Mods but no Rockers return to Brighton for August Bank Holiday
Mods are becoming regular visitors to Brighton during the August Bank Holiday; in search of reviving fond memories and for others starting their patronage to the Mod scene. Brighton, UK. 28th August 2011
In May 1996 Mods visited Brighton, Margate, Clacton and Bournemouth and not to purchase sea side rock! In each town clashes took place between different cultures – Mods and Rockers. In Brighton over a 1,000 youths of the day caused trouble by breaking and burning deck chairs, having a sit in on the Palace Pier and throwing beach stones. Both Police and Courts became busy with both arrests and sentencing.
This is in complete contrast to this weekend event. It is acknowledged only one fraction was here and the numbers not as in 1964 but the atmosphere was good, friendly and very pleasant. A couple of bikers passed but and not even an eye was turned. As in previous years I have attended, there was no need for any police presence – apart from the ‘watchful eyes’.
The Mods had been in Brighton for the weekend and had enjoyed what Brighton does well – entertain and amuse. Various clubs and pubs had been visited but the Volks has become the spiritual home for the event.
The weather allowed everyone to stand outside and while not basking in the sun capture its pleasant warmth. Old friends met and chatted, groups admired each other’s scooters and new friendships made. Several groups had travelled incredible distances and I was told of a group who had made the journey from Glasgow!
While the scooters and riders make really evocative photographs when static they are best photographed in motion, but that’s another day!
The Sunday event includes a ride out to some exotic venue away from Madeira Drive and then a return. The preparation is simple really, first one or two Mods climb on their scooters prior to the agreed time, and don helmets, this creates an urge, then a few more join, and a few more. This year Mods did a small, I suspect, impromptu, circuit of 100m or so, this created a frenzy of on-looker’s who felt left out of the action. A lot of blue smoke and fumes appear and a theatrical setting is created in a thrice. A local chap, by the name of Norman Cook, rode with scooter entourage and after a few moments a solemn sadness took hold as the realization that they had gone and taken all the fun with them. Buggers!
They do return, but the atmosphere for me has changed, not in a bad way, just in urgency to photograph the event.
Not that I am a dedicated follower of fashion hm! I feel a song … no resist … but the clothes worn always take me back to a time long ago when I was innocent and naïve and could balance a thrupenny bit on its edge. It would be nice to imagine that Brighton alone could become the mecca of Mod visits, not just on August Bank Holidays.