This is an edited extract from Beware the Mods, Brighton by Judith Judd, published in the Observer on 13 April 1980
Youth groups who fought Easter’s battles of the beaches will be back at the seaside resorts for the spring bank holiday. Mods and bikers have already laid their plans and arranged their rendezvous in the growing nostalgia for the 1960s.
The mods in the High Numbers Scooter Club in Market Harborough will join forces with the mods of Kettering and Leicester for the descent on Brighton. Halfway they will meet members of the Wetherby Scooter Club from Yorkshire.
Plans for the outing were made at Scarborough where 217 youths were arrested last weekend. Six men and three girls were fined sums of up to £650 when they appeared before the town’s magistrates last week.
Bill Arnold, aged 19, of Market Harborough, who was fined £100 for obstructing the police, told The Observer: “Scarborough was planned at Southend last Easter. Our scooter club meets in the pub and we are in touch with clubs throughout the country.” Arnold has been a mod for two and a half years.
The hundreds of young people who abandoned the punks for the mods 18 months ago, were, he says, just jumping on the bandwagon.
The Observer’s guide to some of the tribes who will be invading the beaches at Whitsun:
Mods Ride scooters and wear parkas over mohair suits. Clean and smart. Often have parents’ approval.
Skinheads An offshoot of mods. Convict-style hair and bovver boots.
Rude Boys Wear trilbys and pork pie hats and smart black overcoats.
Roots Boys West Indian youth cult. First aim to protect themselves from the police.
Punks Working class. Out to shock. Latest uniform: tartan skirts with matching bum flaps.
Teds Wear drainpipe trousers and crepe-soled shoes. Rock’n’roll fans.
Bikers Have motor bikes and fringed leather jackets. Less concerned about their appearance than those in other tribes. Some claim to be non-violent and less greasy than others.