- 14/05/2020 at 15:01 #136393John D SaltParticipant
I have reference to National Archive piece number WO 32/19828, “Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders”, former reference 54/Inf/8839.
The following letter gives a summary of a matter which occupied some of the Ministry of Defence’s attention in 1973.
Regimental Headquarters Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders The Castle Stirling Tel. Stirling 2356 Ministry of Defence, Lansdowne House, Berkeley Square, LONDON W1X 6AA. Ref: RHQ/D/2 16 November, 1973 REGIMENTAL SPORRANS Reference A MOD letter A/54/Infantry/8839(C&Tic) dated 17 Oct 73 B Letter from Animals’ Vigilantes TEC/LM/HB dated 2 Oct 73 C MOD letter A/38/Misc/1539/PS12(Army) dated 19 Oct 73 1. As there may be some misunderstanding about the number of sporrans required each year it is pointed out that the majority of the sporrans now in use in the Regiment are second-hand, having been handed down, some more than once, from officers and N.C.Os leaving the Army. If properly looked after these sporrans last a very long time and some of them in use today were purchased more than 50 years ago. To re-inforce this point Messrs. Jardines of Edinburgh, our main supplier, has made only three/four new sporrans in the last eight years. 2. It should also be stressed that Badgers are NOT specifically killed for the purpose of making sporrans. Skins for making sporrans are obtained from animals either killed on the road accidentally trapped or those dying of natural causes. This availability of such skins is confirmed by a Veterinary Surgeon working for a Government Department who states that he could supply a substantial number of skins each year. 3. The three firms who supply these sporrans to the Regiment have been requested to investigate the possibility of the production of a synthetic Badger Sporran. It is confirmed that they are proceeding with this matter although it is anticipated that it will not be an easy task and may take some time. T B D Slessor R.O.II (T.B.C. SLESSOR) Copies to:- C&Tic, Ministry of Defence H.Q., The Scottish Division Brigadier A.C.S. Boswell, OBE Lieut.Colonel C.P.R. Falmer
Other parts of the file reveal than “Animals’ Vigilantes”, the organization calling for an end to the Argylls’ wearing of badger sporrans, had Spike Milligan for its president, and numbered among its patrons Lady Dowding, David Jacobs, Jack Warner, J B Priestley, Cliff Richard, and Harry Corbett & Sooty.
As far as I can determine, the synthetic badger sporran was never developed, and real dead badgers continued to be used in full mask sporrans for officers and NCOs of the Argylls until they were amalgamated into the Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006.14/05/2020 at 17:45 #136397Jemima FawrParticipant
I suppose they had to use badger once the supply of wild haggis was made illegal and farmed haggis was never commercially viable.
My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/14/05/2020 at 23:54 #136416
As someone who occasionally wore a Gordon Highlanders sporran between the years of 1975 to 1978, whilst they were not made from badgers, I can confirm that they were decidedly ancient.
Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.15/05/2020 at 13:43 #136452John D SaltParticipant
So much for my attempt to flush out the sporran nerds in the group.
All the best,
John.15/05/2020 at 17:06 #136456
Try spats next. I wore those too.
Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.15/05/2020 at 18:17 #136460Jemima FawrParticipant
Try spats next. I wore those too.
A gentleman always takes his spats off first.
My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/16/05/2020 at 11:00 #136498
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