Club Foyer>The Riding Mac>
Shortly before I left home for university in 1960 my father took advantage of a closing down sale by a firm called Anderson in Bristol and bought two riding mackintoshes, one for himself and one for me. I had seen many people wearing macs but had never thought any more about it. Then I tried on my new mac! Wow! The sensation was tingling and electrifying, I had never experienced anything like it. I spluttered to my father “This should keep the rain out.”
About a couple of weeks later I left for Birmingham University with my new mac carefully packed with my luggage. I lived in digs and I remember occasionally trying on my mac in the privacy of my bedroom just to experience the magic. However I was reluctant to wear it outside as it looked so new and as I was so shy I feared people would snigger if they knew my secret. Perhaps that was in all my imagination. Perhaps they didn’t know.
I soon met a lovely fair haired girl called Anne, a fellow chemistry student, and we started seeing each other but at the time I was far too shy to wear my mac. One evening though when I was due to go round to her bed-sit I had to wear my mac as the weather was atrocious. She welcomed me in and offered to dry my mac but I noticed she took rather a long time arranging it over the back of a chair.
Throughout the evening I remember she would check at regular intervals to see how my mac was drying. I eventually plucked up enough courage to say flippantly “if it’s dry why don’t you try it on?” She needed no second invitation. The mac made a lovely rustle as she put it on and I could see she became very excited. She pulled the belt tight, put up the collar and seemed to wallow in the aroma. The ice was broken and we confessed our fascination with rubber macs.
Next weekend we went shopping and I bought her a lovely red single texture mac. She was delighted and wore it almost every time we met. She would sometimes telephone to encourage me to wear my riding mac if the weather looked slightly doubtful. We could only see each other about once a week as in those days students had to work much harder than it seems today. She got her degree about six months later, a 2.1 the clever girl, and left for a job in Scotland. We gradually lost touch but at least I still had my riding mackintosh, and the confidence to wear it, ready for my next mac adventure.
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