Ernest Journal + Realm & Empire

Realm & Empire have a unique design concept – each season their quintessentially British clothing range is inspired by an ongoing collaboration with the Imperial War Museum. To celebrate the launch of their new autumn/winter range, we've teamed up to offer an exclusive giveaway to Ernest readers...

Images top-left and bottom-right courtesy of IWM Collections

Brands with a story. Brands with heritage. Brands with passion. That's what stirs Ernest's soul. Although relatively new on the menswear scene – they launched their first season in 2012 – Realm & Empire have Britishness at their core and they are passionate about creating menswear that "brings something new to a market swamped by suspect 'heritage' claims." Their aim is to "create something honest and quintessentially British, with strong historical links."

It is in their unique collaboration with the Imperial War Museum that these historical links are brought to fruition. The founders of the Realm & Empire have been given exclusive access to incredible archive material that inspires each and every clothing garment, from their 100% British-made Merino sweaters to their waxed cotton jackets.

To celebrate their A/W collection, we've teamed up with Realm & Empire to offer this awesome package to one lucky Ernest reader:

Realm & Empire Seal t-shirt (RRP £35): The Realm & Empire seal design is adapted from an original Second World War seal that was used on all confidential documents throughout the war.

Ace of Aces Eagle overshirt (RRP £130): On February 16 1945, the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment jumped on Fortress Corregidor (known as the rock) to liberate the island from occupying Japanese forces. In one of the most intense combat missions, the paratroopers braved intense fire and overcame heavy blockhouse defences. For its successful capture of Corregidor, the unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, and received its nickname, the Rock Regiment. Its iconic eagle insignia was designed by PFC Thomas M. McNeill, following the battle. This screen-printed Ace of Aces Eagle jacket features a flash-colour pocket detail and eagle motif on the back.

Realm & Empire ales: brewed in Lancashire, pack of 3

To be in with a chance of winning all three prizes, simply complete the form below:

Name *
Ernest Journal newsletter
Realm & Empire newsletter
SPAM checker *

Terms and conditions:

  1. The closing time and date is 11.59pm on 16 October 2015. Entries after that date will not be considered.
  2. The prize is a R&E seal t-shirt, an Ace of Aces Eagle overshirt and a pack of three R&E ales . The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative can be offered.
  3. Entrants must be 18 or over.
  4. See our full terms and conditions.

The Hexham Wolf

You're a farmer on the wild moors of Northumberland in the winter of 1904 and your sheep are being slaughtered one by one. What's to blame? A fox? A savage dog? Or an escaped beast?

The Hexham Wolf, also known as The Allendale Wolf

The Hexham Wolf, also known as The Allendale Wolf

Winter 1904. A lone wolf is prowling the moors near the Pennine village of Allendale in Northumberland. For the locals, especially those with livestock being slaughtered by a wanton predator not always interested in eating its prey, this is the stuff of nightmares. 

Suspicions soon fall on an escaped wolf belonging to Captain Bains of nearby Shotley Bridge, but at only four months old there was no way the young whelp would be capable of devouring adult sheep. Farmers begin penning their animals at night and fearful locals keep their lanterns burning to ward off the beast. The Hexham Wolf Committee is formed to organise search parties of the windswept moorland.

Sightings continue although, strangely, descriptions of the animal’s colour range from black and tan to dullish grey – perhaps there is more than one? They seek outside help to find the mysterious foe. On 15 December the Haydon Hounds, a renowned pack of tracking dogs led by “the celebrated bloodhound” Monarch pick up the trail. Unfortunately for the people of Allendale, and the celebrity canine’s reputation, the hunt proves fruitless. Similar misfortune befalls human pursuers, among them a Hungarian tracker mounted on a shaggy pony and Mr W Briddick, a game hunter from India. More bloody carcasses suggest that the wolf is still out there.

