Hunter Green Wellington Boots

hunters-boots

Launched: Green Wellington 1955

History: Hunter Boot Ltd. is the maker of fine rubber wellington boots.

Established in January 1856 as Norris & Co. (later to become the North British Rubber Company Ltd in September 1857) by Henry Lee Norris (from New Jersey) and Spener Thomas Parmelee (of New Haven) who arrived in Glasgow to work on a Charles Goodyear patent to manufacture rubber overshoes and boots. The company is now headquartered in Edinburgh

A true British heritage brand, Hunter is a Royal Warrant holder “as suppliers of waterproof footwear” to both the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

Norris succeeded at the company by William Erskine Bartlett who sold his “Bartlett” patent to British Dunlop for just under $1m to acquire the rights to manufacture and distribute rubber tyres that were substantially similar to those used today.

 World War I saw a dramatic boost in wellington boot production as a result of an order from the War Office to construct a sturdy boot suitable for the conditions in flooded trenches, over 1.1m pairs were made. Likewise, in World War II 80% of production was for war materials, with the boots becoming a firm favourite with the services and civilians alike.

After WWII, boot making moved to a larger factory in Heathhall, Dumfries and in the winter of 1955 the famous Original Tall Green wellington was launched., was made over 50 years ago in the winter of 1955.

In 1966, North British Rubber was bought by car tyre manufacturer, Uniroyal who in turn sold to Gate Rubber Company in 1986 which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Tomkins Plc in 1996 who sold on their interest in 1999 to Interfloor – an underlay manufacturer. In 2004, a management-led investor group acquired the Hunter Boots business of Interfloor Group Ltd for £1.98m becoming the independent Hunter Rubber Company. There followed announcements that to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Green Wellington seven different coloured boots would be launched.

In 2006, the Hunter Rubber Company was placed into administration being purchased by a private consortium funded by the Pentland Group Ltd re-launching as Hunter Boot Ltd with a substantial re-structuring of the business saw itself re-established as a major player in the traditional country and leisure footwear markets with summer 2007 seeing an 85% sales increase against the same period in 2006.

High manufacturing and fuel costs caused the business to move production overseas to China and Indonesia – some feel that this had an impact on quality. The likes of Gwyneth Paltrow style guide site www.goop.com doesn’t agree calling Hunter’s and associated rainwear “impeccable, long-lasting quality that result in the kinds of enduring must-haves that become hand-me-downs”.

My Green Hunter Wellingtons: As a kid I remember the chunkiness and smell of our wellingtons they were always a little too tall scratching the backs of our knees but no Sunday ramble, Bonfire Night or Autumn garden clear-up was complete without our trust Wellys.

As an adult, my pair of Hunters bought in the mid 1980’s were a constant site at the banks of a fishing river, a Point to Point and on country walks. That pair unfortunately rotted in an outside shed some years ago – the peril of mistreating real rubber – but as the impact of years of cycling took hold of my calves I was delighted to try on, at Hunter’s Regent Street showroom, a pair with a very comfortable and expandable calf section!

Your Hunter Wellingtons?: Sharing your experiences of this wonderful British brand couldn’t be easier either complete the “Leave a Reply” section below or Reblog this post but we’d really like to hear your tales of the joys of owning a pair of classic Hunter Wellington Boots.

 

Image by Hunter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chanel Egoiste

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First Launched 1990

Designer: Perfumer Jacques Polge

Égoïste is a men’s perfume produced by French fashion house Chanel. Originally launched as a limited edition scent named “Bois Noir”‘ in 1987, the fragrance was eventually re-launched to the general market under the name Égoïste 1990. The perfume release was supported by famous commercial directed by Jean Paul Goude.

Égoïste was created by renowned French Perfumer, Jacques Polge, who was Head Parfumer at Chanel between 1978 to 2015.

M Polge admitted in 2010 that Égoïste was his favourite creation.

M Polge described the genesis of the wonderful fragrance: “What happened was, I found an old formula by Ernest Beaux [creator of N°5] of a women’s fragrance called Bois des Iles, which is exclusively sold in Chanel stores. There was a high content of sandalwood in it. We were used to such scents as fougères in men’s fragrances, but sandalwood had never been used as the main note in a male perfume. Egoïste is built around that. There is also some ambrette seed in it.”

Egoiste means selfish or self-centered in French.

Chanel S.A. (founded in 1909) is a French privately held company owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, the grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer an early business partner of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (also known as “Coco Chanel”).

My Chanel Egoiste: Like M Polge Egoiste has been my favourite fragrance for over twenty years. Its always wonderfully fresh and never ages. Love it!

