The Ventilator

Incorporating The Ranger's Blog


Where did you get that hat?

Matthew Chatfield
Latest posts by Matthew Chatfield (see all)

It had to happen eventually – I’d been wearing that old hat for years, and eventually I lost it, somewhere in a wet field near Reading. Yes, gone, the very hat that appears in my picture on this blog. Still, it was probably for the best. It was a tatty old thing that had seen much better days – it didn’t even keep the rain off particularly well.

The Ranger's old hat

Look at the state of that hat! It looks as if it’s been sat on many times. You can probably guess why it looks like that. So this spring I went down to SCATS to see if they had any Barbour hats. Imagine my surprise when I found no replacement for my trusty old waxed hat – and on enquiry, it appears that Barbour have forsaken it. They don’t make it any more and are substituting it with some kind of Australian bush hat. The website says it is made of waxed cotton, and it is still called a waxed bushman hat… so is it the same thing? Well, you decide:

Waxed bushman hat

It just isn’t the same, is it? I didn’t think so, anyway, and apparently nor do the hat-buying citizens of the Isle of Wight, as SCATS had managed to obtain some faux-Barbour hats which looked a lot like the old-style ones, even complete with the cute little feather in the side. Here’s my new hat, being tried out at the 2010 Isle of Wight Hedgelaying Competition:

The ranger's new hat

Better still, it was about half the price. So far, it’s kept the rain off, too!

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

2 thoughts on “Where did you get that hat?

  • The Virtual Ranger

    You are so right. I hadn’t spotted that. The old hat had a similar feature in its dotage: the brim was slightly higher at the edge than the middle, encouraging water to pool in the middle and soak into the hatband.

  • I was amused to see that the Australian hat has an indentation in the top. This will accumulate a nice little pond of water to be shed at the most inconvenient moment possible, such as when nodding to someone in greeting.


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