Studies show that 95% of all male penguins buy their trademark black and white outfits from the same shop in Plymouth every year.
Tamars, a family run business in Plymouth say they have been supplying penguins for over 150 years and have in the past made outfits for Kings and Emperors and other minor Royals as well as lesser known penguin families such as the Chinstraps and Rockhoppers.
Although on occasions a penguin might ask for something a little more more flamboyant for an awards ceremony or civil partnership, Tamars say that on the whole the flightless bird tends to be quite conservative in their dress sense and almost all settle for the traditional black and white costume made popular in BBC documentaries and animated Disney films.
‘Most penguins have to wait until their 5th or 6th birthday before we measure them up for their first outfit’ said Ron Halford, the great great grandson of Thaddeus Tamar who set up the original gentleman’s outfitters behind a blacksmiths shop on Sea View Road back in 1862 ‘young penguins grow at such a rate. For the first few years most adolescent penguins are kitted out in hand-me-downs from their brothers and sisters or from specialist thrift shops before coming to see us’.
Mr.Halford said Tamars is held in high esteem throughout the penguin community for their hard-wearing and weather resistant outfits.
‘Penguins stand around in sub-zero temperatures all year round and need to know the colours won’t fade’ said Ron ‘they know they can rely on a Tamar’.
A penguin’s diet consists mainly of fish and the odd bit of seaweed and the smell can be a devil to get out’ added Ron ‘but a quick wipe with a damp cloth is all that’s needed and the Tamar is as good as new’.
There can be as many as 5000 penguins in any one colony, but it seems every adult penguin knows which is his coat. And that says penguin expert Dr Gail Lefrebe from Pointe Geoligie in Paris is almost certainly down to the care and attention Tamar’s put into the making of their outfits.
‘Their attention to detail is amazing...even down to the little orange thermal socks’ said Dr Lefrebe ‘although to be fair, with it being -30c most of the time they don’t tend to take their coats off very often’.
Penguins still flocking to Plymouth outfitters
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Studies show that 95% of all male penguins buy their trademark black and white outfits from the same shop in Plymouth every year.Posted 9 months ago #
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