Before There Was Good Wear , BK, JA DuBow, or 5Star....... There Was SEFTON .

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Hi Guys!:)

Here’s a post about a little known A2 jacket that was ahead of its time . Unfortunately business priorities and competition ended the run of one of the better A2 jackets that was available during the late 1989 to early 1990s time frame . For some of you younger guys, who may never have heard of the SEFTON A2 , it has gone the way of the telephone booth , the 8 track tape deck and the 3.5 floppy disk . It’s history now, but occasionally (if you read this forum and you know what you’re looking for ) ;), you can find one of these rare birds on EBay or one of the other auction sites .
The SEFTON Clothing Company founder Steve Silburn started the SEFTON Clothing Company in Colchester England in 1989. His business plan was formulated around producing WWII period high quality flight gear, to include reproductions of leather flight helmets , and the SEFTON A2 flight jacket .The company is still in business today, but hasn’t made an A2 jacket in many years . They do however, make some very high quality reproduction headgear and have supplied those products for several movies that are well known . If you’d like to know more about the company you can read about it at the end of this post.

When discussing a SEFTON A2 jacket , you have to discuss it with consideration for the time period in which it was made . In 1989 there were only a few companies producing accurately made reproduction A2 jackets. Eastman Leather was still in its formative years, having opened up in 1984. Aero of Scotland was producing quality repros at that time and if you were short on cash there was Avirex, for a jacket that satisfied ones need for a relatively inexpensive repro A2 . So Steve Silburn decided to produce, what was at that time, a quality reproduction of the A2 jacket .
Now please don’t try and judge a SEFTON A2 by using today’s standards, because today’s standards hadn’t come of age yet and it would take several years of research , production of high quality materials , and pattern research to get to where we are today . By today’s standards the SEFTON is a good quality, genetic A2, or what we now call a “House Jacket “. But in its day , it was a very sought after, high quality repro. They were made of finely tanned cowhide , that was buttery soft, and draped nicely over the wearers upper body . It incorporated the best traits of multiple WWII contracts into one jacket .
But I’m getting a bit caught up in the moment, so let’s now take a look at what has become a pretty rare A2 jacket . Ok you younger guys, it’s time to start class , so pay attention;)
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THE SEFTON A2 JACKET SIZE 48.

COLLAR
Looking at the SEFTON collar you can immediately see that this jacket is a quality product . The stitching , the hide , the collar stand, and all the edges are nicely finished without any rough looking finishing marks . This jacket is about 32 years old and still looks great. Looking at the all of the parts and the hardware around the collar, you can see that it’s pretty close to what you will find today on many high end repros.

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EPAULETTES
Once again the first thing you notice is the quality of the workmanship and the way the collar end of the epaulettes are seated perfectly under the collar stand . The epaulettes are double row stitched along the edges, with large X box stitching at the shoulder and collar attachment points .
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KNITS
The knits are well made medium weight and medium brown colored wool knits, similar to those found on high end A2 jackets today . However , seamless knits , weren’t used in the production of this jacket, but I’m sure most people and A2 jacket collectors didn’t give it much of a thought back in those days .

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ZIPPER
The zipper is a Brass Talon Zip that I think is an original Talon Zip . Not being very knowledgeable on zips, I’m hoping someone will weigh in here and render their opinion .
It’s works flawlessly and is a quality zipper .
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LABEL
The label is nicely done for the period and attention to detail that was given to labels back in those days , but its not period accurate.
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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
LINING
The lining is your typical cotton twill fabric lining that you find on most high end jackets today . If you look closely you can see a faint inspectors stamp which was one of the traits of a high end jacket of that period
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POCKETS AND POCKET FLAPS
THe SEFTON A2 has taken the best traits of all the different original contract A2 jacket pockets and made what I would consider as a Hybrid pocket . You can see a little bit of Aero, Rough Wear, and DuBow in the pocket and pocket flaps . This is a personal opinion so feel free to take issue with me on this point .

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HIDES AND CONSTRUCTION
The hides are top quality hides even by today’s standards. The are nicely grained and look awesome. The jacket has a very nice drape to it and I really keep repeating myself when I say that the construction of the jacket would rival any top tier jacket being produced today
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CONCLUSION
The jacket is becoming a very rare bird . If you see one in your size, I recommend that you grab it , but be prepared to pay the price of a JA DuBow for one . After all if you could find a mint 8 track tape deck or a old style telephone booth wouldn’t it be fun to own one again ;)

NOTE : Thanks to my friend Macawber for passing this on to me a while back . I’ve had this jacket for a while, but just got around to writing it up .Thanks Steve . Hang Tough and Hold The Line , Mate

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Amit

Member
I have one no kidding it’s one of the best fitting jacket in my small collection picked it from a band of brothers production team .......... would highly recommend
 

Cocker

Well-Known Member
I say, this is a very nice jacket! Sure, it's generic and cowhide, but for someone not too knowledgeable of specifics per contract (like me), it really does the job well.
 

MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
Only ever seen one in the flesh, on a second hand stall at Duxford. Too small for me, it was a very orange russet, and I didn’t have the money anyway, but you could tell it wasn’t your average mall jacket.
 

jack31916

Well-Known Member
Great article on a great jacket! Sefton jackets were advertised in magazines as Aviaton Magazine and Fly Past. Only available in russet or seal. Over the years the jackets got better in detail and I believe there was a horsehide version at some time.. The zipps were probably original Talon manufactured but from the '70's. I bought mine in the late '80's and still have it after selling it and buying it back. Lining is gone, wristknits has been replaced but the leather and stitching is still strong after serious abuse (by me). I've never had a GW or RM but if there is one jacket what I really like, it is my Sefton. Won't hesistate to buy one if it comes up in my size.
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
Great review Burt. I particularly like the collar: it’s generic enough that it looks authentic while not resembling any one contract that I can recall.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Beautiful Jackets

I never found out whenther Sefton or Aero were first in The UK, we started making A-2s in 1981 Sefton may well have been before that, not sure, any ideas?
As far as I know only Avirex were before that
Hi Ken
According to the company posted info located at the end of my post , SEFTON Clothing company was started in 1989 , by Silburn.
Cheers
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Great article on a great jacket! Sefton jackets were advertised in magazines as Aviaton Magazine and Fly Past. Only available in russet or seal. Over the years the jackets got better in detail and I believe there was a horsehide version at some time.. The zipps were probably original Talon manufactured but from the '70's. I bought mine in the late '80's and still have it after selling it and buying it back. Lining is gone, wristknits has been replaced but the leather and stitching is still strong after serious abuse (by me). I've never had a GW or RM but if there is one jacket what I really like, it is my Sefton. Won't hesistate to buy one if it comes up in my size.
Hi Jack
These are becoming fairly rare jackets , why not consider having the jacket restored . New lining and knits all the way around would probably be around $250 -$300 and you would have a rare jacket in nice condition. If you decided to sell it one day, you would see a return on that investment, as one of these in nice condition is running around $500-$600.
Any chance you might consider posting some photos of yours in this thread ?:)
 

Shropshire-lad

Well-Known Member
I had one in around ‘89.... had boxing eagle squadron patch on it as I was volunteering at the time on the “eagle” squadron Hurricane restored by TFC. Great jacket as I remember.... only sold it as it was finally too small! Might have a photo somewhere of me wearing it.... when I had hair..... them were the days.
 
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