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Welly Walk Update & the History behind the Wellington Boot

22nd June 2021 @ 6:06am – by Tattenhall Local History
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Wellingtons!

On driving through the village this week, you might have spotted a group of colourful wellies at the Gifford Lea Retirement Village on Frog Lane.

Adorned with flowers, they are looking good – well done to the residents, gardeners or both!

This history of the Wellington Boot, of course, dates back to the Duke of Wellington.

Wellingtons remained fashionable until the Duke's death in 1852, but had declined in popularity by 1860 when the ankle boot, no longer named the Blücher, finally superseded them. Nonetheless they continued to be worn by senior officers in the British Army, seeing service in the Crimea and the the Great War.

Meanwhile, in 1856 the Edinburgh-based North British Rubber Company had started to manufacture Britain's first rubber or 'gum' boots. With the name of the duke still retaining a patriotic pull on consumers, these new boots were soon also renamed Wellingtons in Britain.

Their popularity did not become widespread until the Great War, when in 1916 the company was commissioned to produce millions of pairs as standard winter kit for ordinary soldiers, to prevent 'trench foot', a medical condition caused by prolonged exposure to damp.

At the end of the conflict, soldiers brought them home and introduced these extremely practical items of footwear to farms, gardens and allotments all over the country.

Decades later, music festivals and fashion catwalks are still benefiting from this wartime legacy!

Click on each image to enlarge.

To get involved in the Welly Walk which starts on 3 July: email tattenhallpc@outlook.com or visit their WEBSITE (CLICK HERE).

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