Here in the UK when the rain hits us on average 106.5 days a year, promotional umbrellas are pretty much a high street staple.
Printed promotional umbrellas bobbing up and down as people hustle in and out of buildings is almost a daily occurrence. So what is the etiquette though when you go inside and those dripping branded umbrellas are amongst us?
Giles Brandreth has written an interesting article in the Daily Mail about the importance of promotional umbrellas in British society and the etiquette of their use.
He also explores how in today’s society there is a tendency for the cheap and cheerful, meaning that promotional umbrellas are losing their kudos. They end up in bins and not in umbrella stands for long term use.
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Take a read of this extract from an article in The Daily Mail, written by Giles Brandreth, about the printed umbrellas etiquette and the importance of quality.
Just going down the escalator I was nearly tripped over by one (a huge golfing umbrella) and speared by another (stuck horizontally across a mighty big girl’s mighty large backpack).
As I jumped onto the train, I was joined by two lively ladies each holding a dripping wet, pocket umbrella only half-closed.
Laughing gaily, the ladies, in unison as though they were members of a synchronised swimming team, shook their brollies violently, as happy Labradors might shake themselves after a bracing dip in the Serpentine. The spray went everywhere.
Things weren’t much better at home. My daughter had two other young mums over for coffee, and they had all left their wet umbrellas in the hallway.
The biggest was full open on the floor, making it difficult to open the front door. The other two were half-folded-up and sitting in a sodden heap, leaving a squelchy damp patch on my favourite Indian rug.
We do have an old-fashioned umbrella stand, but these youngsters probably don’t know what it is and their umbrellas wouldn’t have fitted into it anyway.
Umbrellas nowadays come in all shapes and sizes and most of them are useless — which is odd, because the collapsible umbrella has been around for at least 2,000 years.
Over time, most things — the wheel, the combustion engine, anaesthetics — have gradually improved. Not so the umbrella.
The modern brolly, for the most part, is cheap and tacky. You can never find one when you want one and the only one you possess that you actually like is the one you leave behind in the coffee shop or on the bus
When I was a boy, a gentleman carried his furled black umbrella with pride (file image)
The world is wash with brollies, but whatever we’ve gained in quantity we’ve lost in quality.
When I was a boy, a gentleman carried his furled black umbrella with pride. In Peter Pan, as I remember, young John Darling even took his with him when he flew off to Neverland. It’s all gone terribly wrong.
What’s to be done? As ever, I think we need to turn to HM The Queen for guidance.
What Promotional umbrellas would the Queen buy?
Her Majesty takes her umbrellas seriously. She has dozens, with transparent canopies, and handles and trimming in colours to match her outfits, all specially made in a small factory in London’s East End.
They are built to last, made to measure and they don’t come cheap. The Queen knows that an umbrella has a job to do and she buys brollies fit for purpose. And she insists that those around her do the same.
At royal garden parties her gentlemen-at-arms are required to carry a tightly furled, traditional black umbrella.
Above all, what we need to recognise is this: the rain is going to keep on falling. If you live in the south of the UK, you are likely to get wet on around 130 days in the year. If you live up in Scotland, it’s a whole lot worse.
Buy yourself a good umbrella and spend enough to get one that lasts and has cost you so much you won’t leave it behind.
We also need to re-establish proper brolly etiquette. Open it with care. Refrain from mimicking your pet dog after a swim and keep out of other people’s space.
Before you close your brolly, shake it in the gutter or, if you’re going indoors, pop it into a large plastic bag until you can open it up to dry it in the sink, bath or the shower.
‘Invest and behave,’ that’s the message. Get it? Got it? Good.
Now that’s off my chest, I am going to dry off and then warm up with a couple of slices of hot buttered toast — if I can get the wretched toaster to work.
Don’t get me started . . .