MODS & ROCKERS
Inspired by true events that occurred in England between March and May 1964
Disclaimer: The characters are borrowed from Stephenie Meyer for whom I'm eternally grateful.
I've whisked Edward, Bella and friends away from Washington State and dumped them in another rainy part of the world where I'm sure they'll feel quite at home. As the story is set wholly in England, the spellings are in UK English (like me). I've included author's notes at the end of some of the chapters to explain the historical events or actual places referred to in the story. I hope you find these helpful.
Mods & Rockers is a romantic drama with adult themes including sex, violence (not too much), some humour and bad/offensive language. I really hope you enjoy it.
I don't pester readers for reviews, but I do love getting them and any other feedback so many thanks in advance if you do take the time. If you feel inclined to review and/or ask questions about what I'm writing about, I will respond.
Setting the Scene - London, March 1964:
In England in the 1960's, thousands of teenagers and young adults, now free from the imposition of National Service and post-war austerity, divided themselves into two distinctively different gangs. They were either sharp-dressed, scooter-mad Mods, or leather-cladded, motorbike-riding Rockers. They were natural enemies, and 'battles' took place on the beaches around the coasts of England, usually on Bank Holidays (Public Holidays). The story covers actual historical events that took place between March and May 1964, and if you are interested, there is a lot more information on the internet about the Mods and Rockers confrontations that took place in Clacton and Brighton that are mentioned here.
In 1964, London was not yet swinging. Mary Quant and Biba were just starting to find their places in the fashion world. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who were already on their trajectory towards the stars, but 'popular' music was almost totally ignored by old men that ran the nation's media.
In 1964 you could buy alcohol in pubs and clubs from the age of eighteen. You could ride a scooter or small motorbike at sixteen and drive a car from seventeen. For the more powerful motorbikes you needed to have passed a test and have a full licence. Voting age was twenty-one. The Pill wasn't generally available to unmarried women so the sexual revolution hadn't taken place as yet. Homosexuality was still illegal. Pubs closed at 11pm. Only half the homes in Britain had a telephone and very few houses had showers or separate loos!
The average wage was fourteen pounds a week and the currency hadn't yet been decimalised. So in every pound there were twenty shillings, in every shilling there were twelve pence. So a ten shilling note was half a pound. Try working that out when you're a kid at school - nightmare! I won't go into guineas, half crowns etc., that would be too confusing.
Social class and ingrained snobbery still played a huge part in society. The middle-classes had 'never had it so good', according to Harold McMillan, a previous Conservative (Tory) Prime Minister, but the blue-collar working class were still relatively poor and were not yet benefitting from the growing prosperity of a victorious nation.
Women were still second-class citizens in society, especially in the workplace, and blatant sexist remarks and habits were commonplace. The terms 'Politically Correct' and 'Equal Opportunities' had not yet entered the English vocabulary. 'Coloured' people from the West Indies and other British colonies were encouraged to come to Britain to work in the hospitals and on the transport network, but nobody wanted to rent a house to them. 'Black' music however was slowly creeping onto the London club scene and would eventually spread its influence across the country.
So now we've set the scene, here we go with a tale of two young Londoners;
One boy, one girl; One rich, one poor; One privileged, one not.
One Mod, one Rocker.
Joan (aka Michaelmas54)