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Norwich businessman starts a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to launch clothing range based on Norfolk adventurer Sir Ernest Shackleton

PUBLISHED: 11:12 13 January 2015 | UPDATED: 11:12 13 January 2015

The Shackleton sweater as modelled by a shop worker in Antarctica

The Shackleton sweater as modelled by a shop worker in Antarctica

Simon Middleton

The Shackleton clothing company started out brewing beers and making instruments as the Great British Banjo Company before launching a clothing range.

Simon Middleton has launched a business venture which designs clothes based on Ernest ShackletonSimon Middleton has launched a business venture which designs clothes based on Ernest Shackleton

A Norwich businessman is hoping to bring his clothing range – currently sold in the world’s most southerly shop in Antarctica – to Norfolk stores.

Local entrepreneur Simon Middleton, managing director of the Great British Banjo Company, takes inspiration from polar adventurer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who moved to Sheringham in 1910.

A century ago in January 1915, Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, became stuck in ice.

As the crew were forced to abandon the ship he instructed them they could only take a small number of personal items, but allowed one man to bring his banjo, claiming it was “vital mental medicine”.

Mr Middleton ran a successful ‘crowd-sourcing’ campaign on the website Kickstarter, raising £48,141 to launch a banjo manufacturing business.

Next came Shackleton beer and the Shackleton sweater.

The idea for a full range of clothing started when Mr Middleton began looking at photographs of Shackleton from the time of the Endurance expedition.

“The clothes are timelessly cool and very manly and rugged,” he said.

“The Edwardian style fits in with the ‘men with beards’ fashion that is very popular with young guys today.”

The jumper is currently on sale at the Penguin Post Office at the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust base at Port Lockroy in Antarctica, which is cited as the world’s most southerly shop.

Now, the company has launched a new Kickstarter campaign to bolster its clothing range and expand to jackets and even a hat similar to the fedora worn by Shackleton.

It has currently raised more than £13,000 of the £30,000 target.

People are asked to pledge amounts of money and in return they receive the item they ‘pledged’ for, but only once the full target amount is raised.

The firm employs two instrument makers and is hoping to employ three more staff.

Click here if you would like to pledge

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