Memoirs of a Burley Mod

During the 1950's it was era of the Teddy Boys and Rock & Roll. Some of them had motor bikes such as Triumph, BSA, Royal Enfield etc. Many became Rockers.

Turning into the 1960's came the Mod era with new lightweight designed cars, pop music, and clothing fashion even for men. Plus, to have a motor scooter such as a Lambretta or Vespa. Many were dressed up with chrome accessories such as extra mirrors, spot lamps, crash bars and so on. Lambretta owners from Burley included Tim Reed, Tim Lawford, John Small, Richard Shutler and myself.

My first scooter was a Lambretta LD bought from a Miss Cookman in Pound Lane, Burley. That was written off when I crashed into a herd of cows at the top of Crow Hill which had escaped at night, from a local farm and were all over the road. The lights on the LD, were not at all good.

I then got a Li 150, series 2 and the engine gave up on that, so I part exchanged it to get a new series 3 Lambretta SX200 on Hire Purchase. See the black and white photos above.
My friends and I would go off into Ringwood to meet up at the Trappers Cafe behind the then cinema. On one occasion, over 60 scooters were counted. Usually however the numbers would vary between 25 and 40. We, the mods, would also spill off into Pillys Fish and Chip shop in the market place, as that had a cafe, or occasionally the Coffee House, with its basement.

The cinema became a discotheque. And along came the skinheads. Mods would also call into the Burley Youth Club ran in the Village Hall, and at Greyfrairs in Ringwood.

By the early 1970's, when glam rock came into being, the mods seem to disappear. Some bought motor bikes but most, then had cars. There have been a few revivals since, but nothing like the 1960's. Contrary to belief, Mods and Rockers were not always fighting each other. They were after all, simply bikers. Today you can buy a new Lambretta based upon the series 3 and from Royal Alloy. But they seem to be hard to obtain.

I bought the Piaggio B500, as seen in the coloured photographs, in 2003. It turned out to be a bad purchase, it spent of its time in my garage as it was forever going wrong. I scrapped it 2 years ago, with only 6,000 miles on the clock.

I also arranged several Ringwood, Fordingbridge and Burley mod reunions, around the time of the new millennium (2000), and to start with, they were very well attended including scooters from Southampton, Bournemouth and even Yeovil. But people eventually lost interest and I was not going fork out to keep that running. Rather like my time on the New Forest Marathon Committee, New Milton Chamber of Trade, New Milton Ratepayers, and on one occasion, a Twynham School Reunion. They were fun at the time, but there is a limit as to how of my own money I could put towards them.

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