IT has been the ‘Mod Mecca’ since 1964, when scooter-riding mods first descended upon Brighton and fought with motorcycle-riding rockers.
A group of six scooter enthusiasts from Jersey also travelled to the Sussex coastal town recently, but not for a seaside showdown – their aim was to attend the annual Brighton Mod Weekender scooter rally.
And to their pleasant surprise, two of the three prizes awarded by judges at the event went to two of the Jersey visitors.
John Medina won the prize for Best Mod Scooter on his stunning 1959 Lambretta TV17, while Paul Le Brocq claimed the award for the Best Vespa, thanks to his ornately-decorated 1960 Vespa GS.
The pair both belong to the 79ers’ Old Timers’ Club, who take their name from 1979 – the year of the ‘mod revival’ and the critically-acclaimed film Quadrophenia.
Mr Medina (56) has been buying, collecting and tinkering with scooters since 1979, when he was 13 – although he had to wait until 1983 before he was old enough to ride one.
The Island-based mods took their scooters on the overnight ferry to Portsmouth and then rode the 80 miles to Brighton.
But Mr Medina said the club members had not travelled to the seaside resort with just the competition in mind.
‘Brighton is called the Mod Mecca,’ he said.
‘We just went for the event.
‘We met some old mods who had been going down every year since the 1960s with their scooters, and now come with their wives on the back.
‘But Paul and I both have very nice scooters and we knew they would stand out.
‘The judges came round and picked out the ones that were eligible.’
The weekend also featured the music, fashion and dance styles of the mod era, as well as their vehicles – but without violent confrontations with the hirsute rockers.
Mr Medina added: ‘It was a great weekend. I think we’ll go back next year.’
An estimated 600 scooters and their owners, including many from Europe and beyond, travelled to Brighton for the four-day event, which was organised by the New Untouchables Scooter Club.