South of London Mods - David B

South of London Mods

David B. has kindly added the very entertaining and colourful story of his journey from South London to land of the maple leaf and moose...(you'll find his story HERE).


I'm sure he would be interested to receive feedback on his experiences and maybe somebody out there can locate his old scooter.


"I was born in Paddington but we moved south of London when I was still a small lad. I was involved in the Mod scene around Guildford starting in the summer of 1964. Since I lived alongside the A3 (the main road south out of London) that's where I first saw what subsequently became known as Mods in 1962 and 63. They were on very smart scooters - not the "mum and dad" type with a windshield, but very smart; with accessories but not overdone. The riders wore parkas and trilby hats. I was gob-smacked and knew that was what I wanted to look like - problem was I was fourteen and making ten bob a week on a paper route..."

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  • Hi David, I've just found this page, and have to say thank you for bringing back memories of my time in Guildford in the 60's, The Harvest Moon was the place to go and when it was finally closed down, we all went to the Plaza opposite.  Every New Year's eve we would congregate under the clock in the High Street and the main aim was to see who could climb up to it, as far as I remember this was done once.  The Guildford boys were a great bunch, even Mugsy.

  • What a fantastic post, great read :-)
  • Colin,

    Yes that was me - I started as a DJ in 1966 at the Stoke Hotel in Guildford alongside bands such as Herbie Goins & The Night Timers, Ronnie Jones & The BlueJays and The In Crowd. The pub in Godalming was The White Hart, Farncombe (early 70s). I moved to the Wooden Bridge in 76 and ran soul nights on Fridays & Sundays. Fridays was classic and modern soul and Sundays was Northern to finish the weekend for those people returning from the all nighters 'north of Watford'. By 80-81, the Sunday was 60s soul & mod classics for the 'Jam Generation' mods.
    Dave E
    • Bloody Hell,after all these years Dave.I used to come to the White Hart with a Mate (from Worcester Park).We then followed you to the Bridge,where he would bring one or two "Northern"45s-which you would graciously put on.We then started to get to know some of the travellers coming back from Wigan(on the Sunday evening).They would also bring in Records for you.It was a good night!!!!

      The Stoke Hotel,I had forgotten about that place-used to go  there in `69.Got to know Spider,Pebbles and a lot of the Godalming Crowd back then.

  • Hi Dave,remember Guildford very well.We lived in Chilworth-where my Father was a Butcher.The Ricky Tick(later became the Plaza) was one place I went to a few times.The Wooden Bridge was another-in the late 70s it started a Sunday Night as a Northern Soul Night.People from Wigan Casino would finish their Weekend off there(from Aldershot,Camberley etc.).The Tailors you speak of(forgotten the name also) became Harry Fentons,near the Ricky Tick/Plaza.Did you ever go to the Civic Hall on Saturdays?The Harvest Moon was one place where you could see 3 versions of the Temptations or whoever the Promoter could get for the Concert.In the 60s Guildford became a place to be.Between `64 and 69 I had some good times-mind you(as you already mentioned)Violence was always under the surface.
  • David B Just finished reading your full piece on your times as a mod and feel you got it right, enjoyed yourself with the times as they were, and your feelings of the 11+ generation, you are right we were never expected to get a GCE never taught to it. I was born 1943 experienced the beginning of Modism. By the time I was 21 1964 felt I was out of it though had younger friends who were right into it, but by the end of the sixties the swinging was slowing down The flower generation was blooming the music was becoming very slick with Metal bands featuring  guitar solos that went on forever, all on the blues E scale. I think I missed it, but nice reading of your memories that are unemcumbered by rosy specs. Just a word about the pay then I started Jan 1959 apprenticeship and my father telling me "you are a signed apprentice Dental Tech and thats what you will be for the rest of your life don't come home saying your out of work" Starting at £1 7/6 pw five years later £6 00 pw. No  Tailormade Mohair suits,  or hand made leather winklepickers for me, just managed a secondhand scooter and of the peg 3 button suits from Silvers Bros in Woodgreen 
  • Interesting reading, especially you talking about the Wooden bridge in Guildford. There was a mod club there from 81-84ish.I remember riding down the A3 from south London every Friday night. At the time I had never heard of Guildford and would have never of thought I would eventually live there!
    • Thanks Al.  That is the first time I have heard that the Wooden Bridge opened as a club again.  Am I right in thinking that the IRA planted a bomb there in the seventies?

      There were some big names played there in the sixties.

  • A touch of confusion, I think - I cannot play the guitar!! Like you I took lessons for six months and could not get anywhere!! All the more frustrating as both my brothers play (one proffesionally) and my father was a musician also - I must be the exception that proves the rule!!

    I cannot find your article on 'blue denim jacket' - only proves what a numpty I am when it comes to navigating my way around computers - can you help



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