Sailors Hats - A question.

Discussion in 'The Gash Barge' started by jaeger, Jun 7, 2009.

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  1. When I was a young lad and contemplating a life afloat in the Royal Navy, I was much taken by the smart and rather rakish appearance of the average matelot in his natty blue uniform with bell-bottom trousers, starched collar and that rope thing in front. Setting the whole outfit off of course, was the immaculate white cap with it's gold-lettered cap-tally. The cap itself was worn forward on the brow and had distinct curve in it between the front and rear giving a real sense of style and dash to the whole thing. Any old Navy photo's from about 1970 backwards will show what I mean
    Nowadays whenever I see a naval rating in this rig he's inevitably got some dreadful unshaped "straight-out-of-the -box, as-issued" piece of tat on his head, which looks even worse as there seems to be a prevailing tendency to wear them about three inches above the brow. It makes the wearer look a complete chopper and totally gormless frankly.
    My question is this, what happened to the old-style of wearing the cap? Is it a clampdown on Dress and Standards or a cheap and nasty new type of cap which can't be shaped? Or, are today's matelots simply not bothered about their appearance? I mean, in the army there is the "correct" way of wearing a beret, which is fine if you want to look like a fuc*ing window-licker or Benny Hill. Frankly only a total cnut or a Guards officer would wear it that way, nobody with a speck of personal pride, a sense of self- awareness or a smidgeon of human dignity would do so, and this is generally accepted, why not in the Andrew? :? :?

    Nothing personal you understand, just asking!
  2. Totally agree with your above :roll: Think it is mainly the Nozzers, who look like they have just emerged from the Scran Bag. The badge men/killicks look pusser enough, to me at the events i have attended.
  3. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Mod Edit: Judging by your post, Jaeger, it seems that you have a negative point of view about "the modern Navy". Times change, and that includes the uniform that we wear. I have not seen a particular downward turn in the self-pride or personal standards in the appearance of RN personnel - of course, there are scran bags today, as I am sure there were "in your day" (if you ever served at all).

    From the tone of your OP I imagine that anything said subsequently would not change your opinion, and therefore I have moved this to an appropriate place...
  4. Scouse,

    This is probably going to be shot down as an old arse drip by serving members and younger vets on the board but I tend to agree with Jaeger about how caps are worn nowadays. Nothing worse than seeing a sea of flat pancake head gear on parade.

    Even in days of yore the practice of putting your lanyard round your cap and tightening it overnight to achieve the desired bow wave effect was much frowned upon. So too was the butterfly bow in your cap tally with a old silver three-penny bit providing the stiffener for the centre button in the bow. Even more offensive to the eye of your Chief or DO was the positioning of the cap tally bow above the wearers eye. But matelots persisted in doing it despite frequent bollockings from those who must be obeyed and very smart they looked too. Why even us scruffy sun-dodgers thought we quite looked the business.

    The above alterations to the cap gave it a certain panache when worn that was equally complimented by the tailored tiddly suit with its wider than regulation bells; the wider chest opening on its jumper designed to show a big expanse of white fronted chest (or lack of one as the case may be). Any self-respecting sailor also had Chinese dragons embroidered on the reverse of his jumper cuffs which were promptly turned back and proudly displayed once safely ashore.

    In retrospect, and to be honest, I think we went to all that unofficial trouble because we spent most of our time in uniform because we couldn't afford too much civvy gear (beer tokens being our priority) and when on leave the uniform was the guaranteed bird puller. But of course we are talking another time and another place none of which applies to the modern day sailor, who has more disposable income than we had available to us, and probably has birds he hasn't even unwrapped yet.

    I know the word uniform means for everyone to look the same but surely a little individuality when its comes to wearing the caps a little more rakishly can still be done amongst todays ranks to preserve the free-wheeling Jolly Jack image of yesteryear.

