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Sunday, 23 September 2018

RIP George Payne, King of the fisherman's smock.


Sadly, last week George Payne who made, literally, a hugely unique contribution to Cornish fishing folklore has moved on to that great wheelhouse in the sky. 





George was responsible for keeping the most traditional and iconic of fishermen's garments - the cotton smock...



alive and well (here - left- modelled by his good self) by introducing variations on traditional styles and introducing innovative designs using modern materials (reinforced PVC and nylon) for the sleeves or fronts which keep heavy sweaters underneath dry when handling gear, net and trawls...


until very recently George would often have been found here in what could be Cornwall's smallest retail shop adjacent the Sloop Inn St Ives...




many would agree, especially a huge number of Cornish fishermen...





like young Billy Bunn who says nothing beats a smock for protection from the wind when working on an open deck all day tailing prawns in cold dry weather...



smocks were cut so as to allow plenty of room to wear heavy sweaters underneath...



or, on warmer days, 'Hoss with just a shirt...



smocks were standard wear for both Terry Cougan and Sam Hicks on the Ben My Chree...




and Brian on the Ocean Harvester...




and if you look closely there's plenty of guys wearing smocks in this fish market scene from 1981...



the good news is that the cotton smock and many other traditional cotton and canvas garments and accessories are available...



from the Smock Shop in Gulval near Penzance where they are made  or over in the St Ives shop...




or through their online shop...



of course, the little blue smock logo is also reminiscent of the Guy Cotton 



fisherman logo whose  company George supplies with cotton smocks to supplement their range of oilskin tops...




which the company developed years ago and are worn by fishermen the world over...



even when they are crewing in the Défi des Ports de Pêche - the fisherman's smock in its modern form is still the most durable and serviceable garment to protect yourself with at sea or in extreme weather.

For everyone else these superbly traditional cotton smocks make the perfect 100% Cornish made gift for...



children...



gardeners...




artists




and sailors they won't be beaten for their comfort, durability, colour range, longevity and made entirely by hand in Cornwall - if John le Carré can do his family Christmas shopping at the Smock Shop you know it makes sense to do the same!