Sunday, January 31, 2021



Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south.

Believed to have been created by Charlemagne, Andorra was ruled by the count of Urgell until 988, when it was transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell. The present principality was formed by a charter in 1278. It is known as a principality as it is a diarchy headed by two princes: the Bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain, and the President of the French Republic.

Andorra is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe, having an area of 468 square kilometres (181 sq mi) and a population of approximately 77,006. The Andorran people are a Romance ethnic group of originally Catalan descent.

Andorra is the 16th-smallest country in the world by land and the 11th-smallest by population. Its capital, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 metres (3,356 feet) above sea level. The official language is Catalan, but Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken.

Tourism in Andorra sees an estimated 10.2 million visitors annually. Andorra is not a member of the European Union, but the euro is its official currency. It has been a member of the United Nations since 1993. In 2013, Andorra had the highest life expectancy in the world at 81 years, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Wooden Toys of Father Simonet

In the Jura (France), like everywhere else in 1963, plastic replaced wood for the manufacture of toys. 

Faced with this invader, a man continues to make small boats and dolls as in the old days. Visit to the workshop of Father Simonet, one of the last old fashioned manufacturers of wooden toys.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Guardians of Nature

Burhani Abdou Surumwe, 30; Kamate Mundunaenda Alexis, 25; Maneno Kataghalirwa Reagan, 27; Kibanji Bashekere Eric, 28; Paluku Budoyi Innocent, 28; Nzabonimpa Ntamakiriro Prince, 27.

These are the names of the six guards of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who were shot on Sunday January 10.

These forest keepers are neither combatants nor members of the army. They are citizens who have chosen the protection of this park and of the local populations living nearby and suffering for years from armed conflicts in the region as their profession.
The Virunga National Park, created in 1925, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It stretches over 7,800 square kilometers in eastern DRC, between the Virunga mountains in the south and the Rwenzori mountains in the north. It also shares its borders with Rwanda and Uganda.
In fifteen years, the National Virunga park has deplored at least 200 guards killed by local armed groups in the region.
It is a true sanctuary for biodiversity and the last refuge for mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas, two subspecies which are now in danger of extinction because of the threats from poaching, deforestation and armed conflicts. . There is also an oil project within the confines of Virunga Park.
To honor and support the work of these Guardians of Nature, you can make a donation by following this link.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Pirate Hunters of the Po


As night falls in Italy’s largest delta, volunteers board tiny boats to track down the elusive fish mafia plundering the waters.

During the day Denny Covezzi works in a fishing equipment shop and Andrea Mocchi at at a factory. But at sunset they don heavy grey uniforms and berets and set out on their small boat to patrol the river.

The pirate hunters, as they are known in the local media, are looking for poachers on the delta of the Po River in Italy. Emptying into the Adriatic Sea, the brackish Po has one of Europe’s largest deltas, but until recently it has been plagued by poachers.

Illegal fishing has a long history in the area, but until the 1960s it was largely done by poor families who lived off eels. In recent years, however, organised criminal groups ramped it up to an industrial level, using intimidation and a network of lookouts. They can fish as much as 20,000kg (20 tonnes) in a single night, an ecological disaster.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Jan C. Bouman

The mystery surrounding the tall man with beard and beret of yesterday's post has been solved. 

The Hague Municipal Archives searched for the identity of this man who appeared on many film images of The Hague from the first days off after the Second World War. With help of the public, his identity became known in a week: Jan C. Bouman, captain and leader of the National Film Service of the Interior Armed Forces.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Who Is This Boinero?

In April 2020, the archive of the The Hague Municipality in the Netherlands called on the public to share footage of The Hague during wartime. As a result, numerous new images emerged.

“We often found pictures of a man with a camera, wearing glasses, a beret and a beard. We saw him so often that we became very curious.”

"The man returns in several films in the amateur shots of Dick Laan, filmed around the liberation. “The man often appears unexpectedly on screen and the fact that Dick Laan points his camera at him suggests that they know each other. 

All these images were probably taken on May 7, 1945, as we also encounter our unknown man in the vicinity of other major events on that day, such as the arrest of the Belgian NSB (National Socialist Movement) leader Robert van Genechten on Louis Couperusplein.”

Monday, January 25, 2021

Night Witches

"Night Witches" (in German "die Nachthexen") was a World War II German nickname for the all female military aviators of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, known later as the 46th "Taman" Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment, of the Soviet Air Forces. 

Though women were initially barred from combat, Major Marina Raskova used her position and personal contacts with the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, Joseph Stalin, to obtain permission to form female combat units. On October 8, 1941, an order was issued to deploy three women's air-force units, including the 588th Regiment. 

The regiment, formed by Major Marina Raskova and led by Major Yevdokiya Bershanskaya, was composed of primarily female volunteers in their late teens and early twenties.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Forest Fairy Beret

The strange things I came across when searching the web for beret-related material:

"This whimsical felted beret is fun to wear because you can pretend to be a dancing forest fairy or wood nymph. Best of all, the green leaf tassel moves when you move, hop, skip or jump! Of course, dancing is the best with a magical felted hat upon your head."

