1960's day - Mods and Rockers
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
Mods and Rockers
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.
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.
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?