Favorite items: Real vintage workwear

While staying in my parents house, I’ve often studied the old photo shown below. It’s a photo of Joseph Chetwynd, my great-great grandfather after her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen had conferred upon him the decoration of “The Albert medal of the Second Class”. This was received for gallantry in saving lives at the Baddesley Collierey Explosion in May 1882, an accident where 32 men lost their lives. It’s interesting reading about this, and especially after visiting the National Coal Mining museum in Yorkshire last summer and gaining more insight into the conditions the miners worked in. Considering the painless ways most of us make our living today, it’s hard to imagine the hardship and danger endured by these men, working deep underground in terrible conditions.

joseph chetwynd

The photo has so many details to appreciate, from the sturdy boots to the sturdy working clothing. Notice how even though this was probably taken for the local paper and he is looking his best for posterity, he is in fact wearing a jacket with tears on the side. Quite probably the actual clothes he used when working in the mines? No poncy heritage-style “authentic” work wear here, this is the real deal, worn by a real-life hero and collier.

Oh, and sorry about the poor reproduction of the photo, I couldn’t bring myself to remove it from the old frame it’s in…

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