Farewell, old friends

It looks like I am going to have to say farewell to some old friends. Moulded in rubber, coloured green, and always reliable, until yesterday. My Dunlop Wellingtons, constant companions for two years, are giving up their role, as my boot of choice. I went into the river, to retrieve a ball, for a friend’s terrier, Buddy. My right foot instantly felt the cold and wet of the water. On investigation, I discovered a substantial split in the rubber, just above the right big toe. It might have been the cold, keeping them outside, or the constant wear. Whatever the reason, they are unusable in Beetley, from now on. Whether mud, rain, river, or cold, I have to depend on my boots to endure anything that they might encounter. I can no longer rely on my faithful Dunlops.

They have seen a lot with me. Two years, in all weathers. Snow, Ice, constant rain. Mud, worthy of a Flanders field in 1917. They have been walked through rivers, tramped for hours in mud and wet. Fended off unfriendly dogs, tangled with brambles, overcome tree roots. Dipped in dog poo, cow poo, sheep poo, and rabbit droppings, and come out the other side, with a quick dip in the river. Leaves have been congealed on their soles, and twigs caught in their tread. Ploughed through snow, skidded over ice, and sloshed through floods, they knew no fear, avoided no discomfort.

OK, they may have been a little cold, during extreme weather, and needed at least two pairs of socks, to be bearable. But they were worn every day, even during summer storms. They have seen sand and beaches, forest and glen. Meadows, mounds, and paths, have all felt their tread, and they shrugged them all off, as part of a normal day. Even now, the soles are barely touched, and have many more miles in them; but that will never be. The split has rendered them useless, and if they could, they would be crying, and lamenting their demise. For at least two hours a day, normally three, seven days a week, for the larger part of two years, they have guarded my feet from all that nature could assemble. Without fuss, no difficulty in putting on, or getting off, standing like sentries at the back door, awaiting their next call to duty.

They cost the insignificant sum, of £10.50. If you divide that by days worn, at least 650, that equates to less than 2p per day. That is an incredible figure. Most people would not even bother to stoop to collect a 2p coin, dropped in a hurry. For that paltry amount per day, I have had security, waterproofing, a degree of warmth, and good protection from the elements. So, Dunlop Wellingtons, I salute your valiant service, and I say goodbye without chagrin. There is little else in this life, to compare with your value, and unstinting service.

I may even keep hold of you, for days when it doesn’t rain, just for old time’s sake.



32 thoughts on “Farewell, old friends

  1. Dear Pete,
    GREAT 🙂
    I love my wellies as well. Strange, I kept one pair outside, and you wouldn`t believe it, they got a split on right welly as well. Those I keep inside don`t split. Well, keep your wellies inside …
    Have a wonderful weekend. Are you all right? Has storm and water be heavy at yours? I hope you are warm and dry


    1. Thanks KB, I think I will be keeping my new (fearfully expensive) wellies inside this time! We didn’t have it too bad here, just a few branches down, and piles of leaves. Nothing like the problems that you had at the coast. I hope your place wasn’t badly hit.
      Regards as always, Pete.


  2. Almost makes me wish I wore Dunlop Wellingtons. But, I do know the literally emotional tie to some shoes – they go through a lot with us and are always dependable friends. And, a good pair bring so much comfort! (Yes, I do wear shoes; not just flip-flops.)

    Nice job.



  3. Keep hold of the good one, or send it on to me; I’m sure to find the other half of a pair in my collection of odd welly boots; colour not important; size 9 or up is perfect 🙂
    Great post Pete, all the best.


  4. Great post as ausual, Pete. Life is different and much better since I got Wellis in Norfolk, unthinkable – a life without them now.
    Greetings from the Rhine valley


    1. “The Vikings” is one of my favorite films of all time. I first saw it on TV back in the 1960’s. At that time, one of the local networks always scheduled a 10:30 pm movie, and this film (along with Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and others) was shown repeatedly. When DVD’s became available, I bought a copy. And I’ve been watching that sword flight between Douglas and Curtis over and over ever since. My favorite scene in the film is actually the one where Douglas leaps across the chasm and climbs the battle axes thrown in the castle’s drawbridge. Great reference, gingerfightback.


  5. Pete, another great post. You should send this as an e-mail attachment to Dunlop (website: http://www.dunlop.com/gb). I’m sure they’d be thrilled to read it, as it is truly a great testimony to the durability of their Wellington boots.

    I can only recall two occasions where I actually cared about footwear that finally bit the dust. One was a pair of leather boots I ruined walking around Mount Vesuvius a few hundred feet below the rim of the volcano’s crater (1975). Another was a pair of tennis shoes that I put too close to the fire on a week’s backpack trip in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton Wilderness (1995). Rather than dry the snow-dampened shoes, I charred them into uselessness. Well, almost. I had no choice but to force them to endure the return trip to the trailhead. Back home, I took a nice photo of the shoes, and displayed them for awhile as a souvenir of the trip (we walked, trudged, and waded over 80 miles up to the continental divide and back).

    I hope you inform us what footwear you purchase to replace your Wellingtons. Another pair of same?


    1. Thanks David, it sounds as if you have some good footwear tales too! Perhaps we should start a ‘boot and shoe’ survival blog?
      I mentioned recently, that Julie has bought my replacements, all the way from the land you call home. American boots, Grubs, designed for -40 temperatures, lined with neoprene. Ten times the cost of my forlorn Dunlops, but hopefully much warmer!
      I might send that to Dunlop, as you suggest, and see what they think.
      Regards as always, Pete.


  6. Plant a geranium in them Pete, or maybe some herbs. The split will just provide drainage – add some grit / pebbles at the bottom. They’ll keep on giving for a few more years yet 😀


  7. A wonderful farewell for fond friends who have stood by you day after day. They will be fondly remembered by you and could even be used as planters for the summer months, or part filled with concrete to use as containers to put in long thin tools or garden stakes.


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