The Craze for Umbrella Art | Fulton Umbrellas

At Fulton Umbrellas, we offer a wide range of designs and colours to create our collection of umbrellas. So, we know how attractive a brolly can look! But how are umbrellas used in art? Can they help create timeless pieces and do they inspire people when used in public displays?

Here, we look at the influence of umbrellas in public displays, films, songs and paintings to find out how important the everyday, essential accessory is in art…

Public displays

Recently, there’s been a huge trend for incorporating the umbrella in public art displays all over the world. In Salisbury, a technicolour canopy of brollies was put on display in the city centre in July — which included 90 umbrellas hanging over the High Street — while in Florida, a pedestrian promenade is the latest location for the Umbrella Sky Project, which is an internationally renowned public art exhibition launched in Portugal years ago. Visitors to these exhibitions are also encouraged to upload pictures of the display on social media and use hashtags to help spread the umbrella-enhanced art around the world!

These are just a couple of examples of how innovative public art displays can be, and it’s clear that seeing a network of umbrellas suspended — as if by magic — above ordinary locations can really draw in the crowds. But, can umbrella art also help our high streets by attracting greater numbers of visitors and tourists?

Apparently so. A canopy of colourful brollies was implemented in the name of art in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland earlier this year, which Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Paul Reid, claimed was a fantastic example of how an area can “attract people into town centres and develop a more vibrant atmosphere”. Similarly, an exhibition of hundreds of painted umbrellas was used to help build on the city of Da Nang’s tourism success in 2017. The Vietnamese city was named one of the top ten holiday destinations in Asia in the previous year and this garden of colourful brollies was a large part of its effort to retain its status as a leading tourist destination! It seems that, regardless of culture, everyone has an affinity for umbrella-inspired art exhibitions — but what about other art forms?

Paintings

Even in paintings, the umbrella can play an iconic role. Most people will recognise The Singing Butler oil-on-canvas painting that was created by Jack Vettriano in 1992. It features a man and woman dancing in their finery on a damp beach, flanked by their maid and butler who both hold up a black umbrella each in an attempt to protect the couple. Clearly, this painting meant a great deal to someone, as a private collector bought it for £744,800 in 2004 — a record sum of money for a Scottish painting at the time!

If you don’t recall Vettriano’s masterpiece, you’ll surely know A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. Created in 1884, this work of art displays a crowd of elegantly dressed Parisians relaxing by the River Seine, using umbrellas — or parasols — as chic shields from the sunshine. Currently, the masterpiece is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, which reportedly paid $24,000 for it in 1924.

Film

As umbrellas are handy — arguably must-have — items, it’s no surprise that they feature significantly in the world of cinema. Who can forget Jiminy Cricket’s most famous prop, a red umbrella, which featured in Disney’s 1940 version of Pinocchio? And of course, there’s the 1952 smash-hit, Singin’ in the Rain, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. This classic would never have been the same without the renowned scene where Kelly dances in the street with his black umbrella as the rain pours down all around him.

Then there’s Julie Andrews’ character in Mary Poppins, who flies in and out of London using an umbrella, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which features Hagrid lighting a fire with a spark from a brolly, and My Fair Lady — a film that depicts its leading character, played by Audrey Hepburn, using a beautiful white-lace parasol that has now become one of Hollywood’s most iconic and sought-after props.

Music

Even in music, the umbrella is a popular lyric and prop. Most recently, global star, Rihanna, had massive success with her song Umbrella in 2007. Reaching number one in many countries across Europe, as well as Australia and the US, Umbrella claimed the top spot in Entertainment Weekly’s ‘10 Best Singles of 2007’ and won two accolades at the MTV Video Music Awards. Interestingly in the UK, the song was classed almost as a curse, due to the fact that it reached and stayed at the number one spot in the charts during a spate of extreme rainfall and flooding!

Elsewhere in the musical world, the brolly has also been mentioned in songs such as Dean Martin’s The Lady with the Big Umbrella, Bing Crosby’s Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella, The Hollies’ Bus Stop, and Faith Hill’s Red Umbrella.

Clearly, we love umbrella art all over the world in a variety of forms! Get your own art-inspired brolly from our National Gallery collection, or browse a range of other stylish designs in our men’s, women’s, children’s, and sport selections.

10 Free Summer Activities for Kids & Adults | Fulton Umbrellas

Searching for cheap or free activities to do this summer with the kids that you can both enjoy? At Fulton Umbrellas, we know how tricky it can be to make sure children have fun during the summer break from school.

So, we’ve created this guide to the best, free summer activities for kids and adults! Take a look and see which ones jump out at you…

Organise a baking challenge

With The Great British Bake Off starting later this month, now is the perfect time to get your kids or grandkids baking some treats in the kitchen. Plus, there are no entry fees or transport costs involved; all you need to do is buy the ingredients!

