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Thread: outdoor brands from the past

  1. #41
    ‹bermensch
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    Anyone remember:

    Timpson's (or was it Timson's?) boots. The soles were nailed to the uppers and when they parted company, as happened not infrequently, it was like looking into the jaws of a crocodile.

    Itisa tents (pre-war, single pole and the name came from the exclamatory 'It is a tent!')

    Blacks of Greenock

    Robert Laurie (custom-made boots)

    Brown Best rucksacks

    Camp Trails rucksacks (I still remember the evocative sound of the wind singing through the pack frame). I have atached the hip belt to my GoLite Breeze backpack.

    Barbour jackets (still made but no longer worn by walkers)

    Rohan Striders and Superstriders which I reckon were the best breeches ever made and far better in tough conditions than modern legwear. Unfortunately, they had one serious design fault: a huge hip pocket in which my wallet often ended up uncomfortably close to my crotch.

    I still have a set of the original Berghaus Lightning jacket and overtrousers. They were made from first generaton Gore-Tex and had welded seams. The washing label instructed the user to wash only in Fairy Snow detergent - no wonder they were not very effective. I dug them out last year, washed and re-proofed them with Nikwax products and found that they are actually waterproof and reasonably breathable. I wear them on lowland day walks.

    I'd forgotten just how awful neoprene rainwear was until last month. I was leading a walking tour in the Cotswolds and, to my horror, found that I had forgotten to pack my waterproofs. The forecast was not promising so I bought a cheap set of neoprene waterproofs in Bourton-on-the-Water. It rained for two days and I was sodden at the end of each walk although I swear that not a drop of water had penetrated the fabric. It was a salutary reminder of how much we owe to modern materials.

    It would be interesting to read this thread twenty-five hence when I shall probably be exploring the Elysian Fields still using a map and compass.



  2. #42
    Widdler rolo's Avatar
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    kendal mint cake does any one still take that with them?.


  3. #43
    Ultra King Ddyrchafedig Gyrrwr (Beic Modur)'s Avatar
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    I don't know about "Timpsons" boots, but when I joined the Police in 1976 I was issued with original "hobnail" boots which had nailed on soles which could obviously be repaired.

    It was sometimes possible for a nail to go slightly astray on a repair and to suddenly stick into the foot when running.

    Thank goodness, I remember the switch to Doc Martins in the late 70s, which was brilliant for "creeping up" on someone you wanted to arrest. The hobnails that preceded them made it notoriously difficult to "creep" up on the "scroats."

    That is one thing I always laugh at when watching the Bill, when the actors get within 30 feet of them and shout "Stop - Police!"

    Yeah right!!!

    )


  4. #44
    ‹bermensch Chris Townsend's Avatar
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    Timpson's weren't the only boots with nailed soles. My first pair of "proper" walking boots were Hawkins Peak, made specially for the YHA Adventure Centres (remember them?), had nailed soles. Eventually the leather midsole rotted and the boots fell apart, revealing a rusty metal stiffener. The nails used to poke through the insoles and it was standard practice to flatten them with a stone. I still limped off the Snowdonia Horseshoe once with a cut foot from a nail.

    Camp Trails are still going in the USA, just not available in this country. In the 70s I had a Camp Trails Astral Cruiser pack and external frame.

    Rohan Super Striders and Salopettes were made from the same Schoeller stretch fabrics used in much soft shell clothing these days. Rohan dropped them just a little too soon!

    I'd already mentioned Brown-Best, Hugh. My first good quality pack was a BB.

  5. #45
    Goon Mr Justice's Avatar
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    - Javlin pile jackets.
    - Norwegian oiled wool jumpers from Tisos.
    - Checked shirts. The louder the check, the warmer the shirt, obviously.
    - Blacks Good Companions tent. Finally fell to bits during a bad night on Pendle Hill.

  6. #46
    Goon Mr Justice's Avatar
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    Oh, and saddle soap in a tin. The one I bought 25 years ago has almost run out, and apparently you can now only get it in a spray. Yuck. Unless somebody knows of a supplier?

