of kids from all over the county at the weekends in Bonn Square. It was just a great feeling of identity and being with people your own age."

Ms Woodward, who works with children with learning disabilities, is looking to trace friends from the time - particularly two girls from Blackbird Leys called Denise and Fiona - and other people who frequented skinhead hangouts such as the Oranges and Lemons pub in St Clement's.

To take part. email her on rich@mischiefpictures.co.uk

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