Author Archives: Louise Kendrick

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Public demand traffic wardens back!

There are certainly some strong opinions out there when it comes to traffic wardens – but the positive aspects of their job, such as their contribution to keeping traffic moving, are rarely acknowledged.

Aberystwyth on the Welsh coast is an interesting case study in what would happen without traffic wardens, or civil enforcement officers (CEOs) as they’re now known. The Police have recently handed over the enforcement of parking infringements to the Council – however it will take up to one year for the Council to put the new CEOs in place. As a result, there is no one enforcing parking infringements in Aberystwyth.

Civil enforcement officer uniform

Civil enforcement officer uniforms

What was originally thought of as a “motorist’s paradise”, however, has turned into more of a nightmare. It has been reported that friction and even punch-ups have arisen due to the free parking. One resident remarked, “I never thought I’d say it but I want the traffic wardens back!”. It seems that the citizens of Aberystwyth are longing for the peace and harmony provided by the good old familiar civil enforcement officer uniforms! The silent majority want to park without hassle and recognise the importance and value of civil enforcement officers.

 

Chamber of Commerce chair Chris Mackenzie-Grieve, recently added further food for thought: “It may seem great for motorists, but for traders, visitors and the disabled looking for parking spots it’s not a laughing matter.”

For further civil enforcement officer uniform news watch this space!

 

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The Magnum Strider makes Glastonbury!

To further our success of our brand new Magnum strider shoe, we thought what better than trying it out in a good old British muddy festival. This year was no exception and it wasn’t long before the rain began and the mud slides escalated.

Our willing testers of the Magnum shoes were our valued customer Mendip District Council. We currently supply their parking department for their full uniforms and they were thrilled with the durability and comfort of the Magnum Strider. So much so that the next day they washed the mud off them and went for a morning run!

Magnum shoes

Magnum Strider shoe at Glastonbury

Since their success, they are now looking to kit out their full staff in the Magnum Strider and spread the word. If you would like to put our Strider to the test, please contact us – we’d love to hear your feedback!

 

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It’s a uniform Jim, but not as we know it!

I know that’s a Star Trek, rather than Star Wars reference, but they all blend into one to me to be honest!

We couldn’t help commenting on the recent news story that George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, is in a longstanding court battle with prop designer Andrew Ainsworth over who owns the rights to the Stormtrooper uniforms used in the 1970s classic Star Wars films.

The stormtrooper uniform is one of the most iconic examples of corporate clothing in modern history. And we can see why the two parties were arguing – Ainsworth sold a single stormtrooper helmet for $97,000 back in 2004. There’s been another Star Wars film since then so today’s cost is likely to be even higher.

The corporate clothing uk market will be rocked by the decision that the case was thrown out of a British court, after it ruled that the Stormtrooper uniforms were “industrial props with utilitarian purpose” rather than “works of art”. Bad luck to Andy Ainsworth, that decision’s got to hurt.

Those of you who regularly follow this blog will remember our entry about the Parkex show in March, where our stand was visited by promotional staff dressed in Stormtrooper corporate clothing uniforms – we hope they cleared it with George Lucas!

 

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Stab vest: Syringe protection – the truth vs the myths

As we’ve blogged previously, the Home Office Scientific Development Branch provides the certification for stab vest protection – KR1 (Knife Resistance Level 1) is the most common standard for stab protection, and this is often paired with SP1 (Spike Protection Level 1). However, it’s key to point out that SP1 doesn’t cover syringe protection, and that there isn’t a Home Office standard for syringe protection.

If your risk assessment states that your stab vest needs to include protection from syringes, it’s a matter of asking potential suppliers to visit you to demonstrate the syringe-resistant capabilities of their products. We think this is a must when you are dealing with such a crucial piece of protective equipment as stabvests. Please give us a call or post a comment if you have any queries on this matter.

 

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Chocolate Hamper prize draw winner

Our newsletter sign up prize this May was to win a chocolate hamper full of Thornton goodies. The lucky winner pulled out the hat was Mr. Tony Hawley from the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London, a valued customer to our sister company Keltic Ties. The Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London for London Freemasons are currently raising £2.5M for the Cyber Knife Appeal for Barts and the London Hospital for Cancer Treatment.

This gives me a great opportunity to introduce our sister site who specialise in the production of a range of corporate ties, and bespoke neckwear. We have been producing bespoke company ties for over 80 years and are experts in the field of producing bespoke neckwear such as club ties to a range of companies and organisations such as rugby and golf clubs. We also specialise in school ties and supply to a range of schools across the UK.

We’ve recently had a new arrival to the custom ties department, Jessica Gleeson shown on the left of the photo who runs the department.

Club tie winner

Company ties winner

For further information on our Keltic ties please call us and don’t forget to sign up to our next newsletter for further amazing giveaways!

