Baah Baah Baah (dadadadada) Baah Baah Baah Baah Baah (dadadadada) Baah Baah Baah Baaaah!

For my generation some things loomed large in our childhood.  My grandparents stories of Mitchell bombers landing with no undercarriage, Mosquito’s still coming home safely when being shot full of holes, of running through the night to wind out the barrage balloons as the Luftwaffe headed to Clydebank once again, they’re etched into my mind forever. It was a tangible reality to me, the stories when told to me were closer to the events in time than I am now to when I heard them. I’ve been to the jungles of Burma and I’ve driven through the darkness of the Highlands with vital components for the RAF in a truck with no lights. They’re my memories, and nobody can tell me different.
Commando comics, running round the woods with an imaginary Sten gun, movies full of heroisim and sentiment that now seems out of place in our selfish society were what many of us grew up on.
But times change, everything becomes just a hobby, and some clever bugger somewhere will feed that with product so that the interested can become the collector, and them possibly the obsessed.
This does mean that you can get a hold of some cool stuff though, and as this winter I’ll be testing some alternative clothing, Pile & Pertex, Ventile, Finisterre, I thought we could maybe get some really retro stuff in to see how it stacks up.
Broadsword calling Danny Boy…

15 thoughts on “Baah Baah Baah (dadadadada) Baah Baah Baah Baah Baah (dadadadada) Baah Baah Baah Baaaah!”

  1. I thought it was an Action Man outfit too! Ah Commando and Victor comics. That takes me back.

    You’ll probably find all the retro stuff works perfectly well and lasts a lifetime! Not that we can have things that last forever these days, apparently it’s no good for the economy…

  2. sbrt, I just found some of those on ebay!

    holdfast it’s all very usable. The parka’s made of windproof cotton, white one side, camo on the other, which is fully reversible, pockets, front closure and all. It’s got a wool blanket lining and a helmet compatible hood, just not the kind of helmet we’re used to these days…
    The cap has a fold-down ear and neck guard, and being wool it’ll be half decent in the weather.
    There’s a notion that the German army had all this good stuff and the Allies didn’t, and it’s all wrong. The British mountain troops/commandos had different gear, but it was more recognisable as mountain gear to modern eyes that the German kit.
    It’s fascinating stuff, the evolution of gear took such a leap forward in WW2. The horror attached to it all makes it an uncomfortable subject as well though.

  3. that looks like some proper genius kit. The film is truly brilliant, a favourite male bonding point between father and sons in my family, every time it’s on the TV.

  4. Comparing weights and performance can bring some real surprises. Mike Parsons and I were amazed at the results of our Mallory 1924 replicas and at the responses when they were properly field tested in 2006- these were not costumes like the ones that went for the recent Everest film, but replicas based on scientific analysis of the textiles used in 1924- a piece of work which involved a wide spectrum of expertise. For more details see

  5. The Mallory kit is brilliant Mary.

    I do wonder sometimes how we got to the point where it’s an accepted “fact” that wearing cotton in the hills will kill you stone dead.
    Onviously no one has told farmers, foresrtry workers, park rangers…

  6. With the Mallory stuff what really interested us was the lightness and performance that came with a combination of wind/snow resistant outerwear and layers of wool and silk and the ease of movement.

  7. Aye, I seem to see a trend back towards multiple thin layers as well as multifuctional stand alone pieces )Lined windshells, Pertex&Pile etc) these days.
    The big thick fleece era was done and dusted quite quickly.
    Last winter I wore a merino vest, them a baselayer, then a light midlayer, them a maybe a softshell, or windshell that stayed on when I put on a waterproof.
    I had a very comfy time actually, I’ll see how I do this year in Ventile and the like.

  8. Talking of retro kit “to see how it stacks up” – how about that 70’s rainbow brite puff of yours – I’ve still to see photos of that in action?

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