The Scotland Road Group

proudly presents

The Mods and Rockers

Scotland Road

"A Busy Night On Scotland Road"

Part 1: Introduction and History

~ The History Of Scotland Road ~

Scotland Road is located in the heart of Liverpool and runs along what was once the old coach route, to the north, from the town center. It became a turnpike road in the 1770's, as the road to Preston via Walton and Burscough. It was after this that a stagecoach traveled this road through Lancaster and Kendal through to Scotland, giving Scotland Road its name.

This name soon became synonymous with Liverpool, epitomizing both the best and worst of the city’s attributes. Although the origins of Scotland Road date back to 1770, it is 1803 that is viewed as the birth of Scotland Road. Through the years, those who lived in this area came from differing cultures and diverse backgrounds. One of these cultures was the Italians. Between the years of 1880-1912, a steady flow of Italian immigrants arrived in Liverpool. By 1913, it was estimated there were in excess of 400 Italian-born settlers in the tiny cluster of streets, which by this time, had affectionately became known as Little Italy. By the 1920's, the residents of this close-knit community had become an integral part of Liverpool’s society. Many of the residents earned their living as musicians, organ grinders, hotel-workers, knife-sharpeners, and street entertainers although it was in ice-cream making that several families distinguished themselves. Other families opened fish and chip shops throughout the city and as a result of their business enterprises, the Santangeli, Gianelli, Podesta, Chiappe and Fusco families became part of the folklore of the locality. The area was also world renowned for the many outstanding boxers developed in the amateur boxing clubs of the neighborhood. One such well-known boxer was Dom Valente, who ‘topped the bill’ at Madison Square Gardens and had his roots in Scotland Road’s Little Italy.

The Italians were not the first immigrants to settle in Scotland Road in the 1800's however. This distinction goes to the Irish. In fact, approximately 150 years ago Scotland Road had a population denser than was found in any other civilized city. The primary reason for this overcrowding was the Irish immigration, caused by the failure of the potato crop in many parts of Ireland in the 1840's. This led to thousands of people trying to make a new life for themselves in the New World of America. Unfortunately, the cost of the move was often too great for many families, and once they reached Liverpool, they did not have the money to pay for their passage. To say that they settled in vast numbers would be an understatement. In the end, immigration peaked at about 300,000 in the year 1847. This would prove to be one of the most detrimental things to happen to Scotland Road, as it was because of this mass immigration that Scotland Road acquired the reputation as a ‘poverty land’. Coincidently, bad housing led to bad health. The main killers seem to have been cold, hunger, cholera, and typhus. Unfortunately, situations such as these do not lend themselves to instant solutions, and many of the problems such as education, unemployment, and alcohol could not be solved quickly. The squalor and strife that existed in Liverpool after this time-period was never quite eradicated. It was still amongst the worst areas of housing in the 1960's.

The amazing thing about Scotland Road and its people was their ability to overcome all the adversity and hardships that they faced. In Scotland Road the population remained humorous and proud in the midst of poverty and defeat. The consistent good spirit of locals was largely due to the world-renowned part of this area.

The development of pubs on Scotland Road began in the early 19th Century, and it was not long before there was a pub on every corner of Scotland Road. The number of pubs increased from the 1840's and dramatically rose up until the turn of the next century. Scotland Road was well known for its vast number of pubs, which dominated the locality, making it one of the most vibrant districts in the city. It seemed no matter what hardships the locals endured in their life, they could be assured of a ‘good night with good people’ in their pubs. The pubs possessed an inviting warmth and was part of community life, providing a service to generations of families.

In the early 20th Century,the numbers of pubs in the Scotland Road area peaked at approximately 224, with 65 actually positioned on Scotland Road. By 1960, the number had been reduced to 111 in the area, and 41 on Scotland Road itself. This number continued to decline and today, the handful of pubs that are still on Scotland Road provides just a shadow of the former heyday of pub life that used to exist on this famous road. The pubs of Scotland Road were not the only form of excitement, for which the road was known. Scotland Road could also be recognized and remembered for its housing of gangs.


'A huge controversial craze - Beatle Mania'

"Rocker On His Bike"

~ The Mods and Rockers  ~

Gangs, by definition, each have their own character. It is a structure sharing the same ideas, attachments and solidarity. The interests, activities, membership, and status differ according to each one. They usually have a particular hangout or meeting place where they mark their territory. Conflict usually occurs when there are clashes with other gangs, although conflict can also occur within their own group. "The gang is an interstitual group originally formed spontaneously and then integrated through conflict. It is characterized by the following types of behavior: meeting face to face, milling, movement through space as a unit, conflict and planning" (Thrasher, 1927). The two gangs to be discussed that found their home on Scotland Road were the Mods and the Rockers.

     Developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Mods and The Rockers were two groups that were closely related to the work of author S.E. Hinton who wrote the novel, "The Outsiders". Each group represented opposite tastes with regard to a number of social conventions such as clothing, grooming, music, and so on.

Part 2: The Mods

Liverpool LinksThe Mods and Rockers - Part 2: The Mods

Submitted on April 11, 2002
© 2002 The Scotland Road Group. All rights reserved.

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