The Project


This unique project celebrates the remarkable story of the stylish 1960s youth sub-culture and the 40th anniversary of the release of the cult Mod film, Quadrophenia.

The project featured a major exhibition at Leicester’s New Walk Museum and Art Gallery from April – June 2019 that told the story of the Mods but through the eyes of those that were there. The Mods: Shaping a Generation project was created and organised by Shaun Knapp (Author of Mods: Two City Connection/High Flying Around), Joe Nixon (Co-founder of Arch Creative) and  Soft Touch Arts.

The exhibition was based on social history author Shaun Knapp’s book, Mods: Two City Connection (published 2019) and included eye witness accounts and photographs from Leicester and Nottingham Mods, most of which had never been seen or heard before.

The exhibition included scooters, ephemera, and original 1960s clothing provided by designer Roger K Burton as seen in the film Quadrophenia.

Leicester charity Soft Touch Arts involved up to 100 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to meet the older generation and participate in creating an ‘inspired by’ Mod culture exhibition called ‘Modified’ at Soft Touch Arts that ran alongside the New Walk Museum exhibition.

“Some people think the Mod thing was all about how you looked, like some immense army of people who all had the same look but it wasn’t like that.”

Jelly Nixon

Who's made the project happen?

Mods: Shaping A Generation wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our sponsors and all of our contributors including the original Leicester and Nottingham Mods. Find out more about those who’ve made this project happen.

Shaun Knapp

Shaun is a Leicester born social history author with a passion for the music scene. Content for the project is based around Shaun’s latest book Mods: Two City Connection, which is central to the exhibition curated by Shaun.

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Joe Nixon & Arch Creative

Joe is the Creative Director and co-founder of Leicester design agency Arch Creative. Arch are leading the project creatively and Joe worked closely with Shaun to design and help curate the exhibition.

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Chris Wigmore & Soft Touch Arts

Leicester charity Soft Touch Arts Director Chris gave her talents to Mods : Shaping A Generation. With a passion for the sixties period Chris brings a wealth of creative talent, as well as her organisational skills leading the REVIVE Festival.

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Roger K Burton

One of the most established and well-known costume designers in the UK today, Roger has worked in television, film and music videos since the late 1970s, during which time he has built up an extensive collection of authentic street fashion from 1945 to present day.

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Alan Fletcher

Newark author Alan Fletcher wrote The Mod Crop Trilogy, a trio of books based on his life as a Mod in Nottingham during the 1960s. Alan also wrote Quadrophenia (the novel) and was story consultant on Quadrophenia (the film).

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Colin Hyde

Adding the expertise of a local historian, Colin is East Midlands Oral History Archive Researcher and Outreach Officer at the University of Leicester. Colin’s initial suggestion helped to kick-start the project.

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Heritage Lottery Fund

Leicester charity Soft Touch Arts received a National Lottery grant towards the project, which is being delivered in partnership with Leicester City Council, design agency, Arch Creative and author, Shaun Knapp.

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BID Leicester

Leicester Business Improvement District (BID) was voted in in November 2017. To supplement the National Lottery grant Soft Touch Arts received sponsorship from Bid Leicester as a headline sponsor.

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Leicester City Council

The Mods: Shaping a Generation project is delivered in partnership with Leicester City Council’s New Walk Museum. Leicester city council also helped with some funding for Leicester’s new REVIVE Festival.

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