THE GLORY BOYS SCOOTER CLUB

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Suit Yourself arranged to meet with the boys and girls from the Legendary scooter club The Glory Boys. The scene was set and the photo shoot was arranged in a disused airship hanger frame in Farnborough, our fantastic photographer was at the ready and we kept an eye out for security whilst she happily snapped away, we then pinned the guys down (not literally) for interviews and stories about the club. First we grabbed the clubs spokesman Cliff before Mark related stories of old.................

 

Hi Cliff can you tell us about yourself, How long have you been a mod and when did you get into the scene....

I first got into the mod scene in the early 80's when I was at school, about 12 years old. I was influenced by the music and the look. The first bands that influenced me were Bad Manners, Madness and The Jam. I was then introduced to secret affair and never looked back.....

 

How were those early experiences?

 

When we were still at school we'd go the local youth club disco and pogo to a Town Called Malice and dance like fools to come on Eileen. Every Saturday we'd go into town to the record shop and see what vinyl we could afford.

 

Can you tell us about your love of scooters, and your first rally?

 

I waited a year until I was 17 so I could get a 125 scooter. My first scooter was a black and white Vespa p125, I had this about a year before I had a head on collision with a car. I had a lovely set of crash bars on it which didn't work and the scooter was a right off. Then I bought another P range, it was red and I spray painted union flags on the front and side panels. This was done in my mums conservatory. I kept this for a year until I lost my provisional license and I bought a 50 special which I sprayed black and white. When I was able I went back to another P range. I kept my scooters until I became a family man and had 2 young children. This was in the mid 90's. In 2005 I bought an LML 125 and rejoined the scene.

 

The first rally I went on was the Isle of Wight Mod Rally 1985, camping at Sandown and hassled by skinheads so we didn't get any sleep. But it was great fun.

 

What is your favourite part of the scene?

 

My favourite part of the scene is the scooters and riding them wearing the parka etc. The social side, being out on scooters with your mates is very important. It is great how many random people come up and speak to you about the scoots. The music is still great and I've been to see some of the old bands recently  such as Secret Affair, Madness, Bad Manners, From The Jam. It's a great atmosphere you can't beat it.

 

Which current model of scooter do you own?

 

I currently have an LML 4t 200. Its blue and chrome. It's my bottomless money pit as there is always more chrome needed on it somewhere. It's taken me and my wife to many rallies such as Weston Super Mare , Exmouth and Jersey.

 

Can you tell us about some favourite times you've had in the mod scene.

 

There have been so many it's hard to pick one. Back in the 80's being part of MOD AID going to London where there were hundreds of Mods listening to top Mod bands of the time. Another memorable time we went up to Scotland, had our union flag confiscated by the B&B owner on our arrival and a member of our club decided to write Glory Boys across the tiles of the sports hall to show we'd been there. We were told this was still up on the wall for at least a year. The best memories are riding to rallies all over the country with a great bunch of friends, having lots of laughs and drinking far too much. More recently we've enjoyed better accommodation that we don't have to share with 8 other people, reliving my youth at the Isle of Wight national rally and seeing Tony Class and Emma Cox still DJ'ing. (Tony is no longer with us, unfortunatly)

 

How do you think the scene has changed over the years? 

 

When I became a dad Mods and scooterists still had their own rallies but when I came back into the scene the rallies are now a mixture of Mods and scooterists together. Due to age restrictions now you get Mods that can't get into do's and the cost of scooters is stopping a new generation coming into the scene. 

The friendly atmosphere is still going strong and it's great to meet like minded people, the only downside is now we ache more after a night out and it takes longer to get over a hangover 

 

Do you have a favourite current band, venue and rally destination?

 

Bands now would be Secret affair, From the Jam, Lord John Band, Who's Who, Hi Watts. All of these have been great nights out whether at a local pub, larger venue or rally. Top rallies IOW, Hayling Island, Warmwell, Weston Super Mare, Exmouth and Jersey.

 

Can you tell us more about the Glory Boys?

 

The Glory boys was formed in late 1984 by Jim Scott, Big J, John Atkins. Neil Remington. And a few more. It was Formed in Farnborough. Within a year it had mods from Woking and Farnborough and soon from Aldershot, that's when the Glory boys got bigger and more well known on the rally scene. We used to meet weekly at The White Hart pub where we would plan what rallies and gigs we would go to over a few beers. We regularly met up with the Hidden Traces from Bracknell and our 2 clubs supported each other at rallies, do's, and scooter breakdowns. 

