A rare original 1951 Pattern RAF Ventile Parka in a size 8 which was made in the 1970s.
Officially designated 'Parka Outer 1951 Pattern', these parkas were issued to RAF personnel for wearing in extremely cold temperatures. Made from a green coloured ventile material which is famous for its windproof and waterproof qualities, this parka has a plethora of details. The front of the coat fastens with a 'NZ' branded zipper which is nickel plated. There is then a double flap which buttons over the zip making the coat extra windproof. An angled flapped pocket is located to the chest and two more similar pockets can be found at the hips. An integral waist belt is located to the centre of the coat and features a metal buckle of the same style used for all ventile smocks, parkas and flying suits during the 1950s and 1960s. A white drawstring is fitted to the bottom hem to allow the coat to be pulled in tight around the wearer's legs. The hood also features a similar drawstring which has a wooden stopper designed to make it easier to use whilst wearing gloves. The hood is an amazing; large, snorkel style of incredible construction. It features a wire to the brim to keep it inshape and is trimmed with fur. It can be fastened tight using the wooden toggle in the right as detailed in the pictures. A pen pocket is located to the left sleeve and is a direct copy of those used on American flying jackets, first seen in the Second World War.
The interior of the coat features a cream coloured blanket lining between the outer ventile fabric and the cotton lining which is in fact stitched to the inside of the cream coloured wool. Part of the interior of the hood features a soft, brown coloured fur collar below which is a hanging loop. The original label is present below this and bears the contract number of 22C/1301246, the size of 7 and the War Department broad arrow marking.
The coat is a large size and is intended to be worn as an outer layer over the top of a uniform. They are cut extremely wide for a loose fit which needs to be taken into account with the measurements. When laid flat the coat measures -
Chest - 29"
Inside arm - 25"
Outside arm - 27"
Shoulders - 22 1/2"
Length - 43"
The coat is in good condition as can be seen in the pictures. It has some limited signs of wear and use but no serious flaws or damage and is a very wearable coat. There is a small tear to the lining inside the coat which is illustrated in picture 16. The overall condition of the coat is very good but please study the pictures before purchasing to satisfy yourself of the condition and bear in mind that this is a vintage, pre-owned item which may have small flaws commensurate with age.
A rare and very sought after British military coat in great condition. These coats were built for warmth and so many amazing details making this a must have for the serious vintage military collector!
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