The Britannia Times
Guess What! Patrick's Back!Published on 2nd. May 2018
Patrick Grant is a Director of Norton & Sons, E.Tautz, Hammond & Co, Cookson & Clegg and Community Clothing and with his latest accolade - being awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, at The School of Textiles and Design at Heriot-Watt University - returns to Eroica Britannia as Head Judge and all-round style aficionado!
Patrick is a regular on television and radio as a commentator on fashion, clothing and textiles. Last summer he starred as judge on Channel 4’s “Village of the Year”, and this summer will be filming the fifth series the highly anticipated and BBC favourite - ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’, expected back on our screens late 2018.
He also is a huge fan of Eroica Britannia, each year tackling The Ride and getting down to business in the Show Ring as Head Judge for Best in Show, this year will be no exception!
As a much admired authority on British tailoring and style, who is your ultimate sartorial influence?
Both on-the-bike and off? (Dead or alive)?!
Tommy Simpson was a man of great style, and he used his clothes to great effect, playing up the role of the English gentleman abroad. I like men whose character shines through their clothes, men like Jarvis Cocker, who incidentally has a little house a stone’s throw from the long route. Give him a wave on your way up to Mam Nick.
All wardrobes tell a story, of course, some stories are more captivating than others! Tell us about your most treasured item of finery and how it came to be yours?
I have a dinner suit that belonged to my father, made originally in the 1930’s by a tailor in Edinburgh called Thompson (sadly no longer there). Its been through a lot with me, it no doubt went through all sorts of fun with my father. It’s imbued with memories.
Many people style themselves from an amalgamation of eras these days. If you had to choose a decade for stand-out style, which would it be, and why?
Right now I’m really enjoying the style of the 1980’s. Its an era I remember well, it was modern, and vibrant and exciting. It was a great time for British fashion.
At Eroica Britannia we’re dedicated to celebrating authenticity and craftsmanship as we select the Best of British. Do you have any words of encouragement or advise for independent brands/craftspeople who endeavour to keep alive dying trades and skills?
The Heritage Craft Association was started by a man from Edale which the long route passes. Things made by the skill and hard work of human beings has a value no machine made product can ever replicate. I don’t think these skills are dying, if anything I think they are enjoying a modest revival, albeit from a pretty perilous position.
Do you have eyes on any great emerging British brands or independent craftspeople you’d like shout about?
I’d like to shout out to the factories, we’ve been great at celebrating the individual craftsman over the last decade but less good at cherishing and supporting the work of great factories, where the collective effort of many skilled people produce things that more of us can afford to buy. It’s what has driven me to start Community Clothing, supporting factories in the UK clothing and textile sector.
Entries have just opened for the highly anticipated Best in Show! Can you offer any top-tips or big no-no’s for our entrants striving to be the epitome of style and sartorial elegance at this years show?
Be original and be bold, the world of clothing is broad and long.
As the sun stretches the day well into the evening, we’re reminiscing about those long glorious Great British Summers. Tell us about your most memorable Great British Summer adventure?
In 2005 six of us rowed the Thames in old 3 man rowing skiffs. We set off from Lechlade in Gloucestershire, the first navigable point on the river and finished in Walton on Thames, stopping to go to my college ball in Oxford, taking an unplanned 24 hour pitstop at the Henley Royal Regatta and taking a sample of the wares at the great majority of the pubs on the river bank. Highly recommended.
We’re thrilled to have you back as Head Judge in Best in Show and joining us for our demi-decade Birthday celebrations. What are you most looking forward to about Eroica Britannia this year?
The new site is so good, and the atmosphere and the entrants for Best in Show last year were better than ever. But of course I’m looking forward to the ride. The route is just incredible.
And of course, the million dollar question. Will you be testing your legs in the toughest climbs yet... And joining us on Sunday for the heroic 100miler?!
Last year, in the blistering sun, it was an absolutely amazing ride. Lets see what the weather holds, and what time we make it to bed on the Saturday night. We made the start line by the skin of our teeth last year.
Entries for Best in Show now open!
We're not called the The Most Handsome Festival in the World for nothing.