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I was up in London on a bright autumnal Sunday in Regents Park for an article I was commissioned to write for a Japanese on line tourist magazine. My theme was that only London has such a plethora of parks in its centre. Fairly routine stuff so I was searching for an angle. In the inner circle I walked to a more secluded area above the waterfall where I chanced upon two young girls locked in a passionate embrace, although the girls were initially startled they continued to kiss each other. I was about to make my excuses and leave when one a South African engaged me in conversation. I asked her if I had chanced upon a part of the park where couples met for gay sex. She answered that she was power walking with her friend she had recently met and just decided to kiss her . I was not sure how to take this or indeed whether it was something in which my Japanese travel readers would have any interest but continued on my way still searching for my theme.

This was forced on me as outside the gates of the Inner Circle were parked at least 100 scooters and more were arriving in droves. The age of the drivers was sixty plus and I realised this was a convention of Mods. The Mods who wore parkas and drove scooters fought the Rockers on the beaches of British coastal resorts in the sixties. It’s a curiosity of British post war society which I cannot explain but in the 50s you had the teddy boys in  their drainpipe trousers , the 60s the mods and rockers and the 70 the skinheads who wore Ben Sherman checked shirts Doc Marten red boots and adopted reggae. These cults espoused violence in various forms. Now here aged 60 the Mods had gathered in numbers for Remembrance Sunday. Did they belong to scooter clubs? Is this a regular convention in the broad sense of the word? Where did they observe the silence at 11? If any readers know the answer to these questions I would be most interested to know.

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About Nancy Bright-Thompson

A widely-respected travel editor, Nancy is a past president of the Guild of Travel Writers (GTW). She and her husband Phil now run a horse sanctuary in East Sussex. More Posts