New gear 1955 – for the RAF MRT, Pyjamas aircrew!

We take all the gear we have nowadays for granted, even clothing in the early days of mountaineering and climbing was very basic. After the second World War there was lots of ex miltary clothing and equipment available cheaply and much was used by the walkers and climbers of the day. Ten years later in 1955 mountaineers were looking for advances in kit and who would believe that the humble Pyjama would be the main thrust of a letter to the MOD. This letter was written by Dan Stewart the Officer i/c the Team and a considerably talented mountaineer in his own right. He was a member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC) and a talented climber in his own right. This is what he wrote on his quest for better clothing in 1955.

Dan Stewart in the early 1950's with limited kit and lots of talent!

Dan Stewart in the early 1950’s with limited kit and lots of talent!

11 th July 1955

“Drawers Pyjama Type Aircrew have been used in conjunction flying overalls cold weather they provide adequate warm clothing for the lower part of the body.  A pair of the Pyjamas have also been used at altitude 21000 feet on a recent RAF Himalayan Expedition and found to be completely adequate. It can therefore be recommended that this garment be issued to all Mountain Rescue Teams!”

Joss Gosling a Kinloss team member in 1951 - with his incredible photograph album. Photo Tripple Echo productions

Joss Gosling a Kinloss team member in 1951 – with his incredible photograph album. Photo Triple Echo productions

The photo above is of myself and Joss Gosling who was in the RAF Kinloss Team in 1951 – he was part of the Lancaster Crash Recovery Team on Beinn Eighe in 1951. Joss has some tale to tell of the old and bold , Joss is a real gentleman and has so many stories but even better photographs of the old days. He is so knowledgeable of this forgotten era and will be part of the Adventure Show on BBC.


Just a quick note to say that I’ve just had confirmation that the Celtman Adventure Show – with the Beinn Eighe feature with Joss Gossling –  will go out on Tuesday 8th October at 1900, BBC Two Scotland. South of the Border it can be seen on Sky and FreeSat (both Channel 970) and it should also be on iPlayer.

Please put this in your diary!

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in History, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing. Bookmark the permalink.

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