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Thread: Historic Hillwalking

  1. #21
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    Agreed, nice photos Mike I'll have to dig some of my family photos out ...so much to do ...so little time to do it!

  2. #22
    One Too Many Creeping Past's Avatar
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    I guess this is the British equivalent of "Show us yer guns", not five minutes away from this very thread. Our chance to show we've got loads of kit, too...

    I'm a lost time-traveller type, wearing anything from WW1 kit to stuff that might have been about from the early 50s. The most modern thing I have truck with is vibram soles, on occasions. I'm a walking local museum of The Past: less historicism, more historification.

    Loved the Cumbrian film. Even glorious saturated technicolour can't unmute the earth tones of tweed 'n' cord 'n' wool or, come to think of it, the carefree, unselfconscious attitude, free of performance fabric -- and associated anxiety.

    I'm still trying to work out the hob patterns on the two visible boots (bandana man and bobble hat lady). The lady is sporting tricounis, for grip, but the other lad seems to have a plainer arrangment, although they may just be well worn.

    The bandana idea I like, even though for me bandanas conjure images of Axl Rose rather than ramblin' Borrovian gypsy scholars. I've been working through suitable headgear, including bush hat, beret, Balmoral and Tam O'Shanter and I run too hot in all of them. Even so, the first two are good for sun/rain respectively. I may slap a rogueish-looking hanky on my head on my next excursion, if I can find something suitable, but only if at least 2 miles away from signs of habitation.

    A Voyageur-style bobble hat might be in order. I've been considering getting one for a while and might stump up for winter. Or there's a great-looking greasewool frontier-style version of a cap comforter offered by French Creek knitwear.

    HJ, could you include refs/descriptions for the 1949 and 1950 pattern gear, please? I'm a bit hazy about the ins and outs of surplus clobber. I've some bits of WW2-era gear (12" gaiters, puttees and a canvas rucksack) and some good quality repro WW1 clothing, but know nothing beyond that. Always keen to add ideas and substance to my walking wardrobe.

    I'm also averse to joining things, HJ. Never do. When my mum asked why Akela wanted me out of the cub scouts, he said it was because I refused to join in properly. Never found out what he meant by properly. I shudder to think.

    Anyway, my dislike of structure is catered for by the Kentish historical hillwalkers: they're there if you want to walk, with the minimum fuss, bother and chit-chat. I generally prefer walking alone, but it's nice to compare hobs and canvas every now and then.

  3. #23
    One Too Many H.Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creeping Past
    HJ, could you include refs/descriptions for the 1949 and 1950 pattern gear, please? I'm a bit hazy about the ins and outs of surplus clobber. I've some bits of WW2-era gear (12" gaiters, puttees and a canvas rucksack) and some good quality repro WW1 clothing, but know nothing beyond that. Always keen to add ideas and substance to my walking wardrobe.
    Arghh! You know not what you do! Don't get me going!
    Basically there are three categories postwar of British Army 'fieldwear' that were often brought into service by hikers in the 1950s:
    The 1949 pattern brown serge battledress (blouse and trousers);
    The 1949 and 1950 pattern desert/tropical gear (think Suez and Aden) in cotton drill (shirts and shorts/trousers) and Aertex (jackets);
    The 1944 and 1950 pattern jungle green gear (roughly same styles as above).

    The beauty of this era of gear is that it is cheap and quite freely available. I recently obtained a 1950 pattern Aertex bush jacket, KD cross-over trousers (airmen's, without the map pocket) and 2nd pattern bush hat for 13.99 GBP total, all unissued. Great for summer walking.

    Actually, Baron Kurtz and I are conspiring to start a thread on postwar British KD and JG gear. which has been sadly lacking from the lounge since the Adventurers' Gear thread 'went off'.

    Note that one individual in Mike 1973's photos is wearing 1944 pattern leggings. Can things get more exciting than that?

  4. #24
    One Too Many Creeping Past's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H.Johnson
    Arghh! You know not what you do! Don't get me going!
    Like inviting a vampire in, or something!

    Quote Originally Posted by H.Johnson
    The beauty of this era of gear is that it is cheap and quite freely available. I recently obtained a 1950 pattern Aertex bush jacket, KD cross-over trousers (airmen's, without the map pocket) and 2nd pattern bush hat for 13.99 GBP total, all unissued.!
    I don't like to invade your turf, but was this Ebay? I've been looking but I'm not a Suez-era standard size... unless we're talking Suez-era all-in wrestlers. It's difficult to locate old stuff large enough. I've tried repro Aertex gear but found it unsatisfactory.

    Quote Originally Posted by H.Johnson
    Actually, Baron Kurtz and I are conspiring to start a thread on postwar British KD and JG gear. which has been sadly lacking from the lounge since the Adventurers' Gear thread 'went off'.
    Must be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by H.Johnson
    Note that one individual in Mike 1973's photos is wearing 1944 pattern leggings. Can things get more exciting than that?
    Frankly, yes. I'm more a '38 type of chap.

