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The Shuttered Arcade

By James Vollmar

How we had a culture but forgot where we left it. 

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‘Our culture now no longer seems to belong to the history that produced

it. It’s a non-sequitur, an answer that doesn’t fit the question. We all expect

change but surely, we could have done better than this? Welded on to a

heritage many are completely oblivious to, our present looks exactly what it

is: phoney, stolen, ripped-off and botched…’

from The Shuttered Arcade


In this follow-up to his earlier memoir Juke Box Karma, James Vollmar takes

a nostalgic journey through the culture of the 1950s and 1960s he grew up

in, from a childhood in Northamptonshire and seaside holidays in Norfolk,

by way of a family heritage in Worcestershire to later travels in the Scottish

islands where, in the remote farmhouse on Jura where George Orwell wrote

Nineteen Eighty-Four, he finds an enduring metaphor for our times.


Enlivened by portraits of musicians, comedians, writers and sporting figures

from a golden age of entertainment The Shuttered Arcade makes essential

reading for anyone who values the culture of the 1960s and wonders how

we could have let such a glorious tapestry unravel…

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