A Brief History of Barbour



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Have you ever wondered how how it all began? Vintage Barbour is a must have nowadays – we all need it in our wardrobes and we all need it when we are off to the festivals. It always looks good on you, no matter if fitted or oversized, no matter if worn or very worn, no matter if ripped or dirty. In fact, the more knackered it is – the better your indie style looks like. At Harper & Lewis there is always a great selection of vintage Barbour coats for you to go through – on H&L Vintage Asos Marketplace Boutique so as in the actual shops which are based in the City Center of Birmingham, West Midlands, UK. Let’s briefly present the Barbour story though – we’re going to put it in photos.

Why ‘BARBOUR’? – because of the founder, John Barbour, obviously.

The story of Barbour began in 1894 in the Market Place in South Shields.


1894 – The founder John Barbour opens J Barbour & Sons in 5 Market Place, South Shields


1908 – John Barbour’s son, Malcolm, produces the first mail order catalogue. By 1917 the catalogue accounts for almost 75% of Barbour’s business including international orders from as far away as Chile, South Africa and Hong Kong

1912 barbour history

1912 – J Barbour & Sons becomes J Barbour & Sons Ltd with John Barbour as Chairman and his sons Jack and Malcolm as joint Managing Directors


1918 -John Barbour dies on 7 July 1918 and is succeeded by Jack Barbour

1927-Malcolm-Barbour_0_01927 – Malcolm Barbour is appointed Chairman, due to Jack Barbour’s resignation


1928 – Duncan Barbour, Malcolm’s only son joins the business

1934 barbour history

1934 – Duncan Barbour, a keen motorcyclist, introduces a motorcycling range that quickly takes off


Virtually every British International team wears Barbour suits from 1936 to the year that Barbour pulls out of the motorcycle clothing market in 1977


1939 – They develop the Ursula suit, which becomes standard issue for members of the Submarine Service

The Ursula suit was named after the U-class submarine, Ursula whose commander Captain George Philips was instrumental in having the suits produced


1957 – 97% of all competitors who take part in the Scottish 6 Day Event ride in Barbour International Oiled Cotton suits


Barbour moves to the Simonside Trading Estate on the outskirts of South Shields and builds a manufacturing plant. After 63 years of being a retailer, Barbour became manufacturers and marketers


Duncan Barbour dies age 48 and Malcolm Barbour again takes charge of the business with Nancy and her son John Barbour, age 19


1964 – Malcolm Barbour dies age 83 and Nancy Barbour takes the role of Chairman with John as Managing Director

1968 – John Barbour dies suddenly leaving behind his young widow Margaret and their two-year-old daughter Helen

Margaret Barbour is made a member of the Board of Directors

1972 – Margaret Barbour is appointed Chairman


1974 – Barbour receives the first Royal warrant from the Duke of Edinburgh


1980 – The first lightweight thornproof short riding jacket – the Bedale – is designed


The distinctive black and gold Barbour International badge is first seen on the famous motorcycling jacket of the same name


1981 – Barbour moves into a new factory in Simonside


The company remains at Simonside to the present day


1982 – Barbour receives the second Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen


1983 – The Beaufort jacket designed by Margaret Barbour is featured in the catalogue for the first time


1987 – Barbour receives the third Royal Warrant by HRH the Prince of Wales and opens an office in New Hampshire, Barbour Inc, in March


1988 – The subsidiary Barbour (Europe) Ltd. is founded in Germany. Today, the company is located in Düsseldorf

The Barbour Trust is set up to support local and national projects and community issues. Margaret Barbour donates 20% of her shares in the company to The Barbour Trust

1989 – Barbour opens an office in Paris, Barbour France in October


1991 – In June, Margaret Barbour is honoured with the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to industry


1992 – Barbour wins a Queens Award for Export Achievement in 1992, 1994 & 1995

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1994 – J Barbour & Sons Ltd celebrates its centenary


1995 – Margaret Barbour is made President of the Royal Warrant Holders Association

1997 – Helen Barbour is made Vice Chairman

2001 – Margaret Barbour is appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours List


2005 – Barbour wins the Best Shooting Clothing Product at the IPC Shooting Awards for the Northumberland range designed by Lord James Percy


2007 – Barbour is the jacket of choice at the Glastonbury Festival with acts and celebrities such as the Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen, Peaches Geldof and Rufus Wainwright all wearing the brand


2008 – Barbour wins Best Shooting Clothing Product at the IPC Shooting Industry Awards for the Linhope Endurance 3 in 1 jacket designed by Lord James Percy

Barbour is awarded a special commendation at the Sunday Times PricewaterhouseCoopers Profit Track 100 Awards


2011 – Barbour celebrates the 75th anniversary of its iconic International motorcycle clothing

“Today the 5th generation family owned business remains in the North East, with Barbour’s headquarters located in Simonside, South Shields. Although it sources products from around the globe, Barbour’s classic wax jackets are still manufactured by hand in the factory in Simonside and each year over 100,000 jackets are processed via the central, subsidiary and local customer service operations.
In 2004, Barbour began to work with Lord James Percy, in the design and marketing of its flagship shooting clothing range – the Northumberland range. Technically advanced and highly acclaimed in 2005, the Northumberland Range won the Shooting Industry Award for best clothing product, and more recently, the Linhope 3-in-1 won the Shooting Industry Award for best clothing product, 2008. More recently he was involved, alongside Vice Chairman Helen Barbour, in designing the new Barbour Sporting collection launched for Autumn Winter 2011.

Barbour now has 11 of its own retail shops in the UK, and a presence in over 40 countries worldwide including the United States, Germany, Holland, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, New Zealand and Japan.

