Wellington boots – named after the Third Duchess of Boot, who knitted the first ever pair in 1747 – are indispensable items of footwear for any pensioner who enjoys river estuaries at low tide, agricultural shows, Glastonbury or cockling.
To enjoy them fully, it’s necessary to develop a specific wellington walk, leaning forward slightly, never lifting your feet entirely off the ground and shuffling along at a measured pace. Casual water, deep mud and quicksand can then all be negotiated with ease, although to prevent any of these surmounting the top of your footwear, it’s advisable to take a small child with you, who can be held upside-down and used as a depth gauge.
When particularly wet or muddy, extra wellington pleasure can be gained by traipsing through garden centres, Tesco, your local bank, churches and museums, and knocking off excess clagging on alabaster statues, fonts or ‘queue here’ signs is even more satisfying.
Pensioners’ wellingtons should always be black or dark green, with colours such as pink and yellow reserved for the under-sevens and wildlife presenters on Channel Five.