Reader mark (Not Mark, who is a contrarian dude who lurks around here) asked Ex Bootneck a question on Barbour Jackets. Honestly, I had no clue what a Barbour was/is. But Ex Boot had no such deficiencies. The question from mark was:
I recently acquired a old and musty barbour coat and I was wondering if Ex Bootneck has had one in the past, since I see he is a outdoor guy, and if he had any suggestions for how to ventilate it.
And the gouge straight from Ex B:
Ref, the Barbour Jacket; I am just about to educate young Mark, and blind his mind with technical science that originated in 1894, at the Barbour Jacket workshop in South Shields, just 70 miles North from my home.
He is correct, in that I do use an outdoors ‘Barbour Jacket’ (men wear jackets, woman wear coats), it’s a British thing!
In fact I may well contribute a ‘tome’ to your blog on the reasons, why’s, and where for’s, on the use of such ‘waxed, waterproof, thorn, and barbed wire tear resistant, Jackets’.
A quick change of barrels…
The “foggiest idea”or even “my memory is a bit ‘foggy’ on the event” was first used by Charles Dickens.
It also refers back to the great ‘smogs’ (smoke-and-fog mixture) of England’s large industrial Cities, CIRCA 1900. With London suffering the worst, as it also endured millions of coal fires polluting the air, as well as that from coal fed power stations within the City. On still windless days the smog actually turned day into night, which could last weeks. The smogs were so thick that breathing was made very difficult; each year thousands died through respiratory problems, mainly the very young and elderly suffered.
(On the old Sherlock Holmes movies you will notice that some of the London streets have slow swirling fog throughout the scenes. ‘Footpads’, muggers, and thieves operated in this twilight zone to the detriment of others).
The Clean Air Act 1956. Was an ‘Act of the Parliament’ of the United Kingdom, passed in response to London’s ‘Great Smog’ of December 1952, which was so thick it even permeated homes and work places internally. In just over a week it killed 4000 people, and made over 100.000 seriously ill. Sulphur Dioxide was the main culprit, which formed from the burning fall out of cheap coal (the best hard coal was exported). The Clean Air Act created smokeless fuel zones combined with the introduction of higher quality fuels that burned more efficiently, thus reducing the smog effect. The River Thames was the constant source that provided the ‘fog’, the thick yellow and dark green mix of ‘smog’ was often referred to as a ‘peasouper’ as it resembled the colour of pea soup!
To this day London’s nickname is still ‘the Big Smoke’.
We live and learn old chap, but only if people make an effort to pass forth the information to enlighten others… (Perhaps another one for the Blog)?
Forgive me for not clarifying what our Barbour expert is talking about when he mentioned foggiest. It is just me fooling around with him when I passed mark’s question his way: Mark from the blog had a question below. And I don’t have the slightest idea what a barbour coat is. (Translation if that was not understod: I don’t have the foggiest idea what a barbour coat is. . . Heheh. Forgive me, I’ve been watching Sherlock Holmes. . . )
You know, that was funnier when I wrote it. . .