There are now over 2,000 products across the two seasons and the collections now cater for Men, Ladies and Children. Broadening out from its countrywear roots, today the heritage and lifestyle clothing brand produces clothing that is designed for a full lifestyle wardrobe. As well as jackets and coats, the Barbour wardrobe includes trousers, shirts, socks, knitwear and a range of accessories.

Nevertheless, in whichever area the company now operates, it remains true to its core values as a family business which espouses the unique values of the British Countryside and brings the qualities of wit, grit and glamour to its beautifully functional clothing.”

Source: http://www.barbour.com/

Hope you enjoyed the Barbour history. Time to do some shopping now! Lots of love, H&L Vintage, xx 




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Christmas Jumper Time!!!

Christmas Jumpers - Buy Christmas Jumpers Online Here

Christmas Jumpers Online at Harper & Lewis Vintage

The German Christmas Market is coming to town!!! Only 4 days away until it’s officially ok to wear your Christmas Jumper out in public : )

We have one of the largest ranges of Christmas Jumpers online in the UK. Why not visit our fab website to see for yourself – www.harperandlewisvintage.co.uk

Even if you don’t feel brave enough to wear one yourself, why not buy it as a gift? Or treat the whole family to a Christmas Jumper so you can all wear them together on Christmas Day… now you’re talking!

We’ve also been looking online at other fun Christmas Treats. Now what would match your lovely Christmas Jumper more than a matching pair of Christmas Slippers? Our friends over at Cloggs.co.uk have a fantastic range of slippers, which include these fab Reindeer printed beauties from Homeys Slippers.

Homeys Slippers - Buy Homeys Slippers Online Here




Baby, it’s cold outside.


Imagine a cold evening – you’re on the sofa, wrapped up in an oversized warm jumper, having a cup of tea. Living a dream!

Credits © Kinga Leftska


Winter is just by the corner and it’s getting colder and colder! We hate when it’s freezing outside but low temperature is a good reason to wear a cozy vintage jumper isn’t it? Here at Harper & Lewis Vintage we have a great selection of knitwear – from beautiful Christmas jumpers, through 80’s beauties in loud colours – to latest must-haves in your wardrobes – badboys from cold Scandinavia. Yes! Icelandic and Norwegian jumpers have joined our website. Let us quickly present what we’ve got for you to hunt through.


Thinking of 80s knitwear we’re all thinking of Cosby style jumpers aren’t we? Loud colours and crazy patterns – that’s what’s it all about.  The multi-coloured jumpers were worn by Bill Cosby in The Cosby Show in the 80s. The Cosby 80s sweater is a must-have piece of garment nowadays and here at Harper & Lewis Vintage we have a great selection of 80s beauties for him and her.  Get your 80s sweater now and add an extravagant piece to your vintage outfit. Ladies – go for boxy shoulders to get back to Madonna’s times (if you don’t really want to look like Bill Cosby;) ). 80s sweaters look cool being worn oversized!



We absolutely fall in love with Norwegian traditional intarsia snowflake knit, yarn embroidered tape trims and silver metal hooks! Catch everyone’s eye wearing your Scandinavian jumper. Bright colours and cool patterns will keep you feel warm. Add a Scandinavian piece of garment to your outfit. Here at Harper and Lewis Vintage we’ve got a great selection of Norwegian and Icelandic wool jumpers for you to hunt through. Your wardrobe without the Scandinavian tenants in not a wardrobe this season!


Scandinavian knitwear is all about traditional patterns.



These don’t really need an introduction – NO HOLDS BARRED!

The Christmas season would never be complete without that all-important Christmas jumper. It nowadays is one of the most important must – have items just like a Christmas Tree! You could not really feel the atmosphere of Xmas without few days spent in a cozy, colorful knit printed with snowmen, reindeers, Santa Claus, snowflakes, sleigh or penguins pretending to be snowmen! Authentic patterns can be found in our wide range of Festive Christmas Jumpers, while chunky cable knit jumpers add some heritage edge. Rounded off by a selection of sweaters inspired by the most sought after brands, our Christmas Sweaters will keep your body the right side of cool. And remember, everyone is going to be jealous of your cozy beauty! Here at Harper & Lewis Vintage you can chose between a wide range of colours, sizes and most importantly –  patterns. We have got everything from snowflakes, through reindeers and Christmas trees up to penguins and Christmas harts, well – even the broken ones. Oh – do not miss the cute white sheep. As we all know there is always this black one as well – you will find those in our shop as well! Cute and lovely! The material is knitting which gives you comfortable and nice feeling – it will remind you your childhood, late evenings with your parents and grandparents when you could hear the flames popping in the fireplace! Remember – christmas sweaters have become not just acceptable, but cool – the gaudier the better. You can find a perfect one for you if you are about to join the Christmas sweater party too – in which attendees compete to wear the vilest seasonal pullover  – we have got as many of them you can easily provide everyone in your office with one or even more! Share the craze of Christmas Jumpers If you are looking for the most hideous festive tops you can find – here we are right on hand! We know that the more stuff on the sweater, the more glittery and jangly it is, the more you will love it. Oh, we have got loads of these inspired by pac-man too!! That is right – a nostalgic nod to the 80s also within a Xmas Time!
Isn’t it enough to make you buy a new jumper to celebrate the Christmas season? We bet it is. Find a perfect women’s and men’s Christmas Sweater for you, your mother, sisters and friends now! Happy Christmas Shopping! Ho Ho Ho!






Harper Lewis Vintage for ASOS Marketplace






Harper Lewis Vintage for ASOS Marketplace