Anorak News | Plucky Teds Wed

Plucky Teds Wed

by | 24th, February 2006

‘IT was South London’s wedding of the year, and everyone who was anyone in the world of the 1950s-style rock’n’roll was there to see Leonard Potts marry his beautiful bride Susan Perkins.

The story of their romance is worthy of the silver screen. Leonard, aka ‘Legless Lenny’, is a teddy boy of 21 years’ standing – and for most of them, he has been standing on a pair of metal legs, after a motorcycle accident in his teenage years.

But although the crash left him ‘all shook up’ for a while, he was soon back at the centre of the local rock ’n’ roll scene, and has stayed there ever since.

He organised last year’s ‘Teddy Boys Picnic’ for charity, and invaded the stage at Bill Haley’s recent London concert. And when the teds marched on the BBC this year to protest at the lack of their music on the airwaves, Lenny led the way at a pace that left his able-bodied comrades gasping for air.

He can still be found bopping with the best of them at the Castle and the Black Bull, displaying the ‘propeller’ technique that has made him a legend – straightening his legs in opposite directions and spinning around on the floor. When he gets going, there isn’t another dancer who comes close – quite literally!

It was a highly unusual combination of charity work and propellers that brought Lenny and his future bride together.

For some years, Lenny had been performing for charity at events with his old friend the Reverend John Robertson, better known as the ‘Rocking Vicar’ who hit the headlines in the 1950s when he greased his hair and motorcycled around his Elephant and Castle parish.

Lenny raised money by sitting astride an upturned aeroplane propeller attached to an engine. Once strapped on, he would spin to the sound Danny & The Juniors while John Robertson, clad in his ‘Heaven’s Angels’ jacket, collected money in his crash helmet.

It was during one such performance that disaster struck – and Cupid stepped in. As Lenny spun around, Sue Perkins, who was taking part in the ‘sponsored swing’ nearby, flew from her seat in mid-air and collided with the propeller, losing both her legs in the process.

In scenes reminiscent of Reach For The Sky, Lenny guided Sue through the dark months that followed, and helping her to walk again on prosthetic legs.

At Sue’s suggestion, a second propeller blade was added to the routine, and the pair went on to raise thousands of pounds for disabled children with their double act: ‘Legless Lenny and Runaround Sue’.

The wedding congregation included many of those who have benefited from the couple’s efforts, and the bridesmaids all came from the Roland Henry home for disabled children.

Ed Barrett’

Posted: 24th, February 2006 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink