when a bag is not just a bag

We’ve been abroad on holiday.  A few days in Keswick in the English Lake District.  Although the Lakes are well known for their outdoor activities we spent most of the time relaxing.  The only hill we climbed was back to our brilliant guest house, The Grange.

We did eat lots of cakes and wander around the shops and galleries.

In one shop we discovered Millican bags.  I’ll admit it now, I like bags.  I have a bit of a bag fetish.  It is a sub-fetish of my gear addiction.  If I had lots of money I’d just spend it on outdoor gear.

But these bags are different.

They are ‘old fashioned’ bags, hand made with canvas and vegetable tanned leather.  They are beautiful and expensive and I want them all but especially this one… it’s called Stewart!

What drew me in past my normal liking of bags was the ‘story’, the brand identy.

The people behind the brand say that:


Our inspiration comes from wooden gateposts worn smooth by decades of fell walkers, from finding someone’s vintage bags, photographs and boxes at our local auction, and from Mrs Dalton’s memories of climbing with Uncle Millican. And anything in between.

The name-check a dozen local businesses who make special things like bread, gardening, freecycle, exploring and books.

Their name comes from a ‘legendary’ local explorer who lived in caves and took people on adventures.  The bags all have men’s names.  The men are all real.  They are their friends.  Normal people who do extraordinary things.  The GP, the guy who volunteers for the Mountain Rescue, a DJ, a painter…

It’s a brilliant example of how a bag is more than a bag.  As their great leaflet says… ‘leaving your back door open is a state of mind’.  You are always closer to going out exploring if the back door is open.

And for adventures you need a good bag.

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