THE most exciting times in Essex have been brought alive from the perspective of someone who was there.

Peter Williams, 76, of Holland-on-Sea, is a retired mechanic turned author.

His new book, The Journey of a Biker, details his life including his time as a rocker in Jaywick in the 1960s.

Peter said: “The funny thing is, people say as you get older your memory fades, but writing this book has helped me remember things that I forgot.

“This is my first book and I’ve had an active life. I don’t want to be a coach potato so writing keeps me busy.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Peter with his book The Journey of a BikerPeter with his book The Journey of a Biker

Peter was born nine months after the Second World War ended in Canvey Island and moved to Wickford and Rayleigh.

He witnessed the Canvey floods of 1953 as well as the 1958 Wickford flood and documents both experiences in this book.

Peter added: “I didn’t intend on writing an autobiography but it turns out that’s what I’ve done.

“I started off writing 12,000 words about motorcycles, mods and rockers in the 1960s.

“My daughter works in the book industry and told me 12,000 words was not enough and I needed to write 100,000 so here we are.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Peter and friends Nipper and Brinnie at Brighton beach, 1966Peter and friends Nipper and Brinnie at Brighton beach, 1966

It turns out family was a motivating factor in getting Peter to write a book.

An experience with his granddaughter changed everything for him as he had to come to terms with his own mortality.

Peter said: “We moved to Holland-on-Sea from Wickford six years ago, I’ve got a son who is the president of an engineering company in Oklahoma, United States.

“A few years ago they came over with the grandchildren and I took my granddaughter to the bumper cars in Walton.

“We had a little crash and I thought I had whiplash., The doctors didn’t find whiplash but they found prostate cancer instead.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Vincent and Velocette motorcycles in JaywickVincent and Velocette motorcycles in Jaywick

Peter adds the cancer was found early and he thanks the NHS for saving his life.

Looking back on his life Peter has fond memories of his adventures in Jaywick and Walton as a rocker in the 1960s.

The rivalry between the mods and rockers was so prominent that different TV shows have chronicled the feud.

One such show was Robson Green’s Tales from the Coast on ITV filmed on the Clacton seafront in 2016.

Peter said: “Shiver TV, a subsidiary of ITV, got in touch with me regarding the programme and they wanted me to round up some rockers that I knew.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Peter on his motorcycle recentlyPeter on his motorcycle recently

“It was a day before the show and I hadn’t found anyone, they were either dead, too unwell or didn’t have bikes anymore.

“I got in touch with Manley’s Motorcycles in Clacton and the next day my wife told me Sean from Manley’s called to say the call out they did got 32,000 hits.

“When I went to Martello beach I spoke to the show producers and soon after some full transits turned up with the mods and their scooters, the rockers came too.”

Peter said the rockers were from a younger generation.

However, when Robson questioned him on why the mods and rockers could never get along, Peter said it was a social class issue.

He added: “The mods had more money with their scooters and fancy clothes, and they started taking our girlfriends to be honest which ticked us off.”

For more tales of Essex in days gone by, order Peter’s book by visiting or Caxton Books in Frinton.