Sunday 30 January 2011


"Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn" – C. S. Lewis
Life’s experiences, eh? I’ve had a few of those over the years!
Brutalist architecture, ‘Brutalism’, are be’ton brute – raw concrete – structures, cast in-situ out of rough finish concrete between the 1950’s and mid-70’s. These constructions range from vast educational facilities to towering tower blocks and, bus stations. In Sheffield city centre there is the Park Hill ‘streets in the sky’ council housing scheme, nicknamed ‘San Quentin’ by some residents, that I’ve walked past many a time on the way to Bramall Lane. Luckily, I’ve never had the pleasure of being chased through the estates maze of pathways by the B.B.C. and encircled in a dead-end. And down London, there’s Thamesmead, Tavy Bridge estate – a futurist flagship project back in the day - and shopping centre; both featured in the classic flick ‘Clockwork Orange.’ The area is awash with Cubist/Brutalist/Modernist buildings and high-rise social flats that contain a labyrinth of dark underpasses, elevated walkways and sinister subways. Only on my doorstep is, Preston Bust Station, and the reason of my urban ramble.

PBS was cast in the late 60’s and is the largest bus station in the UK. Also, it incorporates a multi-storey car park which has distinctive curved walls. These curve walls were designed due to cheaper costs rather than vertical ones and, they stop you driving into the walls too. But sadly, many a heart rendering successful suicide has taken place off the highest level of the car park. Someone even tried to drive off the exit ramp once in a vain attempt to end their life – he bounced off a lower ramp, and survived. Also, over the past 40 odd years several pensioners have been rundown and killed by buses reversing after taking a shortcut across the apron because they feared using the connecting subways. The station has also been plagued with muggings, alcoholics and drug dealers aswell. So, you could say, the station isn’t top of list of places to visit, for most.
The concrete bus terminus could have featured in a Stanley Kubrick films due to its eerie, awesome magnitude. Because lurking in shadows, behind its slick corners, or lying in wait down one of its dimly lit subways, or stairwells, could be Droogs, waiting to dish out a bit of ‘ultra-violence.’ Fact fans may know, Anthony Burgess, the writer of the famous novel Clockwork Orange, taught at Bamber Bridge Teacher Training College following WW II – Bamber Bridge is situated less than three miles south of where the bus station was later constructed.

I’ve had several experiences on the ‘busie’ over the period of its existence too: I ‘titted-up’ one of my first girlfriend as I threw my tongue down her throat at the tender age of 12/13 while we waited for different last buses home at 11pm. This after attending a under eighteen disco at the adjoined Guild Hall by overhead walkway and subway. I’d umpteen scraps with lads from different parts of town while waiting for buses too – years later we would become mates at the match. You had also to be on your guard for a group of black guys of varying ages who would dish out beatings if they didn’t like the look of you or you wouldn’t ‘lend’ them 10p. The station use to have a connecting late night black cab taxi rank too, which is now closed. And if anyone dared to jump the queue at three in the morning there would usually be a drunken mass brawl, whether this be lads in shirt and tie, or girls in miniskirts. It didn’t half make good viewing in the moonlit sky, through one eye, as you tried not to drop your takeaway as the early hours entertainment ensued all around you.

Over the years the station has suffered with concrete cancer – the reinforcing iron bars would have expanded due to rust setting in after water penetration through weak concrete batches when constructed - which has been rectified and a new coating added to the main structural frame. Plus other internal remedial work has taken place, though nothing too major. And, there has always been issues with access to the station too. The main aim over recent years has been to create better access, which the council have, this leaving the stations facade looking rather shabby and in a sad state, to say the least.
But the primary reason for my photo shoot was, this ‘brute’ of a construction may be demolished! Redevelopment project plans have been submitted for the centre of Preston which would see the bulldozers erase the landmark from the heart of the city. The 20th Century Society have took up the fight to save the iconic building and want it to be listed, only the council have applied for a Certificate of Immunity from the Government to block such a bid. What will happen to PBS in the future? I cannot say at the moment, but boy, did I have quite a few life changing experiences in and around the place, that’s for sure...
William Routledge.

Thursday 27 January 2011

Wednesday 26 January 2011


We've just received two ace new stickers, bigger and bolder than before, coming to a lampost, hydrant or somebody's back near you soon! Don't forget to send us your pictures, we'd like to add loads more up to this Project, the more interesting and creative the better, cool buildings, inland or abroad, famous landmarks, breasts, anywhere! YHN
***Please note, all stickers are sent out with our products and not just on request.
**The Casual Connoisseur accepts no responsibilty for where this sticker is stuck.

Monday 24 January 2011

Tuk Tuk Luk Buk ...

A Spring/Summer '11 preview from our friends at Tuk Tuk, I know it's bitterly cold right now and hard to imagine summer, but take your mind to that time, beer gardens, beautiful girls in next to nothing, eating cornettos, walking on sand, sweating profusely, wasps in your pint, that kind of thing. These guys know how to kit you out for your hols or just the summer in general, whilst we were thinking of Christmas, these chaps over in their sunnier climes were plotting their new collection of shirts, shorts, belts and bags. CD

Friday 21 January 2011


Here's another look into our first foray into outerwear, we're starting with the simple, yet classic rain jacket, a modern day re-creation of one of our old favourites, with updated technology - more dry, less sweat, we have done this the right way. Coming in three carefully chosen colours, the classic Royal Blue, a nice subtle Orange - more an amber than a hi vis, and a tremendously under used colour these days, a Cola Brown. We've dressed them up a bit to see how they look, I think they call it styling these days kids.
These are still in production hoping for an early spring release.
*All details, sizing, pricing, etc to be confirmed. YHN

Wednesday 19 January 2011


Forgive us for such a self serving post here, if I'm honest I'm not too sure about seeing some of our product on eBay, I'd like people to wear them, enjoy them, cherish then, but when we spotted one or two of our Weir hats on there in the last week or so, we kept an eye on them.
Hats, which in their three runs this winter all sold out within just hours, it was no fluke. If you weren't sure of the cult of these hats, take a look at how much one or two of them fetched on there recently, we've created a monster. Wear them with pride, because you are part of a cult, the chosen few. CD

Tuesday 18 January 2011


We've just taken delivery of some nice new swingtags for our product, these feature our trendy new mascot, a proper Connoisseur cutting quite a dash as I'm sure you'll agree, he's so cool he's soon to be seen on a brand new t-shirt aswell. YHN

Sunday 16 January 2011


I know, I know it's still a bit cold and miserable right now, and we don't want to be discussing spring and summer wear, that said if you're anything like me then you'll probably prefer the colder months, I know, I'm fucking tapped I am, this recent mild weather we're having seems to have put paid to dressing like an old explorer when going out for a pint of milk in the morning, it seems a bit too soon.
Oh, no. Hang on it's pissing down again, huzzah!
But, before you know it, it'll be spring and you'll be eating tins of ravioli for a week because you've just spent all your money on a new jacket, then it'll be summer and you'll be sweating your bollocks off looking for a nice lightweight jacket that's acceptable even in the sun, here's a little sneaky peak at some of the forthcoming outerwear highlights from various look books and bloggers for the next selection of seasonal stuff that's caught my eye thus far. You probably don't really need another jacket, but if you're anything like me, you'll end up really needing one or two, there's probably a lot more out there too you know, as some other fave brands haven't surfaced yet. From the top: Woolrich Woolen Mills, Universal Works, Heritage Research, Barbour, Barbour Tokito, Nigel Cabourn and Engineered Garments. CD