Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Where's my brolly?

Like my namesake, my obsessions come and go. Enthusiasms tend to last a very long time. My latest obsession is photography blogs. They deserve their own post, but later.

I came across this photo, which happens to coincide with another enthusiasm, and a pet peeve.

I'm suggesting nothing untoward, but something is wrong with this photo.

Gentlemen of a certain stripe worship at the altar of James Smith and Sons, purveyors of umbrellas, and walking sticks to the gentry since 1830 in the same London location since forever.
Their shop is a treasure trove of Victorian era elegance. The staff, much of it family, can size a customer up on his way in the door. Old Comrades of all British military units have purchased their obligatory mufti brollies there for generations.

Smith's most iconic brolly is the Whangee handled wooden shaft model. Their web site describes it thus:


Whangee cane handle with a silver lapband. (GFUJS.WHANGEE.LP). All these umbrellas can be adjusted to the correct walking length for each customer. Prices from £275.00

ADG tells the story of finding his silk covered topper left behind in a London cab. For the price of a monthly house payment, plus shipping both ways, Smith would gladly recover it for him.

My two are the nylon topped, more pedestrian model, which have provided excellent service for a number of years.

One of a Londoner's great fears is to leave the brolly in the umbrella stand inside the door of his local, and to forget it or have someone walk off with it by "mistake". Cheap umbrellas do not make the man.
Like all style affections, 99% of the population never notice something as provocative as a expensive umbrella. Those in the know, know, and judge accordingly.

So go back to the first photo. The chap on the right strike you as a Smith's man?



Suburban Princess said...

No...he's the one who picked it out of the umbrella outside the pub!

ADG said...

You know you are preaching to the converted when I'm reading this. The most agonizing part (oh to be so blessed with this being one's greatest agony) of my recent London trip was facing the task of replacing my Briggs. The nylon canopy, after walking under the shelter of silk for a decade, just wasn't gonna cut it. The raindrops don't sound the same upon impact. To that end, I did and do without.

JDB said...

I thought you were going to make fun of him for having his hair styled exactly like his lady friend.

Suburban Princess said...

What I meant to say is...he picked it out of the umbrella stand outside the pub!

Free Kansas said...

Does a Smith's man date women with chest tattoo's? That's no necklace.

Shelley said...

I knew what was wrong soon as I saw the photo. Weird looking, isn't it?

Toad said...

Ii knew a comment had fallen off, and I was having the hardest time remembering who it was. thank you Shelley for easing my mind.