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Punk Princess
Adam Ant said she invented punk rock. But how did a ballet-mad youngster from Seaford become one of the most iconic faces of the time?
Amanda Riley

Jordan Mooney turns heads at the Old Boot in Seaford with her torn Vivienne Westwood jacket, leather wristbands, black net skirt and Ray Bans matching her purple hair. She greets me with a kiss, fusses my dog and insists on buying the first drink. “I never wanted to fit in,” she says. “By the time I left junior school, I knew I was going to do something different with my life.”

Pamela Rooke was born in June 1955, the youngest of three children. “My dad, Stanley, was billeted in Seaford during the war and settled here. My mum Linda was a seamstress – vivacious and glamorous. In many ways, my childhood was like a dream. I used to do the Dance of the Seven Veils to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite using Mum’s chiffon scarves,” she laughs. At seven, she started ballet at Miss Angela’s School of Dancing in Eastbourne.

“Our parents allowed us to run free. I spent hours on Seaford beach. The sea always feels like freedom to me,” she explains. “If I bunked off school, I would go to the Seven Sisters and walk along the cliffs with my best friend, Sally.”

At Seaford Head Secondary, she was captain of the hockey team. “Other girls wanted to get married and have babies. But I wanted to be my own person and excel at something.”

Inspired by Roxy Music and David Bowie, she started experimenting with her appearance. By 18, Pamela was sent home from school for her outrageous razor-cut pink and red hair. Her mother insisted she keep several yards behind when they went out!

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September 2019

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