The Online Mod/ern/ist Archive

archive of original modernist recollections and information .
we are glad to hear from anyone with memories of the time, but we do not rewrite history .

4 Mar 2012

Memories & Photo's of Birmingham Mods Del Evans & Gill Taylor




Writing this takes me back to an exciting time in my life, back to July 1960 when I had just finished 3 years at Moseley Art School in Birmingham. I studied Dress Design , Pattern Cutting & Dressmaking also History of Costume as well as other Art subjects.
I didn’t want to wear what everyone else was wearing I wanted to get my own look. I cut my hair into a bob and tinted it with Color-Glo Black Tulip, I designed & made a collection of dresses, coats and bags mainly in black, navy & grey. I’d meet my friends from Art School at the Stage Door Coffee Bar just off High St. in Birmingham city centre and also The Old Stone Cross in Dale End where Spencer Davis played and Steve Winwood sang long before they were famous. It was there that I met my husband to be Del Evans, we were interested in the same things – clothes & music.
In early 1962 we were looking thru’ a French magazine and there was an advert for Gitanes cigarettes the model had his hair cut in a french crop and he had a very stylish look, we really liked it and started recreating it.
Del started designing his own suits and having them made to measure at Hepworths in New Street Birmingham. He had a navy 2 piece with chalk stripe, high lapel, 4 button with double vent and ticket pocket, a black and white tweed 4 button with flap pockets including ticket pocket and double vents,a black Irish tweed jacket with Ghillie collar and flap pockets also a Ghillie collar suit in navy pin stripe.
We bought shirts and I removed the collars so that Del could wear stiff white collars fastened on by back and front studs. Our favourite shirts were charcoal grey or black and white gingham. Del also had a black and white gingham giraffe tab collar shirt which he is wearing in one of our photos with a pale grey lambswool sweater, Ghillie collar suit and topped by a black leather coat which he designed and I made for him. When wearing his suits he would always have a silk pocket handkerchief and a knitted tie in navy or black. Del has always loved button down collar shirts and still wears them now.
It was fashionable at one point for Mod lads to have walking sticks as shown in one of our photo’s and when we went to the West End Ballroom in Birmingham on a Sunday night they would dance with them.
There was a boutique in Brighton called 13 and a half where I bought a genuine french onion sellers black and white striped top which I still have.
I designed and made many clothes for myself usually on a Sunday morning to wear at the West End Ballroom on a Sunday night amongst my favourites were a navy wool skirt and jacket with scallops and a navy and cream flowered collar,a navy crepe dress with white flounces on the collar and cuffs, a black linen skirt and jacket with large flower design, a pair of french round sunglasses, a black nylon trench mac, a denim hipster skirt with belt and a blue patterned top with flounced neck and cuffs.A brown leather jacket and skirt worn with a black polo neck jumper and a black leather waistcoat with a scoop neck. These are just a few of the many clothes we had, they are shown in our photos.
Sometimes on a Saturday morning we would catch the train to London to go to John Stephens and the Mod Male. We heard that Anello and David the theatrical shoe makers were selling cuban heel chelsea boots and we went to get a pair.When we got there we were amazed to see the queue of Mods waiting to get into the shop to buy them .We waited in the queue for ages but the shop shut before our turn. When we got back to Birmingham I got their phone number and arranged for 2 pairs to be sent by post. Del is wearing them in one of our photos.
The KD coffee house was a popular place to meet up especially on a Saturday morning before going to the West End on a Saturday afternoon.The West End was a great place to go to on a Sunday night there was a DJ and around 9 there would be a group on. The Whiskey ago go and The Golden Eagle in Hill Street were really good places to go.
We still wear Mod style and Del likes to wear smart suits with button down shirts in deep colours or black and white gingham. I still design and make my own clothes and work as a designer dressmaker.

By Gill Taylor now Gill Evans





















15 comments:

lloyd Johnson said...

Great photos!...no myths there....it's really nice to hear true stories back up with photos like these...I had a suede jacket with a leather collar very similar to the one in your photos ..mine was brown suede with brown leather pocket flaps and collar...Our coffee Bar 'The Pamdor' In Hastings.East Sussex was above the Hastings branch of Hepworths and most of us went to Burtons or Hepworths for our suits...a suit cost around £12-£15 in the early 60s...thanks for showing your photos...

Sid Price said...

Gill From brum myself, remember all this in brum back in the sixties, hepworths, west end, the whisket over chetwyns, rainbow sweet and bands that were on at the odeon new street Spencer Davies etc. me and my wife jan were mods ourselves and still go to do's in brum Now!!!

Anonymous said...

Wooooooooowwww!!! Amazing!
Mocky Dimples.

TonyBlue said...

This looks very good T.... I'll read it at my leisure.

J. D. King said...

I just love that era: that time, that place...

Malcolm Wright said...

What a fantastic write up, thouroughly enjoyed the trip back to great times. The photos were excellent- I also had a suede jacket with leather collar and a mock croc bag. Though I was not clever enough to make my own clothes !. Thanks for sharing your memories.

Gill Evans nee Taylor said...

Hi Lloyd thanks for your comments its great to hear others Mods memories of the time.Del's suede jacket was also brown with leather collar and flap pockets.There was a club in Birmingham called the Whiskey which was over a menswear shop called Chetwyns.Del & I have wanted to share our photo's for a long time.

Gill Evans nee Taylor said...

Hi Lloyd thank-you for your comments its great to hear other Mods memories of the time.Del's suede jacket was also brown with leather collar and pocket flaps.
There was a club in Birmingham called the Whiskey which was over a menswear shop called Chetwyns.
Del & I think it's great to have our photo's on JACK THAT CAT WAS CLEAN.

