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The Battle of Brighton: I was there
12:38pm Friday 12th January 2007 in Letters
Chris Horlock has written a nice, informative book about Brighton in the Sixties, which happens to be my favourite decade, too.
The story about the Mods and Rockers fighting on the Sun Terrace has been a source of argument and comment for more than 40 years.
Did a reporter pay to have the fight stage-managed? I don't think so. It's true a photograph was taken while it was happening but then lots of pictures were taken during a number of fights.
A policeman at this time and on duty throughout that Bank Holiday weekend, I was coming up the steps leading to that part of the Sun Terrace while this fight was taking place.
I arrived just after the incident pictured. I believe the picture was taken by a photographer from The Brighton and Hove Herald and shared with The Argus or maybe the other way around.
I don't believe the fight was stage-managed as, after the weekend, it was discussed at length at John Street.
A number of officers were chasing this particular group along Madeira Drive and they ran up onto the Sun Terrace where there were a few Rockers looking over onto the roadway.
These Rockers were terrified when a large number of Mods appeared and the Mods were more interested in getting these Rockers than worrying about the policemen coming.
I was lucky enough to be on John Lennon's dressing room door while they were at the Hippodrome and was also working at Woodingdean when Errol Flynn's mother was killed.
I recount these stories and others in my latest book, On the Brighton Beat, Memoirs of an Old-time Copper. Have a read.
It's not too boring.
- David Rowland,(ex Brighton and Sussex police), Harvest Close, Telscombe Cliffs