  5. #25
    One Too Many H.Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creeping Past
    Like inviting a vampire in, or something!
    Worse than that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Creeping Past

    I don't like to invade your turf, but was this Ebay? I've been looking but I'm not a Suez-era standard size... unless we're talking Suez-era all-in wrestlers. It's difficult to locate old stuff large enough. I've tried repro Aertex gear but found it unsatisfactory.
    No! I use the site occasionally, but it's very expensive compared to surplus shops, which are more fun anyway. I'd have paid three or four times that amount on OFAS. Larger sizes are a problem - national service was the main reason for producing most of this stuff - and the reason for it being unissued fifty-odd years later

    Quote Originally Posted by Creeping Past


    Frankly, yes. I'm more a '38 type of chap.
    OK, but where leggings and anklets are concerned, '44s are rarer than '37s and are much more practical for hillwalking.

  6. #26
    One Too Many Creeping Past's Avatar
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    Re: '38. Like I said, I'm hazy on surplus specifics.

    My local surplus stores are out of most of the good stuff. I need to start venturing further afield.

  7. #27
    "A List" Customer Mike1973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H.Johnson
    I was going to post some of my late father's and mother's hiking and cycling club 'snapshots' from the 30s, but yours are so similar that I feel it would be redundant.

    I'd love to see your photos H.J! Redundant? Can you have too many period outdoors fun photographs? I don't think so! (Same goes for you Micawber, dig them out!)

    Quote Originally Posted by H.Johnson
    The location in your shots is tantalisingly familiar, but I can't quite place it. I suspect it's the Peak District, in the post-industrial area of villages and moorlands to the west of Sheffield. I think I recognise Hathersage, which serves as 'Morton' in Bronte's Jane Eyre and boasts Little John among its sons.
    Although I visited Uncle Walter at the weekend, he had a full house so I didn't have the opportunity to grill him on these... But I assume all the places shown would have been fairly close to Brum, assuming these are day trips via cycle/train.
    Quote Originally Posted by H.Johnson
    You have commented on the mixture of '37 pattern gear (BD and packs) - note the dark blouse to the right of one of your photos - it seems too dark for an RAF - can it be ARP/CD?
    My grandfather (another H. Johnson ) said he dyed his battledress with shoe polish after he was demobbed!


    '37 and '44 patt anklets, webb. So what's the difference? I really should know, having dabbled in the stuff for over 15 years...
    Vintage on a Shoestring Budget ;-)

  8. #28
    One Too Many H.Johnson's Avatar
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    Mike,

    I'm not very good at posting family photos - there is something I don't quite like about putting pictures of dead relatives on publicly accessible web-site. I like people to come around and look at the albums.
    My favourite story about war-time photos concerns the cycling club to which my father and mother belonged going on a trip to Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds in 1940. It was the first time in the war that they had enough members on leave to make up a party and they were determined to make the best of things. Now, B-o-W is a lovely village with cottages of honeyed stone, through which the River Windrush runs, splitting the village into two. Actually more like a brook, the river is about fifteen feet wide and less than a foot deep. It is spanned by a number of narrow, picturesque foot bridges, on which it is traditional for hikers and tourists to photograph one another. The club did so (using an uncle's Brownie No. 1, which I still use when I have the film) and the film was handed in to the chemist for processing and printing. When my aunt called at the chemist to collect it later (it took two weeks in those days), she was told that the photos had been confiscated by the official censor, as bridges were strategic installations, of value to the enemy, and they could be arrested for spying! I hardly think that the Wehrmacht would have been held up for long by a stream less than a foot deep and not very wide!

    The '44 pattern, as you will recall, was jungle green for the CBI theatre (there are indications that a KD version was planned, but I have never seen an example - examples of '44 pattern BD in wind-proof type camouflage do exist, but their official status is uncertain at the moment). Th3 '44 pattern leggings are JG high lace-up jobs clearly copied from the US canvas gaiters, which were already being used by Empire trrops as being more suited to jungle warfare. As I say, originals are rare.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1973
    I'd love to see your photos H.J! Redundant? Can you have too many period outdoors fun photographs? I don't think so! (Same goes for you Micawber, dig them out!)



    Although I visited Uncle Walter at the weekend, he had a full house so I didn't have the opportunity to grill him on these... But I assume all the places shown would have been fairly close to Brum, assuming these are day trips via cycle/train.

    My grandfather (another H. Johnson ) said he dyed his battledress with shoe polish after he was demobbed!


    '37 and '44 patt anklets, webb. So what's the difference? I really should know, having dabbled in the stuff for over 15 years...

  9. #29
    Practically Family shortbow's Avatar
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    Dang, you Limeys spin a good yarn. This exchange has tickled my plumb to death. Sure nice to read ya got something to do besides hanging around pubs planning your next soccer brawl.

    Couple of you oughta be scribes or somethin' 'cause ya can sure use some fancy lingo. If I lived over there in Jolly Olde, and couldn't hunt and fish like we do around here, I'd sure be into all that wanderin around in old clothes and such.

    Fine words about shinin' times.

  10. #30
    One Too Many H.Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1973

    My grandfather (another H. Johnson ) said he dyed his battledress with shoe polish after he was demobbed!
    It seems this was not uncommon in wartime as a part of the 'make do and mend' movement. I made a few enquiries and apparently a lot of clothing was dyed to make it seem 'new' by making a liquid dye from shoe polish and boiling water. They used to pour the water into a vat and stir the polish in until it dissolved. NOt by rubbing shoe polish onto the cloth as I at first thought!

    Guess whose going to try this next week-end?

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