Rohan Confessions

montage1My name is Glenn and I am an outdoor clothing addict  –  a Rohanist by another name. I’ve been buying – and sometimes wearing – Rohan clothes since the late 1970’s. So much so that I’d call it an addiction more than a practical necessity.

My dependency has been at its worst since the 1990’s. Around that, time I started traveling frequently from my home in Wolverhampton to London. Every visit then and since has required a fix at the Rohan Covent Garden store, to the great detriment of my credit card. The staff at the new store at Swinfen (Lichfield) seemed slightly shocked and concerned for my mental state when I turned up shortly after it opened and bought £400-worth of shirts. I think I probably wear a Rohan garment (typically a shirt or outer layer, or both) about five days each week, including in the office.

However, of course in the 1970’s it was all mail order, via your magazine/catalogue (the name of which I’ve forgotten). Having rather less money then, I was prone to buying your sale garments, which I think we’re often short test runs in sometimes frankly bizarre colours.

I recall my first Rohan Bags, which were of a green so lurid that I could have worn them in a spring meadow and still been spotted miles away. I also had a wind shirt that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Adam and the Ants’ video for “Prince Charming”. My Pampas Jacket was in a delicate pastel shade that sometimes attracted the wrong sort of attention and looked rather better on the girl I passed it on to. Most embarrassing of all were the Mountain Salopettes in first-generation multi-way stretch. I don’t know why I thought I needed such hard-man kit for the gentle low-level walking that was my usual activity. Sadly, I sent these precious historic items for recycling during a de-clutter only a couple of years ago. I’ve just had a hunt around upstairs and to my surprise, I’ve unearthed an early pair of Winter Bags in near-original condition. They must be from the 1980s: the orange lining suggests this but the waist size is the clincher, as I’m now closer in shape to Arthur Lowe than to Daniel Craig. I’ve posted a picture of them to Flickr

They’re of no use to me now, so maybe they could become a Rohan Original in Keswick?

P.S. I was in Manchester early in the week. I checked the web site to see if there is a Rohan store in the city … and of course there is, and I didn’t realise. Even more frustrating, I passed within a few yards of it. I could have added another store notch to my bed-post (my conquests so far being Covent Garden, obviously,  Norwich, Cambridge, York and my nearest but least visited Swinfen Lichfield.

Glenn Wood has shared some great pics on Flickr

Rohan Heritage

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