Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Mods & Me

The past weekend was a big one in the mod calendar - the New Untouchables Brighton Mod Weekender.  Hundreds of folk from all over the country (and some from Europe) headed to the coast for 3 days of dancing, drinking & generally checking out everyone elses' shoes.  It's the one weekend in the year where you can guarantee to catch up with those people you havn't seen since the last August weekender.

My experience of mod weekenders started when I was probably 16 and went to Torquay.  Looking back, my first mod weekender was probably actually a scooter run but I enjoyed it nevertheless.  As I moved away from my early teenage mod clothes and into much "nicer" outfits, I progressed to the Isle of Wight, Hayling Island and Clacton "Dirty Weekenders" (as they were called in the 80s!). 

I have a love/hate relationship with the Isle of Wight - love because I had some great memories of my first visits there, and hate because the very last time I went, I remember being so angry over derogatory comments made over a boy I was seeing then (who happened to have dreadlocks), that I stormed off in a huge strop and refused to go out to the evening club....I never returned to a mod rally in the Isle of Wight after that.

The mod scene has been a huge part of my life since I was 14.  I've slipped in and out of it but have always had a deep love for the music, the clothes & the scooters....regardless of what I wore myself.  My secondary school and the tiny little town it was in, was full of mods...which is how I was introduced to the scene I guess.  I remember a memo coming round at school which said that "green army coats are no longer allowed".  I also remember the uproar that caused!!!!!  I went to see Secret Affair at Chippenham Goldiggers around that time.  I loved them then & I still love them now.....which reminds me....are we getting our tickets Claudia????  I bought my clothes in the charity shops of Devizes (our nearest town), cut my hair off and well & truly looked like a boy.  I never did really go for that 60s white boot look.  I always thought it was a bit "fancy dress" and still do now if I'm honest.  I got older, my hair got shorter, and I started to hang out in Swindon...the centre of mod-dom!  I made friends and started going to clubs there.  The 80s were a great time for the scene and a time I was very lucky to be part of.

I had a break from the mod scene in the early 90s, thanks to knowing one of New Model Army, moving to a hippy town and being surrounded by people with dreadlocks.  I moved to London with my dreadlocks, went to Blow Up when it started at The Laurel Tree and within a week had my hair cut off again.  Thanks to some disposable income, I started to get some clothes made at Charlies tailors in Carnaby Street, went to the rallies again and the rest, as they say, is history. I still have friends I knew in the 80s....we've all grown up....but some things never change.

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