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Email messages, 3rd August 2009
Bob Jarvis - boots!
First message read:

Just read you report on Wilkins and Denton - I have just located my old RAF boots! Still in first class condition after being worn in 1955 at RAF West Kirby as a drill instructor. With wool socks they were the best footwear ever and cured my chilblains! Could not resist sending this in.
         R Jarvis

So I replied - and asked - Have you any memories or pictures to share?

Bob Jarvis in uniform 1954/5
I live in Spain but will be attending an RAF reunion on the 19th September at Leasowe Castle Morton Wirral.
My intention is to "bull" them up again and take them with me.
RAF West Kirby was initially a transit camp in 1940 then became a recruit training camp for many years. (I think it finally closed in 1960 but the last record of a passing out parade was 1957.) I was there doing my national service having been trained as one of the dreaded drill instructors at RAF Uxbridge.

Regarding "the boots" I remember they were so good that after wearing for a short time I insisted that they be "clumped"  -- that is another sole added then studded plus the obligatory toe and heal steel plates.I did not want them to cut the sole to repair at a later date.
They still have the makers name inside - Wilkins and Denton - with the date 1951 - Oh by the way the left one weighs 1110 grams (2lb 7.25oz) and the right one 1070 grams (2lb 5.75oz) but I can not remember marching one sided!
It may take a week or so to return them to "parade" condition but I promise to take a photograph and send to you. In the mean time I enclose two pictures taken between 1954 and 1955 - oh those were the days!

The well polished boots and the army issue brushes! Hobnails well worn with all that drill!

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