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Andrew Weatherall

Andrew James Weatherall (1963 –2020) was an English musician, DJ, songwriter, producer and remixer.

His career took him from being one of the key DJs in the acid house movement of the late 1980s to being a remixer of tracks by the likes of Happy Mondays, New Order, Björk, The Orb, The Future Sound of London and My Bloody Valentine. His production work on Primal Scream's album Screamadelica, adding samples, loops and creating a revolutionary mix of hard rock, house and rave, helped the record win the first ever Mercury Music Prize in 1992 and become one of the most celebrated albums of the 1990s.

Weatherall died on 17 February 2020 at Whipps Cross University Hospital in London, aged 56. The cause given was a pulmonary embolism.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Justin Roberston

Justin Roberston has over 23 years experience as an innovator and restless proponent of fascinating forward-thinking music. His rich history is matched only by his tireless need to keep pushing forward, and as a result he remains one of the most relevant and exciting DJ/Producers around, as a whole new generation of electronic enthusiasts will testify. He has also produced and exhibited two collections of his art, with a book and a soundtrack to accompany the latest one.

Justin’s latest musical incarnation as The Deadstock 33s has been garnishing lavish praise from established figures such as Andrew Weatherall and Erol Alkan, as well as a diverse cross-section of fresh talent from Daniel Avery (with whom he has a long standing production partnership) to Eats Everything. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Best Friends Forever

Maurice and Cidou are two friends who live in Eygluy, a small village in the Drôme.

They are lifelong friends..., who like to sing saucy songs and drink a little from time to time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Boineros from Andorra

A nice mix of barretines and berets can be found in Andorra, the small mountain state bordering France and Spain in the High Pyrenees.

Photos courtesy of Valenti Claverol's ' "La Mirada Fragil" Andorra 1930 - 1970' (La Vella: Govern d'Andorra, 2007).

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Shepherds from the Catalan Pyrenees

A small collection of vintage photos from the Catalan Pyrenees, in particular the region of Pallars where we find images of early 20th century shepherding life.

Courtesy of Violant i Simorra, 'La Vida Pastoral al Pallars' (Tremp: Garsineu Edicions, 2001).

Monday, January 18, 2021

Secularism: The Law of 1905

At the beginning of the 20th century, some teachers took their students to mass. 

The law of 1905 on the separation of Church and State made secularism a central concept of the French Republic. So, the French villages were torn between pro-Church and pro-State. In 1978, a witness at the time recounted these clashes.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Scooter Club du Béarn

The Scooter Club du Béarn is a classic scooter club, established in 2012.

The members scoot around mainly on Vespa and Lambretta scooters, donning the classic headgear of Béarn.

Berets have always been popular with scooterists around the world. In the 1960's, the English Mods took to the beret, looking for a smart and cool European style. Paul Weller of The Jam was one of them.

In the 1980s, French scooterists took pride in wearing a beret when joining scooter events in the UK.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Tallo Ho and Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters

Leo is an English Boatbuilder on a mission to rebuild and relaunch a historic wooden sailing vessel that was built in 1910, called TALLY HO.

In this video, he travels to Bristol to meet John R-B, who builds replica Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters in the Underfall Yard, and who first took Leo on as an apprentice when he first started doing wooden boat work. He tells us a little about the history of Pilot Cutters, and talks about why yacht designers return again and again to their classic lines. And yes, John wears his beret well!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Billy Childish interviewing Billy Childish

 Once again, all very good wishes for this New Year!

At The Beret Project, we kick off the year with Billy Childish, interviewing Billy Childish.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Monday, January 11, 2021


This week on SPECIAL, some of the finest: Basque Berets by Flamingo!

The Flamingo Basque in 9.5p is the standard Basque beret without lining and headband; easily stretchable to the largest head-size, soft and comfortable.

The Flamingo W6200 and W400 models are essentially the same, apart from their weight.
The W6200 is a 85 gram merino wool beret best suited for warm and mild weather; the 115 gram W400 is great for in-between seasons and winter. Both models are without 'chobo' (cabillou), measure 30cm in diameter and are fitted with a comfortable elasticated rim which is size adjustable. The berets are unlined and fitted with the smaller Flamingo label in the rim of the band.
The Flamingo Chobo400 models are exclusively made for South Pacific Berets. Based on the W400 model, these berets measure 31cm in diameter and are fitted with a satin lining, the Flamingo Basque woven label, the trademark Flamingo size-adjustable headband and a chobo.
Handmade, naturally dyed, rinsed in Mount Aso groundwater and sun-dried - these berets are of a rare colour intensity and yes, among the most comfortable berets to be found. 

This week on SPECIAL from as low as $37.50!


Summer Break


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Friday, January 8, 2021

Thursday, January 7, 2021


New at South Pacific Berets: GROF!
Grof ("Count", in Serbo-Croat) is beret manufacturer UČA's top of the range line of Basque berets, handmade of the finest Merino wool.
The 28cm diameter Grof berets offered here are custom made for South Pacific Berets and not available anywhere else. The berets are fitted with a comfortable leather headband, bayadère (multi-striped) lining and the unique Grof woven label.
For those boineros who prefer to wear a sized beret with a real leather headband, this is as good as it gets!