Finally, in January 1905 the corpse of a wolf is discovered on a train track 30 miles away in Cumwinton. Local newspaper The Hexham Courant isn't convinced this is their monster as it doesn't match the recorded description but over the next few weeks incidents decline and then stop altogether. With famers no longer worried for their animals' welfare, The Hexham Wolf is consigned to distant memory. That is until 1971, when local boys Colin and Leslie Robson dig up two stone heads measuring in their Hexham garden and townsfolk start to report sightings of a werewolf – but that's a story for another day...

Words by contributing editor Duncan Haskell

#AgeofReinvention: And the winner is...

In January we launched our first ever #AgeofReinvention competition in collaboration with our friends at Pedlars. Every month we challenged our readers and followers to come up with genius ideas for how they'd reinvent a reclaimed item. We were amazed by the innovation and attention to detail that went into the designs...

Photo: Dean Hearne

Photo: Dean Hearne

We then sent the vintage item to the inventor with the best idea, so they could bring their design to fruition. The reinvented items were:

Swiss Army Groundsheet to Studio Smock, by Francli Craftwear

"The Swiss army groundsheet's original use was as a military Zeltbahn (shelter-half). This was a simple tent that served double duty as a poncho in the rain. In the spirit of a folding Zeltbahn, combined with our local workwear heritage, we have utilised the whole fabric to design a protective and insulating maker's smock. There was little waste from the canvas – just a handful of scrap.” 

Fireplace Sides to Cooking Set, by Grain & Knot

"For centuries the fireplace has been the heart of the home – a source of heat, light, for cooking on and telling stories around. I’ve turned these oak fireplace sides into a cooking set that can be displayed for all to see.The set comprises a cooking spoon, spatula, salad servers and four eating spoons, and I’ve charred the ends to represent the start of their journey. The set is intended for everyday use, to make family recipes with and to be passed down through generations.” 

Metal Storage Box to Lightbox, by Jessica Found It

“The box is the set for a miniature landscape scene – think a theatre designers' maquette. The design is inspired by my rural journey to the workshop and the Disney-like behaviour of nesting birds carrying long ribbons of foliage. Ninety percent of the materials are recycled or leftovers from my usual work. I’ve also fitted a lamp into the top of the box, which lights up the entire scene. Copper clouds and birds are suspended as if floating and they’re made from bits of beaten copper water tank, which I’ve polished to a bright shine and the eggs I’ve moulded in clay before copper leafing and allowing to verdigris for a true eggy look!” 

Wooden Spools to Garden Tools, by AB Garden Designs

“I’m a garden designer and obsessed with plants of every variety. I’m always looking for objects that can be reused and upcycled for another purpose so I was very excited to turn these old wooden spools and box into useful garden tools and a trug to carry them in.” 

Rajastani Truck Sign to Skateboard, by Nudie Boards

"We make skateboards from solid hardwoods, hand-shaped to give it a surfboard-like profile, keeping it strong while giving it a little flex. When the truck sign arrived we found it had some splits in the wood. We stripped it back, repairing any damage we found, while not hiding it, so it would show the character of the wood from the many journeys it had been on. On the underside we laser-etched a mandala flower to celebrate its reincarnation as a creator of new journeys. We then added Paris Trucks, Cadillac Bearings and Seismic Avalon Clear Blue wheels. It’s too unique and a bit too split for riding, so it will likely find a home on someone’s wall. It’s inspired us to hunt out more characterful (stronger) timbers that have been on their own journeys to create one-off rideable art boards." 

Swiss Army Jacket to Utility Quilt, by Forest & Found

“The Swiss Army Officer's Jacket is known for its durability and strength. With this in mind we decided to deconstruct the jacket and to piece it into a Utility Quilt.Traditionally quilts were made with whatever fabric people had to hand, which was most often old clothing. The quilt is deigned to be hard wearing, lightweight and insulating. It rolls up into a compact and transportable unit with the coat buttons and epaulettes re-used as fastenings. Every last part of the jacket has been sewn into a patchwork so that nothing goes to waste.The hand quilting and 100% cotton insulting layer has transformed the jacket into an heirloom to be handed down from one adventurer to another.” 

