80’s 1157 Kit: Did anything work?

Heartbreaklane

War Hero
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).
I bulled mine as old man was a SNCO in the Guards and taught me proper. Made difference in the field and with sorbathanes in were not too bad, though still had shin splints.
 
‘A friend’ had some sewn in with invisible thread for a particular course where sharp creases were a thing :)
Sounds like that "mate" who had sewn in creases in his lightweights.


We had a numpty with us who had pen pockets sewn onto the sleeves of his jumper.
The weird thing was, that nobody (authority figures I mean) seemed to notice or care. Very strange.
That sounds very RAF.
Back in my ATC days you were the mutts nuts if you blagged a v neck jumper with a pen pocket attached.

I'll say this though the RAF working dress trousers were a lot better than barrack dress.
The material and quality were very good.
I'm sure I remember lightweight ones that had that lovely sheerness of 5,000 denier nylons.

Just be thankful the Army didn't have a uniform item to match the Thunderbirds Jacket.
02017-1_1024x1024.jpg


As a RAF corporal said to us wide eyed spaceys:
"I know a uniform isn't supposed to be fashionable or anything but . . . . . . ******* 'ell" holding one aloft with a look of abject disgust.

The photo doesn't do it justice, that guy is wearing it like a Milan catwalk diva.
An absolutely shapeless abomination that made you look like you've just been dry cleaned.
Also known as the Mr. Spock jacket.

Anyway, back to military subjects.
 
There was a trend for wearing ankle chains under lightweights to keep them boxed. I remember rocks clanking around camp. Ridiculous. I stitched the creases in and elasticated the hems on mine. Oh, and stitched-in pleats and creases on working shirts.
I think that stemmed from WW2 and Battledress trousers. I first heard about it from Par Avion senior in the early seventies. He served in the Royal Marines on Landing Craft during the war from 1943-46 and he told me that the Royal Marine Drill instructors at Chatham used to do it.
 
Sounds like that "mate" who had sewn in creases in his lightweights.



That sounds very RAF.
Back in my ATC days you were the mutts nuts if you blagged a v neck jumper with a pen pocket attached.

I'll say this though the RAF working dress trousers were a lot better than barrack dress.
The material and quality were very good.
I'm sure I remember lightweight ones that had that lovely sheerness of 5,000 denier nylons.

Just be thankful the Army didn't have a uniform item to match the Thunderbirds Jacket.
View attachment 593262

As a RAF corporal said to us wide eyed spaceys:
"I know a uniform isn't supposed to be fashionable or anything but . . . . . . ******* 'ell" holding one aloft with a look of abject disgust.

The photo doesn't do it justice, that guy is wearing it like a Milan catwalk diva.
An absolutely shapeless abomination that made you look like you've just been dry cleaned.
Also known as the Mr. Spock jacket.

Anyway, back to military subjects.
We had RAF drivers attached to us in SHAPE in the late seventies. He said that when they first came in, he had a detail to pick some officer up at the railway station. While he was waiting some old dear snapped her fingers at him and imperiously told him to carry her bags. He raised himself to his full height, adjusted his side cap and pointed out to her he was a member of the Royal Air Force, not a porter. To be fair to her though he was a full blown Ginger.
 
Could be worse, there was a tale doing the rounds some time ago of an officer who was wearing Winter Guard Order with a T shirt under the greatcoat (pretty much SOP ISTR) who for some reason found himself in the company of HMTQ indoors and was invited to remove the greatcoat as 'he must be very hot'. Probably belongs in the Army Myths thread though.
Here he is on the Trimphone telling the story to his mum.

1627868490181.jpeg
 
He was a Flt Comd in BK, Scottish surname. I met his wife once, don’t think she worked there.
My OC was R** T****y, fantastic bloke.
RT came to 662 in Münster straight from his flying course. He was Gz flight and us Lx flight guys used to hide his bike most days. He took it well and decided come to work on roller blades instead.

As you say good guy.
 
His wife was the EME…
He was boss of the VIP flight in Aldergrove as a captain and did such a good job that I was handed the job as a Ssgt and told to sort it out.

Best job I ever had. Four pilots, four Gz and three tasks every day. 1 x Gz to BBK, 1 to GOC/Sec of State and one to CLF.

Great bunch of Techs with a brilliant AQMS and a fistful of groundcrew.