For young children, make something simple like jam tarts, and for older kids, make the event more challenging to keep them entertained all afternoon. You could pick at random from the cookbook you always use or set each youngster off with a different cake recipe and let them judge the best by tasting.

Do a treasure hunt

If it’s a nice day, pack up the car and head to your local park to do this activity. However, you could always do this in the garden, too. To make this fun, firstly find out how many kids are taking part and their ages — a treasure hunt for a two-year-old will differ a lot from one that’s entertaining for a ten-year-old!

Next, pick a theme to make your treasure hunt special — anything from pirates to princesses will work to make your treasure hunt memorable — and make clues that fit the topic. For the treasure at the end, you could fill a small box with sweets and a few coins, or even lead the kids to a new board or garden game to keep them entertained for even longer!

Enjoy a bike ride

It’s a shame to waste the day indoors. So, why not get some fresh air and exercise with a long bike ride at your local park or somewhere further afield? Look online for designated cycling paths and perhaps choose an area that the children have never visited before to make it new and exciting for them. Use this cycling journey planner for help finding the perfect bike-riding location near you.

Make sure you pack a picnic for the halfway point and make plenty of stops so the kids can explore their new surroundings.

Visit a farm

Kids love animals and wide-open spaces, so visiting a farm is the perfect day out during the summer break. Even better, you should be able to do this for free — minus the cost of transportation — if you search online. Many farmers are happy to let people visit without an entry fee, although often a donation is greatly appreciated, and kids love to see the animals getting fed or running around.

Afterwards, you can keep the kids entertained by asking them to draw their favourite animal or moment of the day. If you have the items (glue, paper, water, and paint), you could even let them create papier-mâché pigs and cows, too!

Head to your region’s most famous and least-known landmarks…

Every region in the UK has a famous spot, even if it’s just a landmark that’s well-known to the local community. So, why not spend a morning or afternoon visiting your area’s most iconic place, then do some research to find a hidden gem near you?

This could be anything from a secret garden to a section of coastline you — and many others — rarely visit. If your children are old enough, get them to help you find somewhere online using their tablets or laptops — this will help build adventure and excitement!

Make a weather station for the garden

As an expert in rain attire and umbrellas, we had to include something to do with the weather! So, we recommend getting the kids together and testing their science skills by making a rain gauge or wind vane.

To make a rain gauge:

  • Cut a two-litre plastic bottle two thirds of the way up.
  • Upend the top part of the bottle and put it in the bottom section. Adhere with sticky tape.
  • Make a centimetre scale on a piece of tape and stick it to your bottle.
  • Go into the garden and dig a hole to bury the gauge. It should be about 5cm out of the ground.

And you’re done! Now, get the kids to head outside every morning to measure the amount of rain it has collected using the centimetre gauge on the side of the bottle. If the kids enjoy this craft session, why not let them make a wind vane, too?

To make a wind vane:

  • Use a pencil to draw a 25cm arrow on card. Cut it out and use it to draw around and make another.
  • Glue the arrows together.
  • Now, fetch a cork and four matchsticks. Then, push the matchsticks into the long side of the cork — these should be at right-angles to each other.
  • Write: ‘N’, ‘E’, ‘S’, ‘W’ on four separate pieces of card. Attach these to the ends of each matchstick — it’s a good idea to use an adhesive tack or clear tape to make these secure.
  • Put sand in a bottle.
  • Push a knitting needle into your cork before pushing into the bottled sand.
  • Balance the arrow on top of the needle.
  • Finally, put the wind vane in an open area and use your smartphone or a compass to verify which way is north so that you can point the ‘N’ card in the right direction.

And you’re finished! Now, the arrow will show you where the breeze is coming from.

These are just a few entertaining activities that you can enjoy free of charge this summer with the children. If you’re heading outdoors, make sure you browse our children’s, women’s and men’s umbrellas to stay dry and comfortable!

How Rain Has Helped Us Survive | Fulton Umbrellas

Rain and snow are critical to life on Earth. Although the surface of our planet is around 71% water, the salt content makes much of this useless to most humans, plants and creatures — which is the main reason that rainwater is essential.

At Fulton Umbrellas, we’re interested in all types of weather. As World Water Week takes place at the end of August, we’ve looked into the importance of rainwater and how it has helped civilisation prosper over the millennia!

Agriculture

It’s generally believed that agriculture first began around 12,000 years ago. However, growing nutritional crops and plants would never have been possible at the time without the assistance of rain to hydrate, soak up nutrients from the soil and perform photosynthesis. In ancient times, rainwater was collected in large vats so that it could be used during times of little or no rainfall, while later civilisations built harvesting systems on rooftops, aqueducts and reservoirs.

Rainwater has allowed humans to practice and develop agriculture. This means we have been able to create a sustainable source of food that has allowed the global population to grow. What’s more, agriculture is the largest source of cloth material, the source of many medicinal drugs, and a huge form of employment for men and women around the world.

Human existence

It’s a well-known fact that the human body requires water to survive. Around 60% of our bodies are made of water and we can reportedly only last around 100 hours without drinking it. According to the United States Geological Survey, rain soaks into the ground — this is called infiltration — where some of the fluid goes under the top layers of soil and occupies the gap between subsurface rocks. This is called groundwater and accounts for less than 2% of the Earth’s water. But interestingly, it delivers almost a third of mankind’s fresh water supply, which has allowed us to drink and irrigate crops for thousands of years! If rainwater stopped, we’d fast use up our water reserves and groundwater is especially important for countries that suffer droughts, as springs could be the only way to retrieve freshwater for a long time.

Creating climates

Rainwater is also crucial for climate maintenance. When it’s in the atmosphere, it works to deliver a kind of direct evaporation that ‘refills’ heat and moisture in cloud systems. It has also been discovered that rainfall evaporation plays a part in the creation of tropical humidity.

If it weren’t for rain, various weather systems around the world that have helped create biologically diverse ecosystems featuring a variety of plants and animals would potentially not exist, leaving many subcultures without a food source and the wider community without essential medicinal plants.

Water life

Many fish and marine animals that live in freshwater rely on precipitation to survive. Rainwater refills the streams, lakes and ponds that these animals live in, and in turn, humans all over the world use these sources to fish and feed local populations.

Unfortunately, weather conditions like droughts can cause these water systems to dry up, forcing marine life to swim away from key fishing areas, if they can, or even die from a lack of habitat and food.

Clearly, precipitation is essential to human life — even if a rainy day is often looked on as a negative in the UK! Get out and enjoy the next shower with a brolly from our men’s, women’s, children’s, or sport collections.

The Latest British Archaeological Finds | Fulton Umbrellas

The Festival of British Archaeology takes place in summer every year and, since Fulton Umbrellas is a proud British brand, we’ve decided to look at some of the most important archaeological findings of recent times.

Detailing what treasures were uncovered and how they’ve helped further our understanding of our ancestors, read on to discover more about the UK’s best digs!

Roman writing tablets

June 2016 saw archaeologists unearth the oldest handwritten documents ever discovered in the UK. Around 400 waxed tablets, used for taking notes during Roman times, were excavated in London and some even revealed events, names and business dealings! Now known as the ‘Bloomberg writing tablets’ because they were discovered when trying to locate a London base for the company, this discovery gives us a glimpse into the life of those who founded our capital city.

Bronze Age settlement

Described as the ‘dig of a lifetime’ and ‘Britain’s Pompeii’; British archaeologists were captivated in 2015 as they excavated a lost, prehistoric settlement from around 3,000 years ago. Pottery, textiles, spearheads, metal work, and more were found at what some have argued is one of the UK’s most revealing archaeological sites.

Discovered in Cambridgeshire, the artefacts that were found imply that people living during this era were perhaps more sophisticated than formerly believed. Linen was one of the clothing fabrics discovered, while canoes made from hollowed-out oak logs and beads thought to have originated from overseas suggest that these inhabitants were far more skilled and internationally connected than previously believed. As relics from this era are rare, this site — part of the Must Farm settlement excavation — will help us gain a more educated glimpse into how people lived and worked thousands of years ago.

Viking treasure

In May 2017, a metal detectorist found a haul of Viking treasure that turned out the be the biggest of its kind ever discovered in the country! Around 100 rare artefacts from the Viking period were dug up in south-west Scotland, which included items such as: silver bracelets, gold rings, brooches, textiles, beads, crystals, and even a silver cup.

The metal detectorist gave his find to the Queen’s Lord and Treasurer’s Remembrancer Experts, where the items were described as “outstanding and exceptional”. The organisation, which determines what happens to ownerless findings, later ruled that the items should be passed onto Scotland’s National Museum — granted that it pays nearly £2 million to the finder! Why a great archaeological discovery? Experts say that this collection of Viking treasure shows a greater European connectivity than previously thought…

Barracks at Hadrian’s Wall

The discovery of Roman cavalry barracks last year at Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland was an exciting time for everyone involved — not just due to its size, but also because it shows historians much more about the military influence and build up to the construction of the famous, historical border. Apparently constructed before Hadrian’s Wall around AD 105, the newly discovered site unearthed possessions of Roman soldiers and their family members that are around 2,000 years old — including lances, arrowheads, shoes, combs, brooches, woven cloth, hairpins, and pieces of armour.

