The Glorious 12th, a day etched in the calendars of many, marks the beginning of the red grouse shooting season in the UK. It’s not just about the sport; it’s a tradition, a gathering, and an opportunity to embrace the beauty of the British countryside. As participants and enthusiasts gather on the moors, there’s an unspoken emphasis on the attire. After all, the day demands a blend of functionality and style. Dressing appropriately for the occasion is not just about adhering to the customs but also about ensuring comfort during the outdoor activity. This is where Norton & Townsend’s bespoke countrywear comes into play, offering the perfect blend of tradition, style, and tailored fit, ensuring that enthusiasts are not just dressed for the occasion, but are also comfortable and at ease as they partake in the day’s activities.

The History and Significance of the Glorious Twelfth

For many, the 12th of August, also known as the Glorious Twelfth, is a day of great anticipation. It signifies the start of the red grouse shooting season. The red grouse, a majestic bird native to the heather moorlands of the UK, is often hailed as the king of game birds. This tradition has deep historical roots, with the grouse becoming a prominent feature on restaurant menus for the subsequent five months, celebrated by chefs for its unique and earthy flavour.

The Glorious Twelfth has its origins in the Victorian era. It was officially established in England and Wales in 1831, following the introduction of new legislation that replaced a prior law prohibiting game hunting between August and December. The 1850s saw a surge in the popularity of grouse shooting, largely due to the expansion of railway networks across the UK, making the moors more accessible to enthusiasts.

The 1940s and 1950s marked a shift in the perception of game shooting. During the World War Two era, when food was rationed, game shooting transitioned from being an exclusive pastime of the aristocracy to a vital countryside activity. Tales abound of farmers hosting grand shooting parties, inviting their employees to partake.

Nowadays, the Glorious Twelfth continues to be a cherished tradition. Starting on the 12th of August, the grouse season spans 121 days. Participants adhere to certain guidelines, one of which includes refraining from shooting on Sundays.

While the essence of the day remains rooted in the sport, it’s also an opportunity for participants to showcase their style. The attire worn is a nod to the history and customs of the day, with many opting for traditional tweeds and bespoke pieces that reflect both the heritage of the event and the individual’s personal style.



The Role of Bespoke Countrywear Tailoring

In the world of outdoor sports, particularly shooting, the attire chosen plays a pivotal role. It’s not merely about aesthetics; it’s about functionality, comfort, and ensuring that the wearer can move freely and comfortably throughout the day. Bespoke tailoring offers a solution that off-the-rack garments often cannot. Each piece is crafted to the individual’s exact measurements, ensuring a fit that’s both flattering and functional.

Norton & Townsend understand the nuances of the sport and the demands it places on clothing. Bespoke tailoring ensures that each garment, from jackets to breeks, is tailored to allow for the specific movements associated with shooting. The precision and attention to detail that bespoke tailoring offers mean that enthusiasts can enjoy their day on the moors without being hindered by ill-fitting attire. Bespoke pieces are a testament to individual style, allowing wearers to stand out and make a statement.

Key Features of Norton & Townsend’s Countrywear

  • Action Back/Shoulders: Designed with the shooter in mind, these features include an added gusset that ensures enhanced movement, particularly when raising the arm to shoot. The garment then seamlessly returns to its resting position, ensuring the wearer always looks polished.
  • Bellows Pockets: These pockets are not just a style statement. Their added depth is perfect for carrying cartridges, and the protective flap ensures contents remain secure. An optional button can be added for those who prefer easy access.
  • Gun Patches: A subtle yet crucial addition, these patches act as a shield between the gun strap and the tweed fabric, preventing wear and tear. They can be added from the outset or replaced as needed, ensuring the longevity of the garment.
  • Gilet: A versatile piece, the Gilet is tailored to emulate the practicality of a traditional country jacket but without the sleeves. It can be layered under other pieces or worn on its own, depending on the weather and the wearer’s preference.
  • Field Coat: This weatherproof topcoat is a must-have for any shooting enthusiast. Tailored with a breathable membrane, it ensures the wearer remains dry and protected from the elements. Features such as bellows pockets and fleece-lined hand warmer pockets add both style and functionality.
  • Breeks, Plus 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s: These are tailored with the high boot and long sock combination in mind. The design includes a peak back for bracers and fuller fitting legs with a buckle and strap at the hem for security. The varying styles, differentiated by the amount of overhang at the hem, offer wearers a choice between a more traditional or contemporary look.



Styling Tips for the Shooting Season

The Glorious 12th is not just about the sport; it’s also an opportunity to showcase one’s style. While the functionality of attire is paramount, there’s no reason one can’t look dapper while out on the moors. Here are some tips to ensure you’re at the pinnacle of style this shooting season:

  • Layering: The unpredictable British weather means layering is key. Start with a tailored shirt, add a bespoke gilet for warmth, and top it off with a field coat for protection against the elements.
  • Accessories: Consider traditional flat caps, leather gloves, and sturdy boots to complete the look. Not only do they add a touch of sophistication, but they also provide practical benefits, such as protection from the elements.
  • Care for Your Garments: After a day out, ensure your bespoke pieces are aired out and brushed to remove any dirt. Regular maintenance will ensure they remain in top condition for seasons to come.

The Glorious 12th is a day that combines tradition, sport, and style. With Norton & Townsend’s bespoke countrywear, participants can ensure they’re not only dressed for the occasion but also enjoy the benefits of garments tailored to their exact needs. Investing in bespoke tailoring means investing in comfort, style, and longevity – ensuring that each shooting season is enjoyed to the fullest.