Your Chanel Egoiste?:

Image courtesy of Chanel

If you liked this post please “Like” and share it with your friends. We’d really like to hear your experiences of the subject(s) featured in this post. Please share them below in the “Leave a Reply” section. Thanks

Porsche 911 Targa

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The Porsche Targa has the distinct characteristic of being is a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full width roll bar behind the seats. The term was first used on the 1966 with the launch of the classic Porsche 911 Targa and the name, “Targa”, remains a registered trademark of Porsche AG.

The Porsche 911 coupe first debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963. Designed by Ferry Porsche, the son of the Porsche founder and his cousin, Ferdinand Piech, who developed the air-cooled flat-six engine. Launched as the 901, an objection from Peugeot who claimed naming rights to any three digit configuration with a zero in the middle resulted in Porsche renaming their new car the “911”.

Ferry on the launch of the Targa in 1965 described the car thus – “The Targa is neither a coupe nor a convertible”.

It is said that Porsche got the name, “Targa”, from the Targa Florino, a famous Sicilian road race. In Italian and Castellano, the word “Targa” means “number-plate”.

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The Targa style roof opening became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, resulting from fears that the US Department of Transportation (DOT) may ban convertibles because of safety concerns for the occupants should a car overturn.

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Over the years Porsche designs have varied. In 1996 the Porsche 993 Targa featured a retractable glass roof a design that continued into the 996 and 997 models. The glass roof retracted underneath the rear window revealing a large sky-facing opening. For me, in the earlier models of this style this gives the windscreen an almost too high pitch that affects the overall aesthetics of the car.

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The car received criticism as it was descriebed as a “coupe with a gigantic sun roof” – simply not what Porsche had intended and perhaps too far away from the core of this iconic car?

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With the introduction and production of more recent 911 Targa, including the Type 991, Porsche decided to take the latest Targa in a different direction from that of the previous water-cooled Type 996/997 cars.

Is 2014 car has somewhat returned to its earliest Targa roots by the utilizing of a solid roof panel spanning over the front seats which was mechanized for automated lift-away and storage under the rear glass roof, which itself is mechanized to lift up and out of the way as the roof panel is placed into its stowed position.

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Porsche seem to have decided that life should imitate art having produced a Targa that seems to take some design cues from a rather sophisticated toy from the late 1970’s. When I worked in the Christmas Holidays between University terms, I got myself a job at the now defunct Army & Navy Stores – a department store in Guilford (Surrey UK) in their Toy Department. I worked for a company called Bandai who were the licensees in the UK of the Transformer toy series. Those of you with either long memories or younger kids will know that Transformers were an amazing toy that “transformed” from a car to a Robot – for example – and subsequently has become a very successful film franchise. The range of car Transformers that I was selling – and I did hugely well outselling all other assistants – included a Porsche 911 in grey that transformed into a robot with green eyes. I still have one.

In August 2016 – the 50th Anniversary of its first Targa – Porsche announced an “Etna” blue Porsche Exclusive of the 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Design Edition – a collector’s edition!

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The 2018 version is here – quite possibly one of the most beautiful modern era Porsche Targas made.

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STOP PRESS

Our friends from Class Driver have recently posted the most remarkable film made by the Porsche Club of America about a secretive collection of over 65 Porsche cars dating from the late 1950’s to date each car being not only in pristine condition but all are uniquely painted white.

Enjoy the film here White Porsche Collection 

I defy any Porsche fan can control their passion for these fantastic vehicles – even a beautiful die-cast model should satiate some of the “must have one” moment. I have found the perfect two die-cast models – please click the Amazon link below the image in each case:

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Schuco 450035400 1:18 Scale Porsche 911 S Targa – 1972″ Model Car

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Porsche 911 (991) Targa 4S Metallic Blue 1: 18

You will need a range of various mechanical skills to maintain your 911 – built between 1965 -1989 – but you’ll also need a Haynes Manual – please click the Amazon link below the image

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Porsche 911, 1965-89 Coupe, Targa and Cabriolet Automotive Repair Manual (Haynes Automotive Repair Manuals)

The role of a Porsche in our lives cannot be understated. So celebrate your passion with this colourful T shirt – please click on the Amazon link below the image

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Dressdown Box 964 T 12 Colour Grid – Mens T-Shirt – White – XL

If you liked this post please “Like” and share it with your friends. We’d really like to hear your experiences of the subject(s) featured in this post. Please share them below in the “Leave a Reply” section. Thanks

Image Credit – Porsche AG and the Porsche Club of America with grateful thanks.

Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones (Beats by Dr Dre)

First Launched: Re-mastered in 2016

History: Beats by Dr. Dre was founded in 2006 by music producer and rapper Andre Young (“Dr Dre”) and record producer and music business executive Jimmy Iovine as a direct response the poor audio quality provided by Apple’s plastic earbuds.

The Beats brand has relied heavily on celebrity association and endorsement but the build quality is good and the sound quality is comparable to other high-end audio products.

Beats’ original product line of headphones was manufactured in partnership with the AV equipment company Monster Cable Products but later all development work was taken in house. In 2014, the company expanded into the online music market with the launch the subscription-based streaming service Beats Music.

In 2012 it was reported that Beats’ market share was 64% in the U.S for headphones priced higher than $100, giving the brand a value of US$1 billion in September 2013.

For a period, the company’s majority shareholder was phone maker HTC, but the company reduced its stake to 25% in 2012 and sold its remaining stake back to the company in 2013; concurrently Carlyle Group replaced HTC as a minority shareholder, alongside Dr. Dre and Iovine, in late 2013.

On August 1, 2014, Apple Inc acquired Beats for US$3 billion in a cash and stock deal, the largest acquisition in Apple’s history.

Photo by Beat by Dr Dre

 

Bose Soundlink Mini 2

First Launched: 2013

History: Bose Corporation is a US corporation based in Framingham (Massachusetts) and was founded in 1964 by Dr. Amar G Bose (who died in July 2013). It’s understood that Bose received revenue for 2015 of US$3.5 billion.

 Bose is perhaps best known for its home audio systems and speakers, noise cancelling headphones, professional audio systems and automobile sound systems.

The SoundLink Mini is a smaller and lighter version of the SoundLink Mobile and was introduced in 2013 at a US recommended price of $200. It weighs just 0.7 kg and includes a charging cradle as well as a power socket.

The case is made of sandblasted aluminium. Reviewers and users have praised the excellent sound and build quality. SoundLink Mini uses Bluetooth to play audio from cell phones and other portable devices.

A majority of Bose Corporation’s shares were gifted by Dr. Bose in 2013 to his alma mater MIT who are prohibited from selling their shares in Bose and are unable to participate in the management and governance of the company.

Photo by Bose

Ipad 2 Air

Date Launched: 3rd April 2010

Designer: Jonathan Ives

History: In a 1983 speech Steve Jobs explained Apple’s simple stategy: “What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes … and we really want to do it with a radio link in it so you don’t have to hook up to anything.”

The iPad is an iOS-based tablet computers designed and marketed by Apple inc. The first iPad was released on April 3, 2010 with the most recent iPad model, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro released on March 31, 2016.

The user interface is built around the device’s multi-function screen that includes a virtual keyboard. All models include built-in WiFi and cellular connectivity is available on certain models.

As of January 2015, there have been over 250 million iPads sold. There have been six version of the iPad. Apple sold more than 15 million first-generation iPads prior to the launch of the iPad 2.

The success of the iPhone led to Apple the launch of iPad that it had begun developing before the iPhone. In 1991, Jonathan Ive’s first project for Apple was a design for a stylus-based tablet – the Mackintosh Folio – but later agreed with Jobs that the phone was more important and contained much of the tablets innovations.

At the time of writing the most recent iteration of the iPad was in March 2016 when the 9.7-inch iPad Pro was announced, which coincided with Apple launching 256 GB storage for both the iPad Pro 9.7 and 12.9-inch versions.

Photo by Apple

 

Staedtler Noris HB Pencils

First Launched: Between 1900 and 1901.

The City of Nuremberg has a long history of pencil making and several hundred years before J.S. Staedtler opened his business in 1835 the roots of Staedtler family’s involvement can be traced back to 1662 when a pencil-maker named Friedrich Staedtler is referred to in the city’s archives.

On 3 October 1835, J.S. Staedtler received permission from the municipal council of Nuremberg to produce black-lead, red chalk and pastel pencils in his industrial plant.

By 1866, the company had grown 54 employees and produced 15,000 gross (or 2,160,000 pencils) per year.

Between 1900 and 1901 “Noris” brand – that is still a preferred brand with British schools – was created alongside of the Mars brand. Staedtler now has over 20 global subsidiaries and seven manufacturing facilities with over 85% of its production still taking place at its headquarters in Nuremberg.

The company celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2010.

My Staedtler Noris Pencils: In researching this piece I was amazed to see just how many famous authors prefer to write in pencil – even if lap-tops, or way back, typewriters are available. I have always used these classic pencils to take notes during meetings and to make changes to draft documents. I buy boxes at a time as I go through them so quickly – or is it that they are stolen by my children….

Your Staedler Noris Pencils:

Photo by Staedtler