But what makes this discovery so important is the detection of two Roman cavalry swords still featuring their scabbards and pommels. Leader of the archaeological team, Andrew Birley, states that: “Archaeologists would never expect to find a Roman cavalry sword in any context, because it’s like a modern-day soldier leaving his barracks and dumping his rifle on the floor. This is a very expensive thing, so why leave it behind?”

Reportedly, the artefacts have been kept in such excellent conditions for thousands of years due to being concealed under a Roman-laid, concrete floor.

Richard III

Perhaps one of the most publicised and exciting finds of recent years, the unearthing of Richard III’s body in 2012 — named the Greyfriars Project — finally put to rest the theory that the iconic former king of England was buried under a carpark in Leicester.

For decades, there have been debates about the demise and resting place of Richard III. But apart from giving an answer to a long-posed question, what was the archaeological benefit of finding the king more than 520 years after his death? Using the latest in carbon dating, forensic analysis and even the DNA testing of a living descendent of the king, scientists were able to not only tell the world that this was indeed the legendary monarch, but also reveal more details regarding what he looked like and what happened to cause his death — apparently, it’s true that he had a curvature in the spine and he actually died due to a blow by a blade to the back of the head! After extensive testing, Richard III was reburied at Leicester Cathedral in 2015.

These are just a handful of British discoveries that have helped to shed light on how our ancestors lived — why not grab a metal detector and see what you can find to celebrate the British archaeology this year?

Browse our range of premium umbrellas before you go, including men’s, women’s, designer, children’s, and sport styles.

Wimbledon 2018: The Highlights | Fulton Umbrellas

One of the biggest tournaments in tennis has just finished for another year, with fans around the world applauding the champions — Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber — in what was a memorable sporting event. But what were the tournament’s highlights?

Considering our range of sports umbrellas and the typical British weather even in summer, Fulton Umbrellas has perhaps a more vested interest than most in Wimbledon and the fans who gather outside to watch it! From the most intense match to the most astonishing comebacks, we’ve explored and put together a collection of the best Wimbledon 2018 highlights…

Most exciting match

Reflecting on the whole tournament, the stand-off between the Spanish player, Rafael Nadal, and Argentinian, Juan Martin del Potro, was arguably the most gripping of Wimbledon 2018. Nadal’s quarter-final victory was packed with incredible sprints for the ball, unbelievably powerful shots and expertly angled backhands. The passion and desire to win was clear for all of us to see and made for great entertainment — even debuting BBC commentator, Andy Murray, said that the ‘fifth set is one of the best sets I have ever seen’.

Biggest disappointment

For many British fans, the news that Andy Murray would not be playing in this year’s Wimbledon was disheartening. The 2016 champion unfortunately backed out of the tournament only one day before the event started, citing a lack of preparation for it due to a recent hip operation. Although many of us were still mesmerised as each competitor battled it out for the trophy, not having one-time Wimbledon winner Murray in with a chance of a repeat victory presented a different experience to the event for British fans.

Greatest shock result

Wimbledon is always full of twists and turns on and off the court, but not many of us were expecting the outcome of the quarter-final match between Roger Federer and Kevin Anderson. Almost everyone was anticipating the reigning Wimbledon winner — who has lifted the famous trophy a record-breaking eight times — to emerge victorious over South African, Anderson. However, it wasn’t to be.

Over the course of four hours and 14 minutes, Federer gradually lost his ownership of the match. Soon after a promising start, the often-unbeatable Swiss player began to make a few uncharacteristic errors that let his opponent in with a chance to steal the match. With a fighting spirit, powerful forehand and shots of more than 100mph; Anderson shocked commentators and fans alike with his eventual victory — which also meant that he was the first South African for over three decades to reach the semi-final stage of Wimbledon.

Most incredible comeback

German women’s 2018 champion, Angelique Kerber, has perhaps made the greatest comeback of the tournament. After losing her number one world ranking spot and suffering multiple first-round exits at majors in 2017, few would have put a lot of money on the 30-year-old Kerber to lift the trophy at Wimbledon 2018. However, she did just that, beating the masterful Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3 to clinch her first Wimbledon championship!

Best shot

We chose three winners for the category of ‘best shot’: Angelique Kerber, Daria Kasatkina and Rafael Nadal. Kerber and Kasatkina showed amazing poise, power and precision with their unbelievable 25-shot rally in the quarter-final match, while Nadal’s backwards, ‘through-the-legs’ shot against Alex de Minaur that went over his opponent’s head landing just inside the line was spectacular!

Clearly, this year’s Wimbledon has been an exciting one — but will Andy Murray make a return to the court next year and what else will 2019’s tournament have in store?

Browse our range of men’s, women’s, children’s, and designer umbrellas before you go.

Where Are the Hottest Places on Earth? | Fulton Umbrellas

Many of us are currently enjoying a nice, warm summer in the UK. But have you ever wondered how hot this season gets for other destinations around the world?

