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Barbour

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There can't be a dirtier, tougher, less aesthetic coat than the (inherited) Barbour I wear, but it's warm, rain-repellant, and comfortingly protective.

So I was glad to hear that Barbour is still an entirely family-owned firm with good (and increasing) profits, making coats which appeal to country people, working people (often the same thing), and the toffies pictured above.

Steve McQueen wore Barbour kit when racing motorbikes in the early Sixties, seventy years after Barbour & Sons began selling oilskins to fishermen in South Shields. Dame Margaret Barbour ('widow of the founder's great-grandson John, who died of a brain haemorrhage at 29') and her daughter are successfully running the company, which gives £millions to local charities.

I'm very glad that Barbours are still made in England. The wax coats come with a free tin of wax dressing, and they don't cost the earth.


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