Where did you buy your first Rohan?

Outdoor Shops Closed

Idle surfing looking for the name of an independent outdoor shop in Burnley in mid 1970’s  prompted by a recent comment on a post on Rohantime first published February 2009…

The 1st Rohan Garment

Trying to recall the name of the independent outdoor shop took me to an interesting thread on UK Climbing Forum…

Remembering Good Climbing Shops that closed. 

Whilst this did not answer my question. If anyone can remember the name of the shop please add it in the comments below.  It did spark a few memories of outdoor gear shops that stocked Rohan in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Some have long gone. Postings in the thread recalled some really great outdoor shops, some still trading most alas have closed…

Touchwood sports in Oxford

Highrange Sports on Great Western Road in Glasgow

Don Morrisons on London Road Sheffield.

“Norman’s” in Huddersfield

Roger Turner Mountain Sports on Derby Road Nottingham and  London Rd in Leicester

Harry Robinson in Lancaster

There are lots more. Most stocked Rohan in the very early days. It reminded me all of our customers in the 1970’s would have made their first Rohan purchase at one of these outdoor shops.

Hence my question;

Where did you buy your first Rohan?

Read more about Rohan Shops

Other posts that may be of interest:

Covent Garden’s Outdoor Shops

So you think you know your Rohan History?

Do You Remember – Rohan Regional Shows?

21 years in The Lakes

A Team Business

News from Rohan Keswick





Rohan Heritage


  1. I think I bought my first pair of bags in either the Joe Brown or Ellis Brigham stores in Capel Curig sometime in the early 1980s when they were extraordinary new and different. Have always liked Rohan gear, I’m sitting here this evening wearing an insulated Rohan vest / waistcoat I bought while on honeymoon, and it’s our silver wedding anniversary next Tuesday! Despite the fact that I’ve worn it heaps, lent it to family members for months at a time and even used it on trips as a duvet for our daughter when she was tiny, it still looks almost as good as new. Can’t remember what it cost, but I’m sure it’s paid for itself a hundred times over.

  2. Sarah Howcroft says:

    Talking of shops closing these may be of interest:

    Watchdog gives go-ahead to JD Sports’ takeover of Go Outdoors


    Outdoors shop set to close after 25 years

  3. I bought by mail order in 1986 and first went to Covent Garden for the Summer Sale in 1987. Fearing I would miss out on stuff going early I turned up in a taxi to find a guy in a bow tie and dinner jacket letting people into the store on a one out, one in basis (there was a queue).

    As I got out of the taxi the doorman said loudly (and to the delight of the queue) that I must be posh turning up in a taxi. That’s rich, I thought, you dressed in a bow tie and DJ but being a quiet young man (back then) I bit my tongue and probably went red.

    When I got into the shop the changing rooms were curtained off with airlight fabric and when the staff pulled them closed they cried, “Nurse, the screens!”

    I left with a pair of pale green Bags Shorts and several Finelight Shirts both over the head and popper up the front.

    • Sarah Howcroft says:

      Thank you.. I had forgotten about the bow tie and dinner jacket. The changing rooms where created from shower rails with, as you say, the Airlight fabric.
      Great memories

  4. Chris Sweetman says:


    I bought two pairs of bags from a Rohan road show held at the Hilton Hotel near the M1/A50 junction in 1986.

    However, in late 1978 I obtained a pair of Super Striders from Roger Turner Mountain Sports in Nottingham. A fantastic shop and I got to know both Roger and his wife Beryl very well. Their store was always stocked with the latest designs and ideas. They also organised a great gear event in Nottingham which highlighted the Rohan fashion show amongst it’s itinerary.


  5. Danny Williams says:

    Simon Needler Westsports Swindon much more ski than walking. I got my first pair of Striders for cross country skiing. Made from rip stop Airlight in blue with a red Rohan logo. I used them for about 20 year. I meet up with Paul and Sarah in the shop
    Danny Williams

  6. Sarah Howcroft says:

    Anyone know if ‘Normans’ is still in Huddersfield?

    • Sarah Howcroft says:

      Big thank you Geoff for the tweet @GeoffCrowther1
      @Rohantime Yep, Norman Blackburn’s was taken over by Steve Ward, a search dog handler with Woodhead MRT. Google Blackburns Outdoor.

      Another question answered.

    • Andrew Titley says:

      I bought my early Rohan gear – Starkhorn, Nemesis, Olfio etc. from Norman when he was still in the old bakery; also my Saunders tents. I asked about a different brand of tent; NB said ‘Yes, but if you want a proper tent buy this Saunders’. That and the Starkhorn are still going strong after 35 years. He knew good gear when he sold it! I did manage to resist the shiny ‘lurex’ stretch breeches made from a roll of too-expensive Austrian material! A rare Rohan ‘fail’!

  7. Bought my first pair of Super Striders from Tanky Stokes in Sheffied. I also bought lots from Norman Blackburn in Huddersfield (such a character) . Black salopettes, Savannah, Pampas and my Bags and my beloved Moving On tops came from Long Preston when the shop first opened (I lived in my Bags and Moving Ons). Such memories!

  8. Gordon Green says:

    When they first came out, I bought an Olfio, a Wild Vest and bags.

    Still have fond memories of the Olfio, especially.

    Think I bought direct from Rohan in Milton Keynes?

  9. jackie lowe says:

    Harry Robinson Lancaster , The Climbers Shop Ambleside and what was the shop in Skipton called by the canal? It is still an outdoor shop but now its a brand this was privately owned.Anyone remember?

  10. Peter Clinch says:

    My first Rohan (Superstrider Breeks) came from F&T in Brentwood, probably 1988 (so I’m a bit of a Johnny-come-lateley here!). That was just before I moved up to Edinburgh to do a Masters, and since the George Street shop had a clearance department in those days that cemented my Rohan habit.
    I was an undergrad in Leicester and remember Roger Turner’s. Lovely shop, packed with things I couldn’t afford!

  11. Sarah Howcroft says:

    The Burnley shop was Sportak- Thanks Mark.

  12. Jason Turner says:

    Field and Trek Brentwood late 1970’s. The guy that ran it was a big Rohan fan.

  13. Mark Stephens says:

    Circa 1978

    I think it was call Snow + Rock in Birmingham. Head out from New Street station down the big ramp and double back at the bottom to the row of shops sheltering under concrete outcrop of the building above. I was looking for a wind-proof jacket to layer on top of a woollen jumper or fleece. I was to embark on the Pennine Way and a series of preliminary practice walks for my Queen Scout’s Award. Gore-Tex was still an expensive and exotic material necessitating neoprene as the waterproof of choice and something be only worn when rain would out-wet you faster than perspiration.

    My purchase was a Rohan Starkhorn in a blue gaberdine that stood out in its modernity of design next to the alternative Grenfell jacket.

  14. Jerry Taylor says:

    Black Salopette at Pindisports Holborn late 1970’s served by Tony Lack himself

    • Chris Sweetman says:

      Hi Jerry

      One of my first equipment guides was one produced by Pindisports. Possibly acquired in the mid 1970’s. It had a feature on Sebastian Snow and his planning for walking the length of America.


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