The team at Fulton Umbrellas wanted to find out. So, we put together this list that explores the highest recorded temperatures across the world! Find out which locations are considered some of the hottest on the planet…

Dallol, Ethiopia

This African location features geysers, salt formations and acidic hot springs that makes it an amazing place to visit. As a hydrothermal spot, Dallol — in northern Ethiopia — offers its population an extremely hot environment, as well as a nearby volcano, which erupted in 2011.

The site often hits around 45°C and it actually holds the title for the highest temperature for an inhabited destination (on average) due to it maintaining a temperature of around 40°C between 1960 and 1966!

Wadi Halfa, Sudan

Found in northern Sudan, Wadi Halfa is famous for its ferocious dust storms alongside its scorching temperatures. During a typical summer in the Sudanese city, Wadi Halfa is around 40°C — although in April 1967, resident shad to endure heat of up to 53°C!

Wadi Halfa is based on the shoreline of Lake Nubia, although the location gets very little rain and has a population of just over 15,000.

Tirat Zvi, Israel

This kibbutz, based a short distance west of the Jordan River, is populated by a mere 792 people (as of 2016) — perhaps because it can get uncomfortably hot. In June 1942, the location reportedly hit a temperature of 54°C! Although this record has been disputed since, Tirat Zvi still gets an average temperature of around 37°C.

Founded by European Jewish immigrants in 1937, this settlement was named after one of the fathers of the Zionist Movement and is today the biggest producer of dates in Israel.

Kebili, Tunisia

Tunisia, found on Africa’s northern coast and near the Italian island of Sicily, can also claim a place on the list of the globe’s hottest locations.

Hitting a record high of 55°C — and with a record low of only 13.9°C in the same month — Kebili is an extremely hot place. This location also holds the earliest evidence of human habitation in the country, dating back around 200,000 years, and is susceptible to ‘foehn wind’. This is a hot, very dry, down-slope breeze, usually found in mountainous regions.

Aziziya, Libya

Based less than 30 miles south of the Libyan capital city, Tripoli, Aziziya was once the titleholder of ‘Hottest Place on Earth’ with a temperature of 58°C — unfortunately a few factors (like the inexperience of the person who took the recording) voided its title.

During summer, visitors and residents of Aziziya experience heat of around 48°C and the location has a population of just over 23,000.

Death Valley, USA

Death Valley in the Californian Death Valley National Park is named by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the hottest recorded temperature on the globe — 56.7°C in July 1913! Although, the hottest June so far is believed to be in 2016, where the heat reached 52.2°C. Death Valley is a graben, which means it is a low block of land that is bordered by higher areas, and has a desert climate with short, mild winters.

Not only is Death Valley the hottest spot on the planet, but it’s also the driest location in the USA. Its average rainfall is about 5cm, although, it can get windy, has dust storms and is at risk of flash floods. Death Valley’s Badwater Basin is also the lowest point in the USA — 86m below sea level!

Lut Desert, Iran

Although Death Valley has the crown for hottest location, the Lut Desert — also sometimes called the Dasht-e Lut — in Iran has been named by NASA as the hottest surface. By ‘surface’ experts in the field mean its ‘land skin temperature’, which is the heat level a surface reaches purely after being heated by radiation from the sun.

The highest temperature recorded here? 70.6°C in 2005. That’s even too hot to allow life for bacteria! Unsurprisingly, the Lut Desert is one of the world’s driest places, too, and is even an UNESCO World Heritage site (as of 2016).

Fortunately, British summers aren’t likely to hit these blistering temperatures! Nonetheless, keep yourself shaded with a men’s, women’s, designer, kids’, or sports umbrella this summer! Or, why not browse our on-trend birdcage, dome and telescopic collections?

How An Umbrella Could Save Your Wedding | Fulton Umbrellas

Many weddings take place over the spring and summer period, however, that doesn’t mean brides and grooms are guaranteed a shower-free event. What’s more, an umbrella could act as an eye-catching prop to enhance the décor.

This blog will explore how a wedding planner or bride can use umbrellas to decorate their wedding venues and protect guests from any rainfall. Ideas can include: decorating plain designs to create quirky photo opportunities, providing a compact brolly under each seat at outdoor ceremonies, placing parasols on the back of seats to protect from sunlight, or opting for lace and ivory designs to add a vintage vibe to the day.

Protect your guests from showers

In the UK, many brides and grooms choose to have an outdoor wedding instead of a traditional church ceremony. If this is your plan, you must also bear in mind that our climate isn’t always to be trusted — even in the middle of summer!

Make sure your guests stay dry from any sudden showers by placing a compact brolly under each seat. Alternatively, you could go for a larger design and let two guests share, which might also save space. Don’t forget kids’ umbrellas, too.