We displayed the reinventions at the awesome Good Life Experience – a festival that celebrates culture, food and the outdoors, founded by Cerys Matthews and Charlie Gladstone. Festival goers voted for their favourite designs in their droves. We've counted the votes and are thrilled to announce that the winning reinvention and crafter is...

-- Studio Smock, by Francli Craftwear --

Francli had this to say: "We’re both really flattered to have won the Age of Reinvention project. It’s the first time we’ve worked with zero-waste construction techniques so it proved an interesting challenge but the end result was really satisfying. We’re both grateful to Pedlars and Ernest Journal for giving us the opportunity to explore new ways of working."

If you didn't get to see the Age of Reinvention designs at The Good Life Experience this year, worry not – they will be on display at the Pedlars store in London later in the year (dates to be confirmed).

We would like to say a big thanks to all of you who got involved in Age of Reinvention this year, to Pedlars for providing the beautiful vintage items and to The Good Life Experience for hosting our awesome display.

Watch this space for Age of Reinvention 2016!

Win: Fancy a European adventure with a KEEN ambassador?

A seaside jolly, a city stroll or a hike up a German mountain range: you could win a European adventure with one of KEEN’s intrepid ambassadors, plus a swish new pair of KEEN’s European Made hiking boots

To celebrate their brand new European Made collection, our friends at KEEN have launched an awesome competition to win a trip for you and a friend to embark on a European adventure with one of the brand’s global ambassadors – plus a pair of KEEN’s European Made hiking boots.

So, how can you enter?

It’s simple. Just visit and vote for the ambassador and European adventure you’d like to go on. 

What are the choices?:

  • A jaunt to the charming seaside resort of Leigh-on-Sea on England’s east coast with adventurer Dave Cornthwaite
  • An urban adventure in and around historic Greenwich, London with mountaineer Heather Geluk
  • A hike up the Mathislehof in Germany – one of Europe’s most stunning mountain ranges – with environmentalist Andreas Schäfer. 

Sound tempting? Go ahead and vote – you could be in with a chance of winning!

To enter and for full terms and conditions, visit

Closing date: 23 October. The competition is open to UK, Germany, France and Holland residents.

This is a sponsored blog post, created in collaboration with KEEN. For more information on partnerships and joining our directory, please email

Meet the maker: Drws y Coed

Hannah of Drws y Coed tells us about the dappled light through tree canopies that inspires her beautiful wooden lamps, all designed and made in Wales

Tell us a bit about Drws y Coed. 

I grew up next to beautiful woodlands, which inspired me to make products that replicated that woodland light effect. So I went on an adventure in making; seeing how I could source small-scale local production right here in Wales. The joy of digital production is that there are no minimum quantities and work can be made to order.


What's so special about your lamps?

My lamps create a bit of that dappled woodland in in people’s living spaces, bringing the outside in.  I love the cosy glow created when combining wood and light – it reminds me of firelight and makes for relaxing and warm evening lighting. I’m going for what feels good!

The lamps are designed to fit onto one sheet of ply with minimum wastage. The cut-out of the lamp top section is a coaster; the cable entry point becomes a cabin magnet. I’m making a product that can be made locally to order as part of a virtuous loop of production.


What's important to you?       

Creating beautiful things, in positive production loops. Making things in Wales feels good – I think we have a lot of potential to get things right in this beautiful place.


Describe your perfect cabin in the woods.

My perfect cabin would be just peeping out of the canopy with a full view of the sky and stars. It would have a platform out front for sitting in the mornings and evenings. Some walls would be perforated just like my lamps to allow in dappled light and have well-positioned apertures to frame the best views. Inside there'd be a good collection of books and cushions. There would also be a large circular skylight for stargazing and a small wood burner.


Anything else you want to tell us?

Drws y Coed means 'door to the woods' in Welsh.  I chose it because it relates to the light qualities I create with my lamps, and also because I have a dream of re-cloaking Wales in woodland.

Drws y Coed will be one of 45 crafts people at Tent London at the Old Truman Brewery in collaboration with Etsy, 24-27 September

This is a sponsored blog post, created in collaboration with Drws y Coed. For more information on partnerships and joining our directory, please email