    Red Sailor
  5. Another gem from you Red Sailor. Im Sure you could write a best seller,about the mob. B/Z :salute: :wink: :wink: PS David Beatty, King of the caps
  6. So are bow waves, big or small or wearing a cap with a little panache likely to get you a bollocking now? I don't mean at HMS Raleigh of course but afterward in the fleet. Every matelot I see in navy news etc looks generic.
  7. :wink: :wink: In the bad old days :lol: you had your best flat cap for divisions/kit musters. For going ashore ,you had your No 2 cap with the biggest bow wave,and cap tally bow on your ship, if you were dead pusser :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Ill tie your cap tally for you and bend your cap!!!! PS does generic mean nozzer????
  8. Must admit to not having a liking for berets. So my working POs cap which had the grommet removed and had aged (like me) fitted (when folded in half) nicely into my No8s trouser pocket. :p

    I'm sure you knew already! :lol:

    With reference to a No2 caps, do naval tailors still make rating's caps? Remember my old man buying me one after pompey navy days many moons ago.

    Slim: Agree about berets. I'm by no means serving yet, start Oct, but will wear a cap as often as I can get away with
  10. Naval tailors,of course sell caps, but SLOPS are cheaper :wink: :wink:
  11. Excuse my ignorance.......SLOPS? :oops:
  12. (granny)

    (granny) War Hero Book Reviewer

    In the late 50's I bought my first 'Port and Starboard' cap. Put it out for a kit muster and got a right b'king from the 'Joss'. Was made to buy a pussers one from slops. Also, of course, a remuster of kit.
  13. Thing is though, there's no point 'adapting' your rig these days (not that you'd get away with it). The image of Jolly Jack with his baggy bell-bottoms and dragon-embroidered turned-up cuffs is history; it's the rather dull straight trousers, 'pilot'-style shirt and flat (very flat) hat that seems to be the usual rig now. I even saw some phase one trainees in Plymouth in that rig a few weeks ago, though I like to think that the OOD cocked up that day.

    It's all civvies these days anyhow.
  14. Naval tailors,of course sell caps, but SLOPS are cheaper

    Excuse my ignorance.......SLOPS?
    Naval version of Jack Blairs (The clothing specialist)
  15. It seems that taking some time and putting in a bit of effort to make your rig look tiddley is frowned upon these days. Getting your bells and jumper tailored for a good fit, spending your own hard-earned on a shiny silk and fine cotton whitefront instead of settling for pussers issue, the bow on your cap tally tied as far forward as you could get away with. It all made for a smart appearance and although officially forbidden, most of the powers that be realised it was a far better look than plain pussers issue.

    Unfortunately Jacks old smart and rakish appearance seems to be too deeply associated with the old un-PC navy and thus must be obliterated so as not to offend modern sensibilities. Bland is good.
  16. Missed just as much was the seperately tied Blue Jean Coller, faded with scrubbing and providing a sharp contrast to the dark blue jumper...

    I missed the issue of the pre '77 rig by months BUT, on moving back onboard following refit in '79, 'found' a comlete old style rig (1's - not serge) rolled up into a boot locker that fit me perfectly. It was like finding an unused filth mag all to myself..!!
  17. trelawney126 and hammers. SLOPS; ships’ loan clothing store. Pusser’s issue kit.
  18. Primarily the term for the Cash Clothing store - very little was 'loaned' when I served (unless you were a dusty like me .. :wink: ?

  19. (granny)

    (granny) War Hero Book Reviewer

    Was always envious of the other two service in that they could replace worn clothing from the stores at no cost. We had a 3d per day 'kit upkeep allowance' so had to pay for all ours. Who could save 3d a day until new clothes were needed? Too busy drinking it away.
  20. Re: Sailors Hats - A question.
    Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:06 am

    trelawney126 and hammers. SLOPS; ships’ loan clothing store. Pusser’s issue kit.

    Sorry I only served 27years. My comment was a bit tongue in cheek. :oops:

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