Gill Evans nee Taylor said...

Hi Sid
Thanks for your comments it's great to get interest. Were you & Jan at Reunion a couple of years ago at Malmaison ? We were there with Bobby & Maxine Summers.We took photo's along a lot of people looked at them and reminised about the clothes that they had.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures and suits Gil!!
I want to make a suit like your 4button! I live in Gothenburg/Sweden and just love the 60s modstyle in clothes.Could you help me out with a pattern or some general directions? Can I email you?
All the best/ Samuel H

SamuelH said...

Hi again
Forgot to mention, if you can help me out Gil, my email is samuelhellstrom@gmail.com

all the best / Samuel Hellström

SamuelH said...

Hi again
Forgot to mention, if you can help me out Gil, my email is samuelhellstrom@gmail.com

all the best / Samuel Hellström

Monkey said...

Great photos. Love some of the poses!

John KIng said...

Fantastic.

I was too young to be a proper Mod but, having seen two sixth formers at my school turn up one morning on an immaculate scooter wearing crombies and bowler hats (which were replaced with school caps before they entered the school building) I was desperate to become one. By the time I was old enough, Mod was on the wane and the choice was skinhead or greaser! I obviously chose the former, but was left feeling a bit unsatisfied.

Can I ask about the shoes that Del is wearing in the pic with the chalk stripe suit – are they the elusive Solatios?

Anonymous said...




Hello all ex Dungeon members.

I was a member from late 65 to late 67, anyone remember Gabby, he always wore a mid tan Edwardian drape suit, very cool for the times.

Two piece made to measure, Mohair, Italian suits with 14 inch centre vents, 3 inch pocket flaps, 6 buttons on the sleeve cuffs and Frenchies on our feet....
Great Times.

Yan. Stu, Pete Blood, Kenny (Mini Boy) Astill, Mondo, Alan Richards (great Vespa - great mate), Cass, George, Linda, Brenda what were the names of the girl twins?, Paul Smith (not that one) Dave Picker, so many names to try and remember.......

The Who, The Smallfaces and many others who played for our entertainment.

I remember rocking a battered van, back & forth one night, containing Andy Fairwether-Low, (Amen Corner) who we thought may be having his way with a local girl inside.

Also the famous Sat night when it was raided by the police with the bus outside, and so legend has it, every one in the toilet flushing pills down the loo, not that I saw a lot of drugs.

All dayer’s on a Sunday were always my fav, Sundays in the UK were so dead in those days, nothing open at all.

Anyone remember the Four Seasons on top of Griffin & Spaldings Dept store, where we would all meet to have a chat and coffee, also the Kardomah round the corner, very bohemian, the L shaped rooms on Glasshouse Street, very chic but very dark inside if I recall and the Joe Lyons tea shop on long Row.

Renos Restaurant on Alfreton Road was where the scoooter boys would meet for eats, next door to Jeffs, the only shop in town you could buy any decent gear.

Friday nights at the rooftop dance at the Nottm Poly used to start our weekend, fab girls and great music (Wayne Fontana - any body)

Desert boots and parkas, Lee Rider jeans and the latest Ben Sherman shirt, purchased from the New Sir Jeffrey shop on Alfreton Road completed the weekend look.

The Manchester Twisted Wheel, The Clouds in Derby and of course The Greatest of them all....The Mojo in Sheffield, where Peter Stringfellow used to let a group of us sleep on the dance floor overnight before returning back to Nottm next morning, after raiding his small fridge, for eats.

It was when Stringfellow took over the music decks in mid 67 and gave Nottm its first taste of The Summer of Love, that for me the Soul era ended and most people went separate ways, but the memories remain, a little clouded maybe with time but still there all the same.

Best wishes.
Roy

SOME OF THE MUSIC PLAYED.

At The Club..Drifters
Needle In A Haystack..Velvelettes
Shake Me Wake Me..Four Tops
Nothing But Heartaches..Supremes
Can I Get A Witness..Marvin Gaye
I Spy For The FBI..Jamo Thomas
Oh How Happy..Shades Of Blue
Holy Cow..Lee Dorsey
Headline News..Edwin Starr
Billy's Bag..Billy Preston
Open The Door To Your Heart..Darrell Banks
Al Capone..Prince Buster
Getting Mighty Crowded..Betty Everett
Beachwood 4-5789..Marvelettes
Let's Go Baby Where The Action Is..Robert Parker
I'll Do Anything He Wants Me To..Doris Troy
Harlem Shuffle..Bob And Earl
The Entertainer..Tony Clarke
How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You..Jnr Walker
B-A-B-Y..Carla Thomas
Nowhere To Run..Martha And The Vandellas
My Guy..Mary Wells
The Way You Do The Things You Do..Temptations
Big Time Operator..Zoot Money
You Don't Know Like I Know..Sam And Dave
Respect..Otis Redding
Heatwave..Martha And The Vandellas
You've Been Cheatin'..Impressions
Barefootin..Robert Parker
Little Darling..Marvin Gaye
King Of Kings..Jimmy Cliff
Back In My Arms Again..Supremes
Stop Her On Sight..Edwin Starr
These Things Will Keep Me Lovin You..Velvelettes
Help Me..Spellbinders
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever..Four Tops
634-5789..Wilson Pickett
Get Ready..Temptations
See-Saw..Don Covay
Just A Little Misunderstanding..Contours
Right Track..Bill Butler
Helpless..Kim Weston
Road Runner..Jnr Walker
Working In The Coal Mine..Lee Dorsey
I Can't Stand It..Soul Sisters
This Old Heart Of Mine..Isley Brothers