Were You a Mod in the 1960s?


Organisers of a major Leicester exhibition and festival are asking members of the public to dig out their old photo albums and search for pictures of when they were a Mod in the 1960s.

The Mods: Shaping a Generation exhibition, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and BID Leicester, runs for 3 months from April next year at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery and Soft Touch Arts, and tells the story of the Mod scene in Leicester and Nottingham. Organisers would like to see as many photos as possible on display. “The exhibition tells the story of the Mods but through the eyes of those that were there,” said curator and author, Shaun Knapp. “We have the opportunity to include quite a lot of photographs within the panels and we’d like to include as many as possible of those Mods that were on the scene in both cities. Soft Touch Arts, who are leading the project, would also like to create a series of scrap books for people to browse through whilst visiting their ‘inspired by Mod’ exhibition featuring a 1960’s style café backdrop. Any photos put forward would be a fantastic addition to those books.”

Organisers are appealing specifically for photographs of one of Leicester’s most colourful and well-respected Mods from that era. “Richard Billson, aka Big Dick / Dick Bill Harry, made clothes at his parent’s house in Oadby before eventually moving to a studio on the top floor of the Imperial Buildings on the corner of Gallowtree Gate and Halford Street in Leicester,” said Shaun. “Richard was known for his extremely flamboyant style and was renowned for never wearing the same outfit twice. A former farmworker, Richard was self-taught and well-known and popular face on the Leicester Mod scene. We’d like to highlight him within the exhibition, but no one seems to have any photographs of him, which is a shame as he was such a striking and much-loved character.”

An appeal has also been made for an authentic 1960’s jukebox and pinball machine. “They were both an integral part of the café and night club scenes,” said Shaun. “We’d love to include one of each within the exhibition. Ideally, they should be in good working order but it’s not essential.”

If anyone has a jukebox or pinball machine which they would like to loan to the exhibition, please contact Shaun on 07564 159056. Anybody wishing to submit photos can do so by sending them in the first instance via email to Joe Nixon at joe@archcreative.co.uk.


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