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"Gone for a Burton"

Old 27th Feb 2016, 10:08
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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If not, can anyone suggest the reason for the Burton and billiard hall association?
OSYNKY Was the name of the Polish tailor who founded Burtons. He placed snooker/billiard rooms above his shops to encourage 'footfall' past his shop windows.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 10:38
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Thank you, goudie.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 14:31
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I agree that Burton cannot be demob suits and my father seemed to use it for hardware. People always 'went West' or 'got the chop', someone being made redundant would also 'get the chop'.

It may also be germane that my paternal grandfather was WWI so my father would have collected WWI slang in his childhood.

After the OED, does anyone have a copy of Brewers' Phrase & Fable to hand?
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 14:53
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Originally Posted by Haraka View Post
Those inhabitants of "The Towers" ( before it went comprehensive) will remember all the "Gieves" and "City's" pantomime for uniform fitting, with Burtons considered very "Infra dig" for officers in those days. So I doubt the tailor origins of the term before then.
I didn't go through Sleaford Tech, but even at OCTU we had the same snobbery about Burtons. A few months earlier we had been scruffy oiks and here we were pretending we knew all about bespoke tailoring. The bubble was burst when one of our number told us he had worked for Burtons before joining the RAF, and spilled the beans that Moss Bros used to contract a lot of their work out to Burtons, even to the extent of getting them to sew in the Moss Bros label.

Re Burtons/snooker halls - I got my first suit from Burtons in Carlisle and played my first game of snooker upstairs.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 15:21
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My copy of Brewer (1985) is not particularly helpful. ""Widely used in the services in World War II and said to have originated in the RAF."

It then makes the link between Burton on Trent and beer (it is, after all, Brewer's Dictionary...) "A token explanation for a person's absence could be 'He has gone for a Burton'" and then suggest that someone "down in the drink" might have gone for a Burton.

I have a vague recollection of hearing about beer adverts which featured a couple of chaps saying "Where's [name]?" "He's gone for a Burton..." but that might be wishful thinking on my part.
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Old 28th Feb 2016, 02:11
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I've a vague recollection of hearing that the phrase derives from the fact that the bodies of USAAF KIA were repatriated through RAF Burtonwood, but it could just be my memory playing tricks with me.
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Old 28th Feb 2016, 03:34
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A page that poses the question with possibilities

Gone for a burton - meaning and origin.

The Burton beer ad is mentioned elsewhere on the net, and as the above page mentions, if it were so, someone should have been able to access it by now.
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Old 28th Feb 2016, 14:41
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Several people on here doubt the Burton the Tailor explanation simply because it is not an establishment frequented by the officer class.

So, what proportion of WWII aircrew were officers?
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Old 28th Feb 2016, 14:56
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Burtons certainly had a good share of the demob suit market



Raymond Burton - Telegraph
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Old 28th Feb 2016, 17:30
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Trawling the net I've managed to find a beer mat with the phrase "why don't you go for a Burton?" No date on it though, so it's a bit chicken and egg.
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Old 28th Feb 2016, 20:23
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It certainly features in that old poem about Beaufighters.

http://www.johnderbyshire.com/Readings/beau.html
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Old 1st Mar 2016, 11:07
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Many years ago I worked with a former hair yars e techie who would often remark that so and so had gone for a 'posh burton'. When I asked, he told me that, before WW2, when 'officers and gentlemen' failed their flying training, they were sent off to be measured for a smart suit before rejoining civvy street.

Hope this helps
Regards
BW
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Old 1st Mar 2016, 11:51
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Innominate
I have a vague recollection of hearing about beer adverts which featured a couple of chaps saying "Where's [name]?" "He's gone for a Burton..." but that might be wishful thinking on my part.
Happily not wishful, I've seen the advert. The Bald Buck in Lichfield was a bloody awful pub but they had a number of beer adverts in a quiet corner and that was amongst them. It wasn't a couple of chaps, it was a parade.
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 12:03
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There is a Marston's beer mat on ebay with the the theme 'gone for a burton'. I am sure I have seen other advertising materials in the past. But the beer mat is finally proof positive that the phrase has been used this way. This does not mean that the phrase may not mean something different to other people. That is after all the way a living language works and develops.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 00:17
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Please could we have pictures or links for the beer mat and the advert? If either or both date from before 1941, it could clear up a lexicographical puzzle.

Trivial, perhaps, but what isn't?
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 06:38
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I am not sure of the date when this beer mat was produced. What it proves is that a brewery has been using the phrase in this way. Whether this is a repeat of an earlier campaign or something entirely different is difficult to say.

Sorry I do not seem to be able to post this picture. But if you google 'beer coaster gone for a marstons bitter' you should be able to find it.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 08:20
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Originally Posted by lederhosen View Post


I am not sure of the date when this beer mat was produced. What it proves is that a brewery has been using the phrase in this way. Whether this is a repeat of an earlier campaign or something entirely different is difficult to say.

Sorry I do not seem to be able to post this picture. But if you google 'beer coaster gone for a marstons bitter' you should be able to find it.
Alas, that beer coaster is pretty modern (the postcode on the back of it is of a post-WW II type), so it is very interesting, but sadly not evidence of the origin of the phrase.
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Old 13th Mar 2016, 11:10
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Wander00 (your #7), and subsequent Posts.
...ISTR Burtons as an authorised No 1 SD tailor...
I clearly recall that in '53 or '54, Monty's sold me:

A No.1 SD for 13/15.

A Crombie Greatcoat for 15/15.

A barathea battledress (No.?) for 12/15. (Multiply by 26 for inflation)

whether authorised or not. The trick was to be of a stock size (I was lucky). The barathea and Crombie were of equal quality with the cloths used by Gieves and the Forty Other Thieves. Indeed I've heard that these were not above using Monty as a sub-contractor (having supplied their own labels to be sewn in). But then you hear all sorts of things.

Danny.
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Old 13th Mar 2016, 13:20
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Aah, so my memory is not failing. Thanks, Danny
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