Ernest Percy Blake
(esteemed tailor to the RM and RN)

Not much traffic on this great site so I thought I might engender a bit of interest and comment. When I joined in 1959 there were 2000 men on CO’s Parade… their smart uniforms..but has anyone considered how this was possible?. We were all sent to East Barracks when we joined for clothing and uniform fittings. Who can forget old Percy Blake!! But now I am retired, and very old, I think what an amazing man he must have been. The tailors’ shop was not very big and old Percy only had a few workers….yet they altered all of our uniforms..No.3s…No.2s and No.1s. How did they manage this? Considering we juniors had to walk past that clothing/uniform inspection room we could observe the queues of New Entries (RMBS) but also GD recruits. The traffic flow of prospective alterations must have been enormous. It still amazes me how old Percy did it. Not sure but I think he only had half a dozen tailors in that upper tailors’ shop… service 2000 men! Apart from general fitting out of new entries/ GD recruits with basic uniforms there were daily requests for badge sewing of stripes and insignia which were dutifully completed. What an amazing man old Percy was.

Adrian Brett


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