80’s 1157 Kit: Did anything work?

The discussion on ponchos elsewhere got me thinking, did any issue kit from the 80’s actually work as intended? A very great deal of it from memory looked great in a locker layout but failed in epic style in use for its intended purpose.

Strikes me that it fell into one of three categories:

1. Stuff that worked (NI gloves?)
2. Stuff that would have worked if prevailing “thought” hadn’t interfered (bulling rather than using dubbin on BCH)
3. The Rest (in your own time, carry on. Starter for 10, plimsolls).
 
The discussion on ponchos elsewhere got me thinking, did any issue kit from the 80’s actually work as intended? A very great deal of it from memory looked great in a locker layout but failed in epic style in use for its intended purpose.

Strikes me that it fell into one of three categories:

1. Stuff that worked (NI gloves?)
2. Stuff that would have worked if prevailing “thought” hadn’t interfered (bulling rather than using dubbin on BCH)
3. The Rest (in your own time, carry on. Starter for 10, plimsolls).


WRAC PT kit, especially those huge green knickers. Ten times more effective than the bromide in the cookhouse tea urn.
 

Wee Hawken

War Hero
The belt. Remember those thin dark green plasticky ones? Would probably melt if you got too close to the fire. But I'm still wearing mine (issued in 1983) and it's as good as new. Half the weight/bulk of a 58 pattern belt and doesn't fall apart either.
 
Crisp Packet, wrinkly - Idea was good, material used was crap, leaving you wetter inside than if you had left them off.

Socks, Green - Always thought these were comfy and great bit of kit.

Lightweights - Great for everyday use.

Bedford MK - Almost Squaddie proof

Bedford TM (tin machine) - Worst replacement ever, rattled and fell apart.
 

Hohenidoom

Old-Salt
Considering I cut about in a wooly pully that was made before I was but a twinkle in the milkman's eye, I'd say they're pretty good.

Black pips look ally, too. Maybe.
 

RABC

LE
The button stick. Mainly used for scraping polish from floors, and polishing belt buckles. Never buttons
 
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Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
The discussion on ponchos elsewhere got me thinking, did any issue kit from the 80’s actually work as intended? A very great deal of it from memory looked great in a locker layout but failed in epic style in use for its intended purpose.

Strikes me that it fell into one of three categories:

1. Stuff that worked (NI gloves?)
2. Stuff that would have worked if prevailing “thought” hadn’t interfered (bulling rather than using dubbin on BCH)
3. The Rest (in your own time, carry on. Starter for 10, plimsolls).
BCH were an abomination. There are plenty of cases of boots wearing in recruits, rather than the other way round.

Cheap leather, rubbish sole and grip, needlessly heavy.

There was far more wrong than whether the boots were bulled or not.

And all because the MOD put a ridiculously low cost point on each pair.

Yes, I'm bitter.
 
Plastic insoles for BCH.
WTF was that all about?
The same plastic insoles issued with DMS. Did a fantastic job of collected dead skin cells and turning it into cheese.
 
PT kit generally. Red or white top the neck of which expanded when wet to form a kind of low cut mini dress. Blue shorts so voluminous as to present a hazard to the wearer in high winds and issued by size inversely proportional to the skinniness of the recipient. I looked like an advert for a famine relief charity.

And plimsolls. A War Crime.
 
Combat jacket hoods. I joined in early 87 and we got issued those along with the awful mid-80's combats. There was nowhere on the new combat jackets for the hood to attach and it was possibly the only part of my orginal 1157 I handed in many years later.
Utterly pointless item.
 
BCH were an abomination. There are plenty of cases of boots wearing in recruits, rather than the other way round.

Cheap leather, rubbish sole and grip, needlessly heavy.

There was far more wrong than whether the boots were bulled or not.

And all because the MOD put a ridiculously low cost point on each pair.

Yes, I'm bitter.
We were all advised/ told in no uncertain terms to get ourselves to the Army surplus stall at Chepstow Market and buy surplus German Para boots.

BCH then bulled and kept for barrack use and parades.
 
Combat jacket hoods. I joined in early 87 and we got issued those along with the awful mid-80's combats. There was nowhere on the new combat jackets for the hood to attach and it was possibly the only part of my orginal 1157 I handed in many years later.
Utterly pointless item.
NikWax was great, had a buckshee set and waterproofed them by chucking a bottle of NikWax in the washing machine they stayed waterproof for a couple of months before needing re-doing.
 
Plastic insoles for BCH.
WTF was that all about?
ISTR the insoles we’re an afterbirththought. When first issued BCH crippled half the Army so insoles were ordered. Cost was clearly the only a crucial factor in shoeing a body of individuals very likely to spend a great deal of time on their feet, covering long distances and carrying heavy loads.
 

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