in thing; Green wellies

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Travelling to work on the tube the day of the first Countryside March last summer was a strange experience. There was the usual crush of commuters, pale-faced and tucked uncomfortably into their suits, but alongside them were other, incongruous figures, ruddy of cheek and corduroy of trouser, striding through the underground system with an air of rustic purpose about them. And all (well, quite a number at any rate) sporting green wellington boots. The green welly - green, mind, not your common- or-garden black - first acquired aesthetic significance back in the early 1980s when Sloane Rangers considered it, along with a Labrador, the only thing to be conspicuously stored in the back of a Volvo Estate.

Fifteen years later, however, it's been revived as a symbol of rural alienation. As will be evident at this weekend's Countryside March, the green welly has political clout. What the gloved fist salute was for the Black Panthers, the green welly has become for the disenfranchised rump of the British countryside. So if you come across what appears to be a hopelessly lost rambler's group on the underground this weekend, bear in mind you're in the presence of radical activists. And whatever you do, don't step on their green welly boots.

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