A Few Words on Scotland From The Pen – And The Heart – Of Bill Hornets

United Kingdom flagScotland, oh Scotland.

If it’s a yes or no for independence, Alex Salmond is the loser. If it’s yes he has to deliver that near impossible “Brave New World” he’s promised his people, if it’s no, I presume he loses his job.

Some years ago I was working in Scotland for six months based in Glasgow, that city that I learned to love. Some weekends I’d go to Edinburgh, again a remarkable and beautiful city.

I’ve worked in The Highlands, Dundee and a lot in between.

In Glasgow I was looked after by Mrs Burns and her husband Willie, they treated me like family. Everywhere I went in Scotland with my very English self and very English voice, I found nothing but warmth, generosity and a remarkable courtesy, rough and ready in Glasgow, more genteel in other parts of the country, but the same.

Adam the Scotsman I work with on this blog and the Hornets website has all the qualities I mention plus that other Scottish gift a tremendous sense of humour. He is very Scottish. I am very English. We work very well together.

I’d love Scotland to stay in the union, together we are stronger. I also feel a great emotional tie to that beautiful country and its extraordinary people. They are my people, as I am theirs.

Whatever happens Scotland I wish you luck and please know that I will carry a piece of Scotland in my heart forever.

The Guv’nor

Boardwalk Empire: The Final Reckoning

The Man From the Hornet writes… We’re already bereft. The final season of Boardwalk Empire, the prohibition-era gangster drama, is in full swing. We’re going to miss the hats, the suits, the spats, the whole shooting match.

Boardwalk Empire


Following an earlier post on Boardwalk Empire (see HERE), we had a lovely comment from Gary White, the hat maker on the series:


Hi I am Gary White designer and creator of the headwear seen on Boardwalk Empire I would like to thank you for your kind attention to detail in the various colors used to present the mood of the character and the actors portraying them! I am very proud of the headwear created at the studios of The Custom Hatter located in Buffalo NY and thank you for enjoying the series!


Watch the last season (sniff) of Boardwalk Empire on Sky Atlantic in the UK and HBO in North America.




What To Do If Bitten By A Snake On The Way to the Goodwood Revival (!)

A while ago we posted a Motorway-free map from our old road atlas – you can see it again HERE  – and in the run-up to Goodwood this weekend here’s another gem from the golden age of motoring held within its pages. So here we go: advice on how to cope with…

Picnic And Holiday Accidents


1. Lay the victim on his back.

2. Try to prevent him from moving in any way.

3. Apply a band round the limb between the bite and the heart and tighten it only until the veins stand out. If the limb becomes blue, loosen the band a little.

4. Summon medical help.

5. Do no cut or suck the bite or rub anything into it.

6. Raise the bitten part.


Phew! Motoring was a tough business in the Golden Age, what?!

We’re very fond of step no.5 – aimed at the motorist who had watched too many Westerns.

Personally, we would move step no.4 right to the top of the pile.


The book is decent enough to point out that “the only poisonous snake native to Britain is the adder or the viper” which is moderately reassuring. At least we won’t have to contend with the Eastern Brown Snake when pootling though East Sussex. Native to Australia, 1/14,000th of an ounce of the Eastern Brown’s venom is enough to “prevent the victim from moving in any way” ever again. Ouch.


Bill Hornets adds: “In the event of a Style Accident, a much more serious affair, get yourself along to Hornets!”





It’s Goodwood!

The Guv’nor writes…

Hornets for Goodwood

It’s the Goodwood Revival Meeting this weekend, 12-14 September, that essentially English, rather eccentric and very stylish 1950’s vintage car race meeting, set on the beautiful estate of Lord March. Everybody – drivers, crews, staff and visiting public – dress in fifties style.


Hornets shops are as always there to provide our famous brown trilby “The Goodwood”, truly a remarkable hat, £35.



As ever we have the best range of vintage classic tweed jackets around, cravats to be worn with an open neck shirt and to complete the outfit a silk handkerchief for your top pocket.


As a weather cover, we have our Panamas at £25 and £35.




Step back into the past and have a really good time, it’s a great show with some good racing.


That is all.


The Guv’nor

Kensington, September 2014



Wear A Tie!

The Man From The Hornet writes…


This morning I packed my seven-year-old daughter off to school. She was wearing a tie. A tie that she had knotted all by herself.


Oh God. Is this just another outpouring of sickly, saccharine sentimentality from an annoying and self-satisfied breeder?

Not at all. My point is this: if a seven year old can tie her own tie, then why can’t this slovenly pair do this same…



Wear a tie!


And tie the bloody thing properly, NOT like this…


tie 2


Dearie me.



Hats on Holiday

So travel broadens the mind, does it?




I recently saw a commercial in Australia which did nothing more than confirm my existing prejudices regarding beanie hats.


The advert sang the merits of a beanie hat with a built in torch.


A quick Google threw up this picture of The Edge from U2 (a man who should frankly know better) sporting just such an item of headgear…


The Edge


The hat on the commercial was being billed as the, and I quote, “ultimate” gift for Fathers’ Day (the Aussie version of which is 17th September).


Ultimate, eh? Ultimate meaning final. Well if any child of mine were to make me a gift of a beanie hat with (or without) a built-in flashlight then it would certainly be the last gift they ever gave, I’d see to that!


Any other suggestions as to what should be “built-in” to a beanie hat will be gratefully received.