1960's day - Mods and Rockers

Photo: Illustrative image for the '1960's day - Mods and Rockers' page

lincolnshire@bbc.co.uk

by Tony Nightingale

It  was a great time: the music was great, the friendship was even better and the  motorbikes were loud, oily but more fun than you can imagine.

Written  by Tony Nightingale

What were the Mods  and Rockers? Well the Mods or modernists, as they were known were a youth sub  culture that liked Scooters, ska music, parka jackets and were generally regarded  as being the smarter dressed of the two groups.

The  Rockers had their own Uniform which consisted of a black leather jacket, Denim  jeans, Black leather boots with white socks which were rolled over the tops of  the boots. A white scarf was regarded as a great fashion accessory. Rockers  like Rock and Roll music, which some pundits will tell you is where the name 'rockers'  came from.

Photo:Scooters are still as popular as ever

Scooters are still as popular as ever

The  Rockers and the Mods got along albeit from a distance. The Mods were into pill  popping with purple hearts and bennies being the most popular whereas the Rocker  liked quantities of beer and cigarettes.

It  was always in the summer when the groups migrated towards the seasides especially  Brighton, Margate and Ramsgate. A lot of people felt uneasy with very large groups  wandering around the streets calling the other group names.

We  called the Mods 'children' as they rode prams and they called us 'greebo's' as  we had brylcream etc on our hair or we had greasy hair due to the sweat from our  crash helmets.

There  was an unofficial truce until a member of the gutter press bribed a couple of  small groups to stage a mock fight on the beach for photographs. This, of course,  started the whole thing off. However it was not as clear cut as you might imagine. 

I  was a member of the 59 Club and our branch was in Halifax, one weekend we rode  down to Stevenage where we joined up with other Rockers at Jacks Hill Café  on the A1. We then all proceeded down to Brighton, together. In  Brighton there was talk of Mod bashing and similar exploits.

Photo:Rocker family

Rocker family

Imagine  the scene: Three Rockers walking down the street and a couple of Mods walk out  of a café. When the saw us they ran so we chased them; as they turned round  a corner they met about six other Mods. We stopped and in turn were chased back  up the street until we met up with a load more Rockers. This playing of group  tag was all that happened most of the time. We never once got into a real fight. 

I  am glad to say that the Mods and Rockers now tolerate each other and in fact at  the now famous Lincolnshire Bike Nights, groups of Mods turn up and are made welcome  by the Rockers who now prefer to be called bikers.

Me,  well I now happily live in Horncastle; I still ride bikes as I have done for over  forty years. I have two bikes and love the company of other bikers and have Mods  in my circle of friends.

I  suppose that it all changed for me when I actually married a Mod or should that  be Modette?

Were  you a Mod or a Rocker? Do you have any stories from that era?

[sic]

lincolnshire@bbc.co.uk

This page was added by Paul Beaken on 23/04/2014.

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