Such cool cloth­ing

Classic Dirtbike - - Letters -

Loved the open­ing para­graph of your re­port of the Stan­hope Clas­sic, but I have to tell you that not ev­ery­one wore waxed cot­ton rid­ing suits ‘ back in the day’. As you can see from the at­tached pic (be­low) some of us couldn’t af­ford Barbour’s or Bel­staff’s finest, we had to make do with what we could find in the Army and Navy Store.

Boots were ex-wd Don-r, as you say. If they were good enough for Dave Bick­ers, they were good enough for me! Lov­ingly dub­bined be­fore ev­ery event of course, and worn with my school foot­ball socks turned out over the top of the boots...

Above the boots was a sort of rub­ber dun­ga­ree, a bit like waders with the feet cut off. In fact, they might have been waders with the feet cut off! Com­pletely wa­ter­proof, but you still fin­ished up soaked inside with (rather smelly) sweat. The coat was ex-us Army, about as wa­ter­proof as a sponge, but at least it dou­bled up as my win­ter coat for go­ing to work on the bus. The hat was my older sis­ter’s brownie beret (she prob­a­bly still won­ders what hap­pened to it, but I’m fairly con­fi­dent she doesn’t read CDB), an­chored by a pair of Ger­man tank driver’s gog­gles. That’s about all the gog­gles were good for, ’cos they had tinted lenses for desert use and you couldn’t see through them in an English win­ter. Clear lenses were ex­tra and I couldn’t af­ford those.

Fi­nally the gloves... string-backed driv­ing gloves at one shilling from the church jum­ble sale, also dou­bling up for ev­ery­day wear. The whole en­sem­ble prob­a­bly cost a cou­ple of quid at a time when a Barbour suit cost a month’s wages for me.

When shown the pic­ture, a child of the 21st cen­tury said it looked cool. I can tell you, it wasn’t cool, it was bloody freez­ing, es­pe­cially on the long ride home! Rob Lee Email Hm­mmm, how long is it since some­one said you looked cool? Nice pic though.

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