Blog 238 Mods and Rockers Melbourne style November 2012

During our time house sitting at Olinda we got a text from Rob who was currently in Peru. He usually attended the 59 club Mods and Rockers reunion down at Brighton beach in Melbourne on his Norton.

In my absence you should consider kick starting the ‘snorting’ Norton and getting down there, it’s fun!!”.

Not one to shy away from his duties Kev accepted with relish. The Norton was only a solo seat so Kev was on his own for this adventure.


The mods and rockers confrontation originated in the UK in the 60′s. Mods would be on their scooters, well groomed with fur lined Parka’s (anoraks/coats) and the rockers on British motorcycles in leather jackets with turned up jeans and motorcycle boots. The common rockers hairstyle was a pompadour (quiff) reflecting their choice of 50′s music rock and roll. Mods were more into 60′s ska and beat music and their subculture was centred around music and fashion. The coastal towns were a popular destination on hot days and on the Easter weekend of 1964 they became a battle field. Thousand of mods descended on the coastal towns only to find huge number of rockers had the same holiday plans. Within a short time tempers flared and the rival gangs were openly fighting. The town of Brighton took the worst violence and the fights lasted for two days.

These days there is little animosity between the different biking styles and this mods and rockers run in Melbourne aptly to be held at Brighton beach was an occasion to dress up, hear good music and enjoy some unique bikes of the era.


Kev even managed to squeak Rob’s Norton into the inner sanctum of the 59 club where the band was playing.


Normally I would have been more than content to remain with Bridie in our hideaway retreat but coincidently the MGCoV had a ride out to Roger’s lake that day also. Mark the new vice president of the club was confined to driving his car as he was still on crutches from a skiing accident that was keeping him from riding. At the recent social sip we made a right pair with our crutches.


I was even luckier in that Matt lived nearby to Rob’s and gave me a lift on his Le Mans down the hill to the meeting point, it would not have been comfortable to do the whole journey on this though. My luck was holding out Pierre was on his own, Nancy had decided not to join him on this occasion so I travelled most of the way on the back of Pierre’s very rapid V7. We had a brief stop at fellow member Geoff’s house for morning tea and biscuits before we resumed to Roger’s. It was a cracking ride full of lots of twistys. Pierre was used to Nancy on the back and I was about the same size so he wasn’t hanging around and he knew the roads well.


Roger it turned out had a very large lake at the end of his property. It was a beautiful setting with the lawns sweeping down to the lake edge. He had thoughtfully erected a decked area under the trees and it was here most of us gravitated too. The BBQ was very welcome as were the beers for us non riders, (that’s Roger cooking on the BBQ), all in all a most enjoyable way to spend a day. I was hoping Kev’s day was a good as mine. I did travel back with Mark in the car as my limbs were aching and I didn’t wish to overdo it. In one of those very rare occasions these days, we could exchange our different stories of the day.


We remained on at Olinda after Pam and Rob returned from their trip and watched the seasons change from spring to summer.


Having got back up on two legs I now had to use them to get my strength and stamina back. I was still getting incredibly tired easily. Bridie helped, she enjoyed her walks and I pushed myself further than I might have otherwise. In the last picture you can get the scale of the trees as I am the little speck on the right hand side.


In the beginning Kev and I did a split walk and he would do an extra loop with Bridie whilst I did a shorter stroll.


She loved to be up high if you sat on a rock she had to jump up to join you.


The arboretum was a good test as it was all on a massive slope down the mountain. I did overdo it some days and struggled to put even one foot in front of the other towards the end of the walk but we just rested a lot and enjoyed the scenery on those occasions. In the photo where Kev is standing our car was parked by the trees on the far side, you can just make out the road. As I got stronger we walked further and we found this meadow near the golf course.


Another bonus was we found one of the best fish and chips in the area in Montrose. The Flake is caught fresh every day and everything including the chips is cooked to order while you wait (you can phone ahead and collect), this is a photo of its general store.


When the heat ramps up the sounds of Cicadas are in the air with their distinctive chirping. The photo is of a Cicada emerging from its nymph skin sadly this one never made it to adulthood the ironic thing being that they live for many years underground only emerging to mate. They construct an exit tunnel to the surface and shed their skin. There are about 2500 different species around the world and it is the males that the noise.


Australia like most of the world is increasingly multicultural and no where more so than Melbourne. There are strong Greek, Italian and Chinese communities here but this Indian temple caught Kev’s eye as he rode past. He doubled back to ask if he could take some pictures.

As luck would have it he met the architect as the temple is currently being extended. He was happy to show me around the outside and let me take pictures although the inside was off limits to the camera as that was considered sacred. It was interesting to watch the elaborate mouldings taking shape and sneak a peek of the shrines in the centre of the room which would later off be limits.


Next Up – FOIM Festival of Italian Motorcycles.

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