We have drawn on military and equestrian influences for an undeniably strong and stable piece of outerwear. Leanne Cloudsdale traces a line from this jacket all the way back to school holidays spent in North Yorkshire.
Brexit banter is banned at auntie Sandra’s cottage up in North Yorkshire. The mere mention of anything EU-related is met with a ferocious response, the most recent of which was, “Remember what they said about wonky veg? Absolute madness.” Whilst her opinions on Article 50 are questionable, her views on how children should spend their leisure time were the stuff of legend back in the 1980s, when I’d spend entire summer holidays there with my cousins. As soon as the mercury hit double figures, she’d herd us all into the back of a beaten-up old Land Rover and we’d jostle about under the canvas hood, as she sped through winding country roads towards the abandoned gravel pit. Once parked, we’d be handed our plastic sledges and would scramble as high up as possible, before launching ourselves back down to earth at breakneck speed. Looking back, it’s a miracle none of us actually did break our necks.
The health & safety party didn’t stop there though, because by the age of 12 I was riding my own Honda 50, razzing around the perimeters of cornfields with my older cousins, who raced ahead of me on their souped-up versions, pulling wheelies. I thought the reason I wasn’t given a crash helmet was because it would’ve messed up my pigtails, but it later transpired she never thought we’d be going fast enough to warrant the added expense. I’m pretty sure I topped 30mph once I was back on tarmac, so she was definitely wrong about that.
Our lawless rural razzmatazz was occasionally interrupted when ‘Nick the Poacher’ would turn up while we were all busy watching Airwolf with a microwaved pizza. Freckle-faced and tall for his age, he was the errant teenage son of auntie Sandra’s next-door neighbours. He spent half the school holidays trying to get served in the village pub and the other half roaming around private farmland after dark with a shotgun. He’d announce his arrival every time with the same jaunty knock at the patio door (which he’d then slide open uninvited) and we’d all leap up, desperate to see the fruits of his midnight marauding. More often than not, he’d reach inside his jacket and whip out a limp looking pheasant. Me and the cousins never really understood the uneasy circumstances and criminal connotations surrounding the bird’s death – we were all just innocently fascinated by its cloudy corneas and resplendent plumage.
Thinking back to the mystique of Nick, much of it could be attributed to his choice of rugged outerwear, because unlike us lot lolloping around in lurid cagoules, his hardy hip-length jacket blended in with the peaty, pastoral tones of the countryside. He wasn’t the type to carry a bag or unleash an umbrella when it started bucketing down, he’d just grimace slightly and pop his collar instead. For the SS19 Stable Jacket, Drake’s have skilfully blended together all the best bits from M65 military field jackets, equestrian-wear and traditional agricultural attire to create a distinctive, hardwearing piece designed to suit men of all ages. With robust twin-needle seam construction and plush corduroy lined collar, it’s made from highly durable Italian woven cotton canvas that’s been developed to last. In a subtle hue of olive green, it’s the type of style that feels as familiar as an old friend and functions equally as well whether you’re camping or commuting. There are pockets a-plenty for every eventuality, making it the perfect choice for anyone who needs to stash a paperback, packet of biscuits or even - for any sophisticated wannabe poachers out there - a freshly shot partridge.