Wondering why today’s Google doodle is themed around wellies and rain? It might stir some memories if you live in the North West of England.
On this day in 2015, Cumbria received a record-breaking 13 inches of rain as Storm Desmond ripped through the country – making this the wettest day in the area’s history.
As a land of constant grey skies and drizzle, the British may be surprised to learn that we don’t even rank in the top 50 rainiest countries in the world. But we are certainly well seasoned in wrapping up for the weather, with cagoules and mackintoshes both invented in Britain to combat the soggy climate.
Just like the cardigan, the sandwich and, amusingly, Tupperware, the Wellington boot’s name has its roots in aristocracy. It was created in the 18th century on the instruction of The Duke of Wellington, who desired an improvement to the traditional hessian boot. The new design naturally needed to be hard-wearing and suitable for riding, but Wellington also wanted a smart and slick aesthetic that could pass in more formal occasions.
Once the Wellington boot was created, its appeal soon took off in fashionable society as gentlemen tried to emulate the highly respected war heroes of the day. Over the years it was modified from leather to rubber, revolutionising working conditions in many industries with waterproof footwear.
Today wellies are staple gear when working in wet and muddy conditions. They’re forced onto the feet of puddle jumping toddlers and an absolute necessity for wash out festivals. Remaining a firm favourite in footwear throughout the world, we can’t see them disappearing any time soon.