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Scooter & Mod Meet at Blackpool Cricket Club

March of the Mods

The weather did not bode well for the Mod and Scooter Meet at Blackpool Cricket Club on Saturday. It was cold and drizzly and the puddle-filled potholes in the car park were testament to the previous night’s relentless rain. Wrapped up well against the wind, Dawn and I approached the entrance with diminishing optimism.  There were a few scooters, lined up against makeshift orange plastic fencing, and a small group of mods gathered in a huddle discussing their machines. In truth, it didn’t look very inspiring.

However, within minutes, our spirits were raised when Norman Haslam strode towards us, looking like a typical mod –  distinctive haircut, scarf and casual jacket – grinning from ear to ear. “Two Old Birds?” he asked, extending his hand.  He explained that the lunchtime meet was an informal affair, set up as a prelude to the main event of the evening, the March of the Mods.   Information had been passed by word of mouth or via social networking and Norman confessed he had no idea how many would turn up. Possibly the weather had put people off, but he was pleased that some riders had made the effort to get there from Leicester. Spurred on, we took some shots of the gleaming machines, all polished metal and Paul Weller badges, clearly cherished by their owners.

We chatted with a young local lad who sat protectively on his machine while he told us he had got into the Mod scene through his dad. This seemed to be a fairly common route, as we found when we ventured inside the club. Another young lad, with the same mod haircut and smart stylish bowling shoes turned out to be Norman’s nephew.  Looking at him chatting with his dad and his uncle took me back fifty years and prompted me to think he could have stepped straight from the pages of my 1960s Petticoat magazine.

There was an excited buzz about the room as it was prepared for the forthcoming event. Music systems were being set up as Norman and his brother mingled with both Mods and locals, spreading the word. These Two Old Birds with cameras had certainly got caught up in the atmosphere, and were happily reliving their youth.  We took a few more shots and  arranged to catch the mods on the promenade an hour or so later as they headed to the Soul Suite.

Sadly, somehow we missed them, but by then we were well and truly back in our youth – parkas, casual jackets, short cropped hair and the Small Faces…it was turning into a Lazy Saturday Afternoon (with apologies to Steve Marriott).

Photographs courtesy of Two Old Birds With Cameras

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