My father used to be the Managing Director of a large bread bakery. I had visited the bakery many
times with my father and seen the workforce wearing coveralls. At the time, everyone wore khaki coloured,
RAF style boilersuits or warehouse coats. I remember going into a room full of overalls, stacked high as far as the eye could see, in selves and piles on the floor, and every different shade khaki imaginable. After a while of wonderment, I noticed that in the centre of this cathedral to workwear were two old dears, sitting behind large industrial sewing machines, fighting, it seemed, the endless onslaught of overalls waiting to be repaired.
Khaki - Boiler suit.
During the School Summer holidays, my dad got me a job packing rolls in
the bakery. This of course involved wearing the khaki
boilersuits. I later found out that I
was going to be working with a son of one of my dad's employees.
I remembered that I had seen him once before and thought it would be
fun. Well it turned out to be very hard and hot work; we were counting
roles into baskets from a conveyor belt, just after they had come out of
the oven, and where cooling down. It was so hot were wore nothing but
The next summer, the factory had moved to a new building. The coveralls were now coloured by department.
Maroon - Maintenance
Green - Garage
White - Bakery
I got a job in the Maintenance department where I wore a maroon
coverall. That's where I began to notice an interest in coveralls.
While still at school, I saved up my pocket money to buy my first overall. I still have it, is a blue nylon coverall, with red re-enforcing stitching. The collection grew from there. I must have easily over a hundred now.
I also have about 10 hard hats, all different colours, ear defenders, goggles, safety glasses, gloves etc.