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Mods vs Brighton Maccabees

David Felsenstein

Maccabee Beach was the great gathering place for Jewish youth in the 1950s and 1960s and here David Felsenstein recalls a confrontation between the Mods and modern day Jewish Maccabees of Brighton!!

In 1964, many of the local young Jewish population were enjoying a hot May bank holiday afternoon on Maccabi beach. The mood was happy, with pirate radio stations Caroline and London competing loudly from numerous transistors.

It was the year of the Mods and Rockers invasion, when Brighton witnessed mass breakouts of fighting, piles of deckchairs being set alight and many windows smashed along the seafront.

Suddenly, there appeared at the railings above Maccabi beach a large crowd of Mods obviously looking for trouble. Everyone turned off their radios and the beach fell silent. As if by some secret command and without saying a word, every Jewish male stood up and turned to face the Mods. The message was clear, and after a scary few minutes, the Mods decided against pursuing their obvious intent to come onto the beach and cause more mayhem, and moved off.

Surely a sign of the legacy of the heroic Maccabees living on in 60's Britain!

David Felsenstein

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