Unique photo opportunities

Do you want your wedding album to stand out? Then maybe you should think outside of the box when it comes to photography. Firstly, you could ask your wedding guests to pose for some group photos with a set of umbrellas that spell out you and your partner’s names or customise your brollies with the date and venue of your wedding.

There are excellent photography tips available online to help you and your new bride or groom take a quirky and creative shot that both of you will love — and you can share it over social media for people who couldn’t make your special day!

Help get the perfect photo

A rainy wedding day is rarely the ideal scenario but trying to get a good photo when the sun is very bright is also a pain. Solve the issue and make sure you get plenty of incredible shots of your wedding by using a brolly to shade the glare of the sun!

One placed under each guest table should be enough to make sure everyone gets a good group photo.

Get your bridesmaids to the church

If you’re unlucky enough to have a rainy wedding day, you’ll need to ensure that you and your bridal party can get to and from the ceremony without getting drenched. To be safe, make sure each car is packed with a few compact umbrellas.

So, if the weather is pretty bad on the day, you and your perfectly-dressed bridesmaids will still look incredible when it comes to heading down the aisle.

Create a vintage affair

Many soon-to-be-brides and grooms like to have a lot of say when it comes to how their weddings are decorated, rather than just passing the job onto a professional. If this sounds like you — and you adore the vintage, traditional look — you can create a beautiful, old-time feel with a white, lace parasol.

Get these in a petite size and use them as a centrepiece for each table, using a pot filled with pastel-coloured flowers to keep them in place. Or, buy a set that match your bridesmaids’ dresses and the colour theme of your wedding.

Entertain your younger guests

Are you anxious about making sure little ones are kept busy and entertained at your wedding? If you want to offer them an activity that isn’t too loud or obstructive, why not get a few plain brollies, pens, glitters, stickers, and other craft pieces to let them customise their own umbrellas?

Not only is this a quiet activity, but they’ll also have something that they can take home with them at the end of the day!

Forget a wedding book

If you really want to bring something different o your big day, why not ask your guests to sign a message on an umbrella instead of a standard wedding book?

You can then hang this in your home somewhere as a decorative piece that won’t simply get put on a shelf after the big day.

There are plenty of nice ideas for using umbrellas on your wedding day. Browse our ranges of men’s, women’s, sport, and designer items before you go.

Chelsea Flower Show 2018 Highlights | Fulton Umbrellas

11 acres, 550 exhibitors, 157,000 yearly visitors, and millions of television viewers are just a few figures associated with the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Since its launch in 1913, people from all over the world have visited this event to enjoy inspiring horticultural scenery and insightful designs. So, what were this year’s stand-out exhibits and most memorable trends?

At Fulton Umbrellas, we’ve long admired the ingenuity and effort that goes into creating each RHS Chelsea Flower Show — and here, we’ve explored the top trends and highlights from 2018’s event…

Space to Grow

This year, a new environment was brought to the show: Space to Grow. Within this area, visitors of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show could amble through the area, take a seat and relax, and discover more about effective planting options that people can taker inspiration from when carrying out their own gardening at home.

The introduction of Space to Grow helped drive the growing trend at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show for utilising every inch of our gardens and making the most of our outdoor spaces.

Humanitarianism

This year’s event saw the debut of Tom Massey, a designer from west London. Massey attracted much attention for his Lemon Tree Trust Garden, which symbolised the plight endured by refugees and those facing persecution in their home countries.

Massey’s outdoor design was a major influence in this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, which had a recurring theme of highlighting political, social and health issues. According to Massey, the Syrian refugees he visited at their camps earlier in 2018 displayed a keen interest in gardening — creating makeshift green spaces to grow and tend. He said: “We wanted to elevate the discussion around refugees and show they are more than the pain and hardship that they have seen.”

A win for the NSPCC

The victory of The Morgan Stanley Garden for the NSPCC was met with great admiration this year. It is the first time that designer, Chris Beardshaw, has won Best Show Garden and — similar to Tom Massey’s design — this outdoor space wonderfully emphasised how change is possible even in adverse situations.

Beardshaw’s creation was intended to highlight the positive work that the NSPCC carries out.

Eco-friendliness

Spearheaded by Tom Stuart-Smith — who has received Best in Show three times — caring for the environment was a major, recurring theme at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Making his garden solely from recycled materials, Stuart-Smith demonstrated the importance of maintaining ethical processes and using eco-friendly products when gardening or working with the environment.

Personal wellbeing

Apart from the environment, mental and physical health played an influential role at this year’s event. But where was this theme highlighted the most? A collaboration between the NHS and Matt Keighley — the RHS Feel Good Garden — was designed with an aim to show how gardening can create a feeling of happiness and productivity, encouraging people to feel engaged with their surroundings and stimulate the mind.

