Scuttlers were members of neighbourhood-based youth gangs (known as scuttling gangs) formed in working class areas of Manchester, Salford, and the surrounding townships during the late 19th century.
Gangs were formed throughout the slums in the townships of Bradford, Gorton and Openshaw to the east and in Salford, to the west of the city centre. Gang conflicts erupted in Manchester in the early 1870s and went on sporadically for thirty years, declining in frequency and severity by the late 1890s.
Scuttlers distinguished themselves from other young men in working-class neighbourhoods by their distinctive clothing. They generally wore a uniform of brass-tipped pointed clogs, bell-bottomed trousers, cut like a sailor's ("bells" that measured fourteen inches round the knee and twenty-one inches round the foot) and "flashy" silk scarves. Their hair was cut short at the back and sides, but they grew long fringes, known as "donkey fringes", that were longer on the left side and plastered down on the forehead over the left eye. Peaked caps were also worn tilted to the left to display the fringe. The scuttlers' girlfriends also had a distinctive style of dress consisting of clogs, shawl, and a vertically striped skirt.
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