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 cities.......so 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 group.....an 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.
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!