Mods and Rockers


  • Intro

    One weekend in 1964 residents and holiday-makers in the seaside towns of Brighton, Bournemouth and Margate, were rocked by a sudden influx of young, cool gangs. They were Mods and Rockers, and the culture clash that occurred that weekend, described in this article in The Daily Sketch, has become iconic in the history of youth culture.


    Mods and Rockers were easily identifiable by their distinctive clothing styles: the Mods wore Fred Perry and Ben Sherman designer suits, covered by a Parka jacket; while the Rockers wore leather biker jackets and jeans. Mods also rode European scooters like Lambrettas and Vespas and listened to a mix of Motown, ska and bands such as The Who. The Rockers favoured motorbikes and listened to American rock and roll such as Eddie Cochrane and Elvis. Although the movements were short-lived, violent clashes between the two gangs were seized on by the media and used by moralists to exemplify the outrageous liberties enjoyed by Britain’s youths. The seafront vandalism and violence described in the newspaper article was later made into the 1979 film Quadrophenia.


    Image Copyright: John Frost Newspaper Archive


    Shelfmark: British Library Newspaper Archive

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