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Brighton Mod

Photos sourced by Museum of Youth Culture

Ahead of Brighton’s legendary Mod Weekender, we rummage through Museum of Youth Culture’s photographic archive documenting one of the UK’s best-dressed subcultures.

When you think of mods, you think of Brighton. A spiritual home for the subculture; it’s been that way since the early 1960s, when mods and rockers descended onto Britain’s beaches during the infamous clashes.

Now in its 16th year, Brighton’s Mod Weekender is an annual celebration of music, scooters and fashion, with people coming from all over Europe to make the pilgrimage. As much about being seen, as it is about getting the gang together, the seaside town becomes a showcase for shiny Vespas and riders in their Sunday best.

Alongside live ska, soul and punk music, market stalls line the seafront for the bank holiday weekend, with fierce competition at the annual scooter competition (not to be missed).

From the mods of the ‘60s to those championing the subculture today, it’s all about being part of something greater; uniting through fashion, music and scooter culture – and looking damn good while you do it.

Brighton Mod Weekender takes place every August bank holiday weekend

Group of scooterists about to go on a ride out, Cork, Ireland, 1999. Photograph by Rebecca Lewis
A41 Eagles Scooter Club members, Dizzy, Gruffy, Jane, Paul, Heidi and Liz, Porthcawl, Wales, UK, 1995. Photograph submitted by Heidi Maund
Madeline on her soon-to-be husband's Triumph Thunderbird motorbike, Tottenham, London, UK, 1970. Photograph submitted by Madeline Palm
Mark on his scooter, Clacton-on-Sea, 1960s. Photograph submitted by Mark Barratt
Mods and Skins walking down Brighton Beach during the May Bank Holiday, 1982. Photograph by John Ingledew
Crowd at the Mod Weekender, Volks Club, Brighton, UK, 2018. Photograph by Chloe Ackers
Group of boys pile up on a scooter at the Isle Of Wight Scooter Rally, August 1983. Photograph by Viki Headspeath
Mod on his scooter at the 'Scooter Love' Mods and Rockers annual weekend, Seafront, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK, 1987. Photograph by Debby Besford