Remember the Mods?

Tony Beesley with his band The Way.
Tony Beesley with his band The Way.

This week’s Memory Lane revisits the days of the Mods – 1970 and 80s style.

Author Tony Beesley is the one taking us back to the days of his youth in the Rawmarsh area, as the scooter kids revisited the “Golden Years” of two decades earlier.

One of the photographs catches just one such mod fan – Paul Morton – as he sits proudly astride his scooter in this 1979 picture.

Young Mods living it up at Rotherham's Assembly Rooms.

Young Mods living it up at Rotherham's Assembly Rooms.

Tony himself is pictured, with his band The Way... looking suitably modern on the roundabout at Rawmarsh’s Rosehill Park!

The Way’s line-up comprised Tony on guitar and backing vocals, John Harrison on bass and backing vocals, Terry Sutton on lead vocals and guitar, and Ian Deakin on drums.

Says Tony: “The band was half Rawmarsh (me and John) and half Mexborough (Terry and Ian).

“We played at the now-demolished Rawmarsh Baths, and I, myself, used to attend some of the Mod nights there.

Mod fan Paul Morton.

Mod fan Paul Morton.

“There has been keen interest in a CD release of the Way’s recordings, which myself and singer Terry Sutton hope to compile at some point.”

At one point The Way had Tracie Young on backing vocals.

Tracie was signed to Paul Weller’s Respond record Label act, and she had a chart hit in 1983 with The House that Jack Built.

And finally, young Mods are pictured living it up at Rotherham’s Assembly rooms during the same period.

Tony recalls how Mod bands played both the Assembly Rooms and Clifton Hall.

He remembers: “Names included The Prisoners, Makin’ Time – who included future Charlatan Martin Blunt – the Rage, the Gents, the Moment, the Cynics, the Scene and 
the Lambrettas amongst others.

“Mod fans came from all over the region – and often the country – to experience the cool Mod sounds and live bands being spun at the 
Assembly Rooms!”.

Tony’s trilogy of books on the music scene of his era kicked off with his critically-acclaimed Punk and Mod chronicle Our Generation.

The book carries lengthy accounts of the Mod nights at the Assembly Rooms and Clifton Hall and other Mod 
related material.

And his third and latest offering, This is Our Generation Calling covered the Mod scene from 1979 to the present day.

It carries exclusive pictures of The Jam, Secret Affair, Specials, Sheffield’s own The Negatives, and Paul Weller.

And both books chronicle the history of The Way – from the viewpoint of both band members and fans – as a counterpoint to what was going on nationally.

Tony was first encouraged to put his memories on paper by his 20-year-old son Dean.

His second book is entitled Out of Control: Punk Rockat the Doncaster Outlook and Rotherham Windmill,

The books are available in all good book shops and online from his website at: www.ourgenerationpunkandmod.co.uk