 

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Champagne Draw in Westminster

On Tuesday 28th June we sponsored the combined Healthcare and Higher Education Special Interest Group meeting, a British Parking Association event, at the Royal Horticultural Halls Conference centre in the heart of Westminster. On the walk from the tube station, we saw lots of Westminster’s very smart looking Civil Enforcement Officers, who we’ve recently kitted out in a smart new civil enforcement officer uniform.

civil enforcement officer uniform draw

Keltic Prize draw

The group had two new chairs, Ian Goodman of Manchester Metropolitan University and Laura Kelly of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn, who did a fantastic job. The meeting had the highest attendance we’ve seen at a BPA meeting so far, and we really enjoyed meeting lots of new faces from the university and healthcare sectors.  The event gave us a great opportunity to show off our civil enforcement officer uniforms to both existing and potential clients.

civil enforcement officer uniform draw

Lucky prize winner

Helen Dolphin of Disabled Motoring UK gave a superb talk on providing parking for disabled motorists, and there were a number of other really interesting talks, including Terry Vass from Brunel University on how they’ve drastically reduced their crime rate with the help of the Safer Parking Scheme, as well as Mark Biggs of the Metropolitan Police. We particularly liked Mark’s comment that hospitals and universities are like towns, with very similar parking problems.

Half way through the day it was looking like the attendees could have used one of our new Patrol Macs because the heavens truly opened – but thankfully it had dried up when home-time came around!

We did our famous business card draw, and the winner of a huge bottle of champagne – a jeroboam, no less – was Emma Marshall of Precision Parking. Congratulations Emma!!

 

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Hard body armour & Soft body armour – what’s the difference?

In the 1980s all body armour was rigid or “hardened”, making it uncomfortable and difficult to move in. Thankfully, technology has moved on to the extent that flexible soft body armour is now available that provides equal or greater protection from all threats, including blunt trauma (body blows).

soft body armour

Bodyarmour differences

When it comes to blunt trauma, we recommend that you ask for a demonstration of the protection provided by the proposed bodyarmour supplier, because there is no Home Office standard for blunt trauma protection. Also, it’s crucial for wearers to be able to manoeuvre away from threats, and something key to add into the mix is the fact that they will find it easier to manoeuvre if their body armour is flexible.

All body armour uk suppliers should be happy to call in to see you to demonstrate the capabilities of their products, and this is a great way for you to confirm that they have Home Office test certificates and that all armour is full CE marked too.

 

 

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Corporate suits competition winner shows off his new suit

Our newsletter give away this April was a corporate suit worth £350, the lucky winner being Chris at Wyre Forest District Council. Chris has kindly sent over a photo of himself in his brand new uniform suit as a thank you.

corporate suits prize

Uniform suit winner

These great competitions, whether it be to win uniform suits or a hamper of chocolate are a great incentive to sign up to our occasional newsletter, which keep our customers updated with the latest offers, competitions and products that we have.

By the way this month’s prize is to win a crate of Pimms, there’s only one week left so get your sign ups in for your chance to win!

 

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Over 100 Councils give our new parking uniform innovations the thumbs up!

It’s been almost two months since our latest parking uniform items – the Magnum Strider and the Patrol Cap were launched at Parkex – and I just wanted to give you some feedback as to how these have been received by our customers.

parking attendant uniform

Parking uniforms – Magnum Strider

Those of you who visited our stand at Parkex will remember we demonstrated the Magnum Strider – the UK’s first shoe designed specifically for parking staff – by chucking water and all sorts of nasties at it – and nothing stuck due to its ion mask technology! This has featured in the Sunday Times, The Sun, The Guardian and on the Chris Evans Breakfast show and the Gadget show and is really clever stuff, actually repelling water. We were delighted to have the opportunity to bring this technology into the world of parking enforcement uniforms. As well as being highly water-resistant, the Strider is also very lightweight, very breathable, very durable and also EN-certified for slip resistance. We have sold the Strider to well in excess of 100 local authorities already, which we think is pretty amazing for two months’ work! It is totally unheard of for a new product to get such amazing feedback – we have had customers raving on the phone for ten minutes about how good the Strider is!

Parking uniform innovation

Parking Uniforms – Patrol Cap

The other new innovations in the world of parking attendant uniform that is causing a stir is the Patrol Cap. We made a small initial batch to test the market and have been totally inundated with requests for this product. It seems that people are just bored of the same old caps that people have been wearing since 1960. Unlike the existing hats, which are made of wool and can therefore soak up rain in winter or cause wearers to sweat in summer, the Patrol Cap is very lightweight, 100% waterproof and highly breathable. We’re making more as fast as we possibly can, so please bear with us!

We just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported these two new products – we’re really grateful – and do keep your feedback coming!

 

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Send us your corporate wear photos & win a bottle of Moet!

We follow all the latest news on corporate wear uk and around the world, and were really taken by one recent article. New Yorker Sheena Matheiken of the Daily Telegraph decided to wear the same dress every day for a year, both as a comment on the fashion world, and to raise money for a good cause. This spurned numerous other people to follow suit (pardon the pun!).

The idea of wearing one dress every day really struck a chord with us as corporate wear suppliers, because obviously the point of corporatewear is that it is worn every day and gives a unified look to a workforce.

corporate wear prize draw

corporate wear photo prize

The photos of Sheena in her rather interesting dress (ahem!) got us thinking – and we’ve come up with a competition as a result. Post photos of you or your colleagues in your corporatewear on our Facebook page, and the one with the most ‘likes’ will win a bottle of champagne. So, get your colleagues and friends liking your picture!

We look forward to your entries!

 

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