I've got a black CAP

2badge_mango

War Hero
I've been reading through a few old threads and have quite often come across the expression "black catting".
When did this become the norm, rather than the original 'black cap' dit?
For those more youthful than myself, we used to wear black caps in UK between Oct 1st and May 1st, also long sleeved blue woollen jumpers rather than white fronts. On Ist May everything suddenly looked summery, even the London bus drivers used to conform with Class I & III rig and put on white cap covers.
Since all black caps were necessarily the same colour it was usual to retort to those indulging in oneupmanship with the phrase - "He's got a black cap, I've got a blacker bastard"
Was it the advent of universal white lids that has caused the change?
When I took my pension in 1975 all caps were white, but we were still 'black capping' it.

2BM
 

Jack77

War Hero
I had always heard the term 'black catting' came from the saying "If you've got a black cat, he's got a panther." when talking about someone who constantly tries to outdo others.
 

FlagWagger

GCM
Book Reviewer
2badge_mango said:
I've been reading through a few old threads and have quite often come across the expression "black catting".
When did this become the norm, rather than the original 'black cap' dit?
For those more youthful than myself, we used to wear black caps in UK between Oct 1st and May 1st, also long sleeved blue woollen jumpers rather than white fronts. On Ist May everything suddenly looked summery, even the London bus drivers used to conform with Class I & III rig and put on white cap covers.
Since all black caps were necessarily the same colour it was usual to retort to those indulging in oneupmanship with the phrase - "He's got a black cap, I've got a blacker bastard"
Was it the advent of universal white lids that has caused the change?
When I took my pension in 1975 all caps were white, but we were still 'black capping' it.

2BM
My Dad joined in 1950 and came out in 1975 and he has always used the term black cat, i.e. moggy rather than titfer.

On the black hat issue, he objected to the plastic versions issued on the demise of the black / white cap and retained his original lid despite orders to the contrary - once on Divisions at Faslane, the inspecting officer (an admiral of some sort) stopped in front of him and remarked "I see there's two of us on this parade with the wrong headgear Chief" :)
 

alanbach

Lantern Swinger
Definitely black cat not black cap. I was a black cap rating....always wondered what became of our metal hatboxes with the brass nameplate....for the life of me I can't remember........
 
I too was a Black Cap rating but i never got a hat box. Was that just for boys? Senior rates had white cap covers for summer, I used to use one when the hats came plastic, always looked crisp and white. Reference the question, i have only heard of Black Catting.
 
Definately Black cat

As for Sea jerseys --never had any bother and didn't cut the sleeves off either!!

The white hats-------when I joined we were given two white hats--one was plastic topped and the one that was the No 1 hat was Blancoed White--

Didn't last long -by 1957 we just wore the white plastic hats.
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
fyi the white plastic caps were brought in by Mountbatten after he saw the blanco drooling down the faces of the sailors who were on street-lining duty in the rain at the Coronation in 1953.
 

onions

GCM
higthepig said:
I joined in Jan 1956 and was issued with caps 1 black

caps 1 white (Canvas for the blancoing of)
Hig, I joined in June of '56 and got 1 plastic bonnet cover and 1 canvas one.

Semper Strenuissima.
 
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