A Rural Mod

Life as a 60s rural Mod

It has been of great interest to read articles from other member regarding their Mod activities in the 60s. These in the main seem to be centred around larger towns and I decided to write something about life as a Mod in a rural area.

I moved to Norfolk from the Midlands in 1961, my parents bought a rural Post Office in a tiny village with just 100 inhabitants. Nearest town, Cromer, was nine miles away and the nearest city was Norwich, twenty miles away. No buses, no trains.

I started at a grammar school in North Walsham , ten miles away.

I soon became aware of a group of pupils who were slightly different from the rest...unifoms were 'tweaked' to look different, shoes although black were sometime suede and they spent lunchtimes listening to jazz.

On reflection...were these modernists?

So, 1962 dawned and I began to mix with some of the interest in jazz and blues had been started in me by my Dad, who had a large collection of 78s and vinyl.

Also at this time, one of the group, who had moved to Norfolk from Romford, arrived back from an Essex visit with check trousers, shoes with centre stitching and a cool line in button down shirts.....I was enthralled.

Now the hard bit. Clothes had to be bought by pocket money was 2/6 per week (12 1/2p in todays money)

The school continued to be split between Mods and Rockers but as were were all mates anyways, and living in the same villages, there was no real animosity, just differences of opinion on choice.

Getting to anyplace for a social gathering was well nigh impossible unless your parents were happy to cart you about. It wasn’t until I passed my driving test in 67 (was not allowed to have a scooter) that I began to see live bands although on two occasions when I got a lift I saw The Action and Long John Baldry at The Links in Cromer.

Once mobile that extended to Chris Farlow and PP.Arnold in Dereham and also followed Geno Washington wherever he was locally.

I can remember seeing The Kinks and The Small Faces in Norwich at a Jazz Festival but just can’t remember the year.

Clothing could be a nightmare if your parents would not help out.

Pocket money, as I have said was minimal. Summer jobs like fruit picking filled the coffers and a bus trip into Norwich brought a visit to Harry Fenton’s. My sympathetic grandparents funded my first pair of Tattershall Check trousers and a cord jacket. Thought I was the dogs.

Levis I think were about £4.19s 6d (£4.97p in new money) and being in the county of several American airbases, Parkas were easy to come by..

My first suit after starting work at Jewson’s was made at a Tailors called Chadds…..still going. It was three piece, blue Mohair. Cost £34 made to measure….I earned just under a fiver a week so good old Mum loaned me the money.

Pair of black loafers by Eaton……superb.

Saturday nights were spent at The Samson and Hercules in Norwich with a live resident band or trecking to see Geno if he was fairly local.

Thursday nights was the same venue only over 21s (I looked older)…good old ‘grab a granny’ night.

Unfortunately I really cannot comment on whatever the Mod scene was in Norwich as we only ever visited for a gig or dance.

We had our own scene out on the coast…..nothing exciting…but mates with a like mind.

Recently my interest and faith have been restored by finding quite an active scene in Norwich …mostly folk from the revival periods…but good stuff. Plus the opportunity to buy vinyl that we could never afford back in the 60s.

Mod never leaves you.

Style outlives fashion

Shoes feel better when polished!

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  • an A40 mk2 Jeremy? wow you must have been rich mate?

  • Thank you Ben.

    I was lucky enough to drive an Austin A40 MkII

  • this sounds very familiar to the Kettering area scene in those days!!

    we had good clubs e.g. North park Keteering, the Tin Hat and most working mens clubs had do's and the Shades at Northampton.

    Unreliable lambrettas,Minis Austin A30's Ford Anglias aonly the chosen few had the ideotypical images of Mods you see these days in the 2nd(?) resurgence of Modliness.

    It was good though and if you remember the 60's you really were there !!

    its only those that wish they had been there say that " if you

    can remember the 60's you werent there"

    saw Raymond Froggatt Band at the Links Cromer but that was @73-74

    great article Thanks!!

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