Monty Don, renowned broadcaster and gardener who was involved in the project, commented: “I know from personal experience how gardening helps heal many mental and physical ills. When you are sad, a garden comforts. When you are humiliated or defeated, a garden consoles. When you are consumed by anxiety, it will soothe you, and when the world is a dark and bleak place it shines a light to guide you on.”

Gadget garden

Although a traditional event, RHS Chelsea Flower Show is innovative, progressive and perceptive; bringing to the forefront trends and concerns that sometimes we forget even exist in our society. Another excellent display of foresight and from this year’s event came from Kate Gould, who produced a landscape that paid homage to 21st century London — namely, Chelsea. It featured eco-friendly technology — again, highlighting the importance of caring for our surroundings despite technological advances — to create a positive vision of how modern business and British culture can exist harmoniously.

The royal wedding

Not long ago, we wrote a blog about the wedding of the now Duke of Sussex to the formerly-known, Meghan Markle. And, it appears that this event was also an important moment in history for designers at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The notion of a springtime wedding was apparent in the decorative floral thrones and blooming arbours. At A Royal Celebration by Hillier, visitors enjoyed a show of royal-themed purple flowers blended with bridal white plants to mark the royal wedding. In fact, the Hydrangea Runaway Bride ‘Snow White’ was even named Plant of the Year!

These are just a few highlights from this year’s incredible RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Check out our ranges of children’s, men’s, women’s, sport, and designer umbrellas before you go!

The Royal Wedding: A Rundown of the Day | Fulton Umbrellas

The royal wedding: a rundown of the day

As a company with a Royal Warrant, we love the pomp and pageantry of a royal event. And like billions of people around the world, we’ve been looking forward to the wedding of Prince Harry and his now-wife, Meghan Markle, for months — so how did the day pan out?

Whether you only caught the end of the event or just want to learn a few interesting bits of trivia about it, we’ve put together a step-by-step review so you can relive the day!

 

The build up

Activity really started to pick up from around 9am on the day of the wedding of Prince Harry and the formerly-titled, Meghan Markle. The 1,200 members of the public that had been selected to watch the occasion from the grounds of Windsor Castle — the world’s oldest and biggest inhabited castle on the planet — started to arrive around this time and news coverage of the event began.

The arrival of the guests

From 9:30am to 11am, viewers watching events unfold in Windsor were treated to sightings of a crowd of celebrity faces. Around 600 guests attended the wedding, including royals and well-known personalities such as Oprah Winfrey, the Beckhams, Joss Stone, James Corden, Serena Williams, George Clooney, and Sir Elton John.

 

The guests filled into Windsor Castle’s Round Tower after arriving by coach, then, stepped into the chapel via the South Door before finally taking their seats to await the arrival of the bride and groom. Although, some commentators were irked that a few of the guests caught on camera were chewing gum!

The bride sets off and the royal family enter St. George’s Chapel

Around 11:15am, the bride left Cliveden Castle where she had spent the night with her mother, Doria Ragland. During the bride’s journey to Windsor Castle, members of the royal family began to arrive at the Galilee Porch, either on foot or via car.

Any spectators gathered at the Long Walk would have caught a glimpse of the bride’s car before it came to a stop to allow the bride’s mother to exit and enter the Castle. Afterwards, the bride met with her four pageboys and six bridesmaids — which included children of friends and family members on both the bride’s and groom’s side — before she got out of the car and entered the St. George’s Chapel at the West Steps.

This was the first time viewers watching in person and on television caught a glimpse of the bride’s choice of dress. The garment was designed by Clare Waight Keller — the first female artistic director at Givenchy — and featured an open bateau neckline and sculpted waist. Unlike the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress, Meghan chose not to go for lace embellishments, and instead, opted for a satin fabric with a five-metre veil.

Princes Harry and William make their way to the castle grounds

At approximately 11:45am, the groom alongside his brother and best man, Prince William, started to make their way to the Chapel’s West Steps, waving at the members of the public that had showed up to celebrate the affair.

If you watched the event on television, you may also have noticed some people gathered in the Horseshoe Cloister at the bottom of the West Steps. These were representatives of several charities that Prince Harry is associated with.

The Queen arrives

Due to protocol, The Queen was the last to arrive and entered the Chapel at about 11:52am. Her choice of outfit colour has been highly debated in recent weeks, and it seems that for the event, Her Majesty opted for lime green with purple accessories.

The bride begins her walk down the aisle

Once the Queen had taken her seat, the bride walked down the aisle alone before meeting Prince Charles at the Quire and taking her final steps alongside him to her groom.