 

We are still active just smaller in numbers with 10 members, 3 of us from the original club. We meet fortnightly at the pub and plan where we are going and when. We still attend rallies, have regular rideouts and go to see bands when they come into the area. We are a Mod club and we all like our lights and mirrors

 

What's your view of todays scene?

My views on today's scene is that it is as good now as it was then. There's still great bands be they original or tribute ones. There's plenty of scooters and interesting people to talk to about it.

 

And where do you see yourself in 10 years time Cliff?

 

Still loving the scene and riding my scooter, I hope.

Next stop, Barry and Mark. Two of the Glory boys finest, Mark takes us through his time in the legendary club...........

- Barry and I became mates at school in late 80’s. He already wore a parka and knew about scooters and bands at that point due to his older brother. In ’89 we would see the Glory Boys SC outside the local pub when they met up and maybe 6 months later I bought my first parka. My favourite bands were probably the staple diet of the revival – Jam, Secret Affair, Chords etc

 

Being the only one at sixth form wearing a Fred Perry, Harrington and a parka while everybody else was either dressed all in black and being miserable or wearing a multicoloured Benetton shell suit – it was clear I’d made the right lifestyle choice!

 

Hastings CCI Mod Rally was the first rally for me. I went by train to Hastings and later in the same year the Isle of Wight on a PK50 was the first one I rode to. it was only a 35ish mile ride down to the ferry at Portsmouth but it seemed to take most of the morning and to add insult to injury, my exhaust fell off after covering only about 5 miles. So in usual fashion, it was simply bungeed to the flip-flop backrest and we carried on regardless in a haze of smoke and one hell of a racket. Barry and I rode down with a local squaddie so the “convoy” was a Vespa V100 Sport, an LI150 with tartan accessories and my PK50. The sight of 100s of scooters in and around Ryde (when we eventually got there) is something I won’t forget.

 

My favourite part of the scene is still the scooters and riding about with your mates. Seeing, or being a part of, a group of scooters (preferably with plenty of shiny goodies attached) coming up the road is still brings a smile to my face. 

 

The first time I rode a scooter sticks with me. I remember Barry couldn’t ride his scooter home after being stung by something and his hand swelling up like a balloon. Alex (one of our mates) was designated to ride Barry’s PX home as he had more riding experience meaning I was left to ride Alex’s Vespa V90 back. I’d ridden pillion dozens of times so thought I knew the basics and after a 2 minute tutorial we were off. Thankfully the trip was no more than 10 minutes and after 9.5 minutes I was quietly congratulating myself at having successfully managed to get myself and the scooter safely home. Sadly the last 30 seconds didn’t go as smoothly. As I turned into the last corner of the journey an entire row of terraced houses seemingly came out of nowhere and I ploughed headlong into the end house. Alex was riding behind me and I can only imagine what must have been going through his head as he watched his beloved smallframe bouncing off the brickwork. (Sorry mate!)

 

More recently, and he won’t thank me, but seeing Cliff chase alongside his scooter across Asda car park in Camden after he somehow knocked it into gear while he was stood next to it with the engine running remains one of the funniest things I have seen. The look of panic on his face as his scoot revved towards the oncoming midday shoppers was priceless.

 

I started off with 2 x PK50s in a row (you can never have too much of a bad thing) although only one of them ever ran. Later went to a GP150, PX125, PX200, LI150 Silver Special, back to a PX200, onto a PX125 with Polini 180 kit and then another PX200. I’m currently trying out a 4 stroke with a 4T LML 200

I’ve always enjoyed the scooters and riding about the most so in that regard it has remained timeless.

 

My musical tastes are a mixed bag across the usual scene favourites be it the revival bands, soul (Northern, Atlantic and Stax) through to Blur, Oasis, Stone Roses or more recently The Spitfires, The Rifles and Samuel S Parkes. My favourite rally is still the Isle of Wight. It has turned into a bit of a circus over the last few years but it is still the best place to see so many different styles of scooters, dress sense and music. You always come away with some new ideas.

 

I don’t know that the scene has particularly changed that much. The theme running through it of dressing smart and having fun with your mates has remained constant. There is always something to do and you can easily fill your evenings and weekends with do’s or events if you wanted to. Today’s scene is whatever you want to make of it.

© Suit Yourself Modernist Culture 2019

EST 2016