We also had a Cpl Aircrewman who finished his career as a Lt Colonel!
 
He was boss of the VIP flight in Aldergrove as a captain and did such a good job that I was handed the job as a Ssgt and told to sort it out.

Best job I ever had. Four pilots, four Gz and three tasks every day. 1 x Gz to BBK, 1 to GOC/Sec of State and one to CLF.

Great bunch of Techs with a brilliant AQMS and a fistful of groundcrew.

We also had a Cpl Aircrewman who finished his career as a Lt Colonel!
Was she/he an early trans adopter:)
 

diehard57

War Hero
Hmmm that might be them, would have to see the inside of the boot to be sure though. It's been a long time since I binned the pair I had, hell it's 33 years ago according to my sums.

May I ask if there is a link for those boots please? I'd like a name and a closer look at them, if it's them I may even buy a pair if they'll ship to over here.

Here you go - that well known emporium of army surplus - Silverman’s!

 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
He was boss of the VIP flight in Aldergrove as a captain and did such a good job that I was handed the job as a Ssgt and told to sort it out.

Best job I ever had. Four pilots, four Gz and three tasks every day. 1 x Gz to BBK, 1 to GOC/Sec of State and one to CLF.

Great bunch of Techs with a brilliant AQMS and a fistful of groundcrew.

We also had a Cpl Aircrewman who finished his career as a Lt Colonel!
AAC or did he change capbadge?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
On Woolly Pullies: the original WWII item was a quality piece of kit - and real wool, not the acrylic nightmare that it became. See below. Note the level of finishing.


British Army "Jersey, Heavy, Wool"

And the original original, without all the reinforcements:

 
I have a memory of a section commander coming to us from the MT platoon who had KF collar/shirt fronts, which he wore with company green sweat shirts under a combat jacket or wooly pully as required. An excellent piece of tailoring by the way.
I seem to remember something similar, on one of our company strength reinforcement tours for L'Derry in the early '90s. Sitting in the main lecture theatre in Flydd and Skive village prior to commencing company NI Training. CSM tells us to remove JHW as many of us were flagging in the heat. An array of cut down KF shirts was a sight to behold, mine included. Some with just enough shirt left to look respectable under JHW when worn with a long sleeved t-shirt. CSM was less than impressed, CQMS less so as it was left to him to bill the offenders. Is it any wonder that the CSM became the QM later on in life. Good Old S**d R**s, tighter than a nun's arse.
 
I got a load of flannel about how it was "fundamentally a good boot" so long as it was broken in carefully.

He got a rather frank explanation of the realities of Basic Training at the time, and how 'careful breaking in' was a rather quaint idea.

A few days after joining JLR RAC at Bovvy, we were treated to the joys of a three miler in brand-new boots to the Moreton Ford. Splash about a bit, get them wet, then let them dry and they're your best boots.

It was absolute murder

Moreton Ford
 
A few days after joining JLR RAC at Bovvy, we were treated to the joys of a three miler in brand-new boots to the Moreton Ford. Splash about a bit, get them wet, then let them dry and they're your best boots.

It was absolute murder

Moreton Ford
We had a similar thing at Gib Barracks, mud run via Hawley Lake in the middle of February, I gained an extra pair of tonsils that day.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
A few days after joining JLR RAC at Bovvy, we were treated to the joys of a three miler in brand-new boots to the Moreton Ford. Splash about a bit, get them wet, then let them dry and they're your best boots.

It was absolute murder

Moreton Ford
Boots are a completely different proposition now. I went into an outdoor shop a few years ago and the sales guy with a perfectly straight face referred to them as ‘not a boot but a walking system’. Once you got your head round what he was saying, it was not just flannel.

He brought out several pairs, after careful sizing, and made the very pointed comment that a good boot shouldn’t really need breaking in.

He then watched me put the first pair on and asked if I was ex-army. I said yes and asked why.

… “Because of how tight you’re trying to do it up. You’re used to shìt boots, and the only way to get support is by doing them us really tight.“

He had me loosen them off and appreciate how they still supported the foot and ankle.

My current Hanwags did a hilly seven miles straight out of the box with no issues whatsoever, although for knocking around the pubs and the occasional muddy to-and-from I’ve just ordered some boots from William Lennon. These are like the old DMS with the screw-on Vibram sole.

I may even grow a beard.
 

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