Brighton Mods bring bitter-sweet memories

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FOR chaps of a certain age and persuasion Mods will always be heroes.

Many of us who still remember the parkas, Levis and paisley scarves with such reverence are the ones too young to go to Skegness, Matlock or Cleethorpes on Bank Holidays.

We had to be content with watching them roar off - well, more whine off actually - in a cloud of blue two-stroke smoke.

The fact that many of them were back two hours later cursing and pushing their scooters only added to the mystique of the journey.

Later in the day there would be the guilty pleasure of watching TV footage of Mods and Rockers fighting on the beach at Brighton on the evening news.

It was brilliant to see them on telly - not so much the fighting, just the sheer numbers - but you knew your head-shaking, tut-tutting dad would be marking your card in no uncertain terms about hanging round with ‘that scooter lot’.

Unforgettable stuff.

As was the first time you saw Brighton Rock as a kid.

All that brooding and shadowy menace made it a film-makers’ classic and extremely scary.

Now they have put the two together.

Brighton Rock’s latest incarnation sets the story in the ’60s with Pinky as a Mod.

Not sure how the two cultures will combine on film but they bring back some pretty vivid memories around here - although the edge has been taken off slightly by those Brighton Rock-esque Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse spoofs.

Slight problem with the picture to the right.

It sums up the look of the era reasonably well but if you look at the lads behind Pinky - played by Sam Riley - they look old enough to have been there first time round.

I wonder if some of them were or got the bug during one of the Mod revivals and they wouldn’t let anyone else use their precious scooters?

Of course by the time we were old enough to ride to Skegness the Mod thing was pretty much over.

No bad thing really. The reality could never have lived up to the fantasy.