  7. #47
    Mini Goon
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    Old gear names,Hawkins boots,Ultimate Equipment(I still have a bivvy tent of theirs ,last used on a KIMM in the Howgills),Campari rucksack,Peter Storm "No-Sweat" waterproofs and I still have both a Blacks Icelandic and a Blacks Tromso sleeping bags,the latter was not a bad bag in it's time and was used for mountain marathons.

  8. #48
    Goon cerddinen's Avatar
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    I recall Youth Hostels (YHA is a brand name?) being so very different - I was in awe of the hard men who would frequent those places then - it was like a regiment of ghost walkers/climbers and cyclists who all had wiry knotted legs and leathery sunburnt skin - they did their chores and left again at the crack of sparrow fart on some impossible mission........

    ah me

    a

  9. #49
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Hampton Tent Pegs.

    I still remember their advertising...

    "He needs a ten ton ham peg!"

    (Cartoon showing a guy trying to tether a huge pig!)

    I think they might also have been responsible for the slogan...

    "Tents, nervous headaches?"

  10. #50
    ‹bermensch Chris Townsend's Avatar
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    Paddy, that was terrible :-)

    Hamptons still exists:

    Hamptons Tent Pegs

  11. #51
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    So they do...

    But what happened to their clever cartoons?

  12. #52
    ‹bermensch john hee (www.walkaboutintheuk.co.uk)'s Avatar
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    Mr Justice "saddle soap in a tin"

    Try one of the horse equipment shops(saddlery?) I think its still available in tins as far as I know.

    Great for reproofing leather motorcyle leather as well - I used to get through a tin a year trying to keep the damned things even mildly waterproof


  13. #53
    ‹bermensch john hee (www.walkaboutintheuk.co.uk)'s Avatar
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    Barbour jackets

    What about the Belstaff over-the-head cotton (ventile?) jacket

    Still got mine somewhere. Great in the wind,but a swine to get dry if it ever got wet.


  14. #54
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    After Dubbin (which was before my time) came "Wetpruf" which was in a green and white round tin and was a clear wax. I treated my first boots with that in 1977.

  15. #55
    Mini Goon
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    Blimey, is Eurohike still going? My first rucksack was Eurohike. It weighed a ton.

  16. #56
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    Sam: Eurohike along with Peter Storm is an 'own brand' of Millets, a store which has transformed itself in recent years. It's easy to look down on this high street chain but much of the stuff that is sold in their shops is of reasonable quality and remarkably good value. Most walkers do not require the high tech gear beloved of OMers and their needs can be satisfied much less expensively. I own, and use, several items of clothing and gear purchased from Millets and it's associate, Blacks.

  17. #57
    ‹bermensch john hee (www.walkaboutintheuk.co.uk)'s Avatar
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    "Millets and it's associate, Blacks"

    BLacks owns Millets and is busy closing some down following poor trading across the group
    blacks/millet comment and link

  18. #58
    Mini Goon
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    How about when I pitched my 40 year old Artic Guinea tent next door to a 40 year old Black's Mountain tent - now they were the real mountain tents of the 60s. And I've still got my Blacks Good Companions (minor) from the late 60s.
    Whatever happened to the Phoenix range of tents. I still have a Phoenix Phortress. Anybody want to visit my tent museum !

    And somebody mentioned Robert Laurie (supplier to Everest expeditions) further back. I can recall spending hours and I mean hours in his boot shop tucked away behind Marble Arch ensuring I got the perfect fit. Now he was a craftsman.

    And there was nothing wrong with Hawkins boots. Made by the English for English feet!


  19. #59
    Mini Goon
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    You can buy saddle soap from saddlers or general riding/tack shops. Mine doesnt come in a tin - but guess you could put it in one . Still the main product I use for cleaning my saddles and other leather work.

    I still use my full length barbour jacket for riding(horses) in the rain. You can't beat it for that purpose.

    I remember wearing pure wool heavy jumpers in winter when I use to go out hiking - before fleeces. They were VERY warm, I don't think we get cold enough weather here anymore though, I would boil now.

    Soph

  20. #60
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    I'm still using my old Stubai hickory-shafted steel ice-axe, bought from the Climbers Shop in Ambleside in December 1975.

    I was in that shop on Friday and all their ice-axes are now alloy. I think my old axe would make a fine 'heritage' feature on their wall!

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