Photograph taken by the Brighton Herald, of a
gang of Mods on the roof terrace of Brighton Aquarium
Mods and Rockers
'I can never honestly say that we went down there to cause trouble...Trouble used to come to us.' Stuart Wester, Rocker
The 1964 clash between Mods and Rockers on Brighton Beach is legendary. It inspired the film Quadrophenia and on Bank Holidays the seafront is still lined with scooters and motorbikes.
Mods dressed sharply. They rode scooters and cared about their appearance. Their name was based on 'Modern Jazz'. Rockers, on the other hand, liked 1950s rock 'n' roll. They wore leather jackets and rode motorbikes.
On a hot Bank Holiday in 1964, thousands of Mods and Rockers poured into Brighton. Hundreds slept on the beach. Saturday was peaceful, a few stones were thrown, but Sunday brought fierce fighting. Gangs of youths cornered each other. Windows were smashed. The police moved in reinforcements.
Some people say that the media whipped up the conflict between Mods and Rockers. Wild newspaper reports attracted people who were looking for a fight. 'They were just gangs of kids' one Mod claimed. 'No real Mod wanted to roll about in the dirt.'
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