Saturday, November 11, 2006


Getting involved in the planning of the Wellington Flickr photo exhibition (see earlier post - I still need help chosing my 4 pictures, well 3 - the Waitangi Park walkway/'fern' shadow is in) has got me thinking again about a post I meant to write months ago, well probably over a year ago about what 'Wellington' has meant to me through my life.

Now it's a close run thing as to whether Wellington Womble or Wellington Boots were first in my life, well the boots probably have the edge but the Womble probably meant more, and was certainly more loved! I never did like my Mothercare red wellies that whipped the back of my bare legs walking to school (girls weren't allowed to wear trousers and boys had to wear shorts - we're talking Yorkshire here, 1500 ft above sea level and damn cold in winter...). Black Dunlops followed and some blue ones with a white band and a drawstring round the top - however by that point in life when sent off to school in them I'd get to the bench half way down the road, put my shoes back on and carry my wellies, I didn't care how wet my feet got I had enough problem maintaining any street cred and I was blowed if I was going to attract more derision by turning up to High School in wellies - thankfully Rachel's mum could usually be relied on for a lift on wet days! I still remember the welcome sound of their car's engine (a well tinkered with Austin Allegro) coming up Station Road behind me. (Hmmm, hopefully by the time Mum & Dad get round to reading my blog again this post will have disappeared off the bottom of the page... they are currently travelling around South Island! You won't tell will you?)

Around this time Wellington had come along with his trusty dog Boot (get it? Ok so it took me far longer than I should be admitting to in public...) in The Perishers . I liked Boot, 'By the Lord Harry....' He reminded me of Rusty who I used to pass on the way to playgroup and infants school (in my red Mothercare wellies...)

At some point I must have reached the dizzy heights of getting £5 notes for birthdays or christmas rather than just my weekly 10p comic money from Grandad - the Duke of Wellington appeared on the back of the English fivers for 20 years (1971-1991, I just checked! Was it really that long ago they were withdrawn?! Blimey)

Once I started visiting Edinburgh 'meet you by Wellington' meant by the statue at the end of Princes Street opposite North Bridge. (There's also a statue of the Duke in Glasgow which usually has a traffic cone on his head but it's never figured greatly in my own life.). Once they changed all the bus stops around it ceased to be quite such a convenient place to meet, and in anycase Gill moved (as did I - to Edinburgh!) but it's still a handy landmark.

It probably wasn't until Marion & Quentin moved here that Wellington as a city in New Zealand really entered my life, I must have known of it since my Womble watching/reading days though given that it's probably here that Wellington is named after rather than a small village in England - finding that with a pin in an atlas really would be impressive!

I have on my homepage a feed to Flickr photos tagged with 'Wellington' and mostly the photos that come up are of here, but sometimes it's the Duke with or without a traffic cone adorning his head or one of the many other Wellingtons canine, feline, red brick built or whatever - but thankfully the world these days seems to be spared those 1970's Mothercare red wellies.


richard evens said...

hi anna

Just a quick thought about the irony of mothercare clothes, they were cheap and cheerful and meant your relatives could use a sewing machine. Were they trendy - no. and do we miss them - no. If our parents had cared they would not have made us wear them. I much preferred the hand me downs from neighbours and friends.

richard evens

Anna Dunford said...

I think you are thinking of Clothkits! 'Mothercare from 0-10' as the advertising slogan went was a high street store (still is I think...) - rather emarrassing to be found wearing a Mothercare school jumper in 3rd yr High School I can tell you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure with the aid of Mum and Dad we can rustle up some pictures of you in those red wellies from somewhere!

well um when they get back from NZ of course!


Anna Dunford said...

I've a feeling there are some where my nose matches my wellies... tiddley pom