The service

Starting at 12pm, the cameras stayed on the couple and congregation as the service, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, got underway. Much of the service was business as usual, although, homage was clearly paid at certain intervals to the bride’s family and background — particularly with the inclusion of the hymn ‘This Little Light of Mine’ and the invitation of American reverend, Michael Curry.

Interestingly, Prince Harry opted to wear a wedding ring, which is not the standard for royal grooms.

The carriage ride

Once the service concluded at 1pm, the couple exited St. George’s Chapel from the West Steps and shared their first kiss as husband and wife in front of cheering crowds. Then, the couple began their two-mile carriage procession through Windsor. Reportedly, around 100,000 people turned out to see them as they sat in the open-top Ascot Landau carriage, which was pulled by Windsor Grey horses — a breed that has done this job for members of the British royal family since the 1900s.

Lip readers watching the Prince and his new wife were able to discern that Markle exclaimed “wow” upon seeing and hearing the crowds, while Prince Harry apparently muttered to her that he was “ready for a drink” at the end of the procession!

Wedding receptions

To begin the celebrations, the Queen hosted a reception for her grandson and his new wife at St. George’s Hall. Afterwards, the public caught another sight of the newlyweds when they emerged in their evening attire for a reception hosted by Prince Charles at Frogmore House — a favourite residence of Queen Victoria.

Unfortunately, the receptions weren’t televised. However, we know that Meghan — who now has the title Duchess of Sussex — broke with protocol to deliver a speech, while the father of the groom, the Prince of Wales, reportedly delivered a very moving speech himself. Prince William’s best man’s speech also had the 600 guests who attended the reception laughing, especially when he mentioned his younger brother’s “growing bald patch”. Another highlight of the event was the mini concert Sir Elton John gave, in which he entertained the newlyweds and their guests to renditions of Circle of Life and Tiny Dancer.

As the evening wore on, guests enjoyed burgers and candyfloss, then danced the night away to songs mixed by DJ Sam Totolee.

The wedding of the now-titled Duke and Duchess of Sussex was watched all over the world — including by around 18 million Brits and 29 million Americans!

 

Browse our ranges of women’s, men’s, children’s, designer, and sport umbrellas before you go.

How to be a Modern Gentleman in 2018 | Fulton Umbrellas

Language is constantly evolving, with new words entering the vernacular everyday to keep up with changes in technology and society. But, what happens to established terms that simply tweak their meanings?

The noun ‘gentleman’ has been around since the late Middle Ages and has changed drastically in definition. So, in 2018 when society is driving modern ideals and looking to improve how people in society behave and interact with each other; what does it take to be a modern gentleman?

Here, Fulton Umbrellas looks at the ‘old-fashioned’ idea of a gentleman and how you can modernise the best elements of the word to become the perfect modern gentleman.

What is an ‘old fashioned’ gentleman?

By definition, a gentleman is a ‘chivalrous, courteous or honourable man’, and traditionally, this moniker was used to refer to wealthy men who were of good social standing.

Members of the landed gentry were ‘gentlemen’ by birth in the past, as were those who worked within certain occupational areas, such as the Church of England, the army and Parliament. However, generally, people of lower class who had not had a public education and did not work in a ‘gentlemanly’ job, were not gentlemen — regardless of morals and characteristics.

By the end of the Victorian era and the early 20th century, the definition of the word changed. A gentleman was not simply someone of noble birth and good education; he could also be a man of good virtues and manners.

How to be a modern gentleman

For some, the idea of being a gentleman might seem out of date at a time when equality for all and liberation of stereotypes appears to have global support. However, being a modern gentleman simply means taking care of your appearance, being mindful of your behaviour and maintaining a polite, respectful and considerate manner — what’s wrong with that?

How to dress like a modern gentleman

To be a modern gentleman, you should embody a sense of confidence and finesse — which means wearing what you want but keeping it classy. Nobody expects you to be in three-piece suits all the time, but taking pride in your appearance and dressing appropriately is a good sign of an assured and sophisticated man.

Every now and then, switch a slouchy t-shirt and jogging pants for a checked buttoned-up shirt and slim-leg jeans — still relatively casual, but so much smarter. Treat yourself to new formal footwear, such as brogues and Oxford shoes, and invest in accessories like watches, pocket squares, umbrellas, and ties for a well put-together outfit when the occasion calls. Good tailoring and close fits will instantly smarten up your entire look, making you appear self-assured and prepared.

How to take care of yourself

Part of being confident and prepared will also come from how well-groomed you feel. Beards are very popular today and there’s no reason to change this to be a modern gentleman. However, making sure that your facial hair is kept under control is important if you want to exude a polished and poised aura.

Use beard combs and oils to keep your facial hair smooth and groomed — and make sure you keep on top of trimming it! Always spraying a nice-smelling cologne or aftershave on yourself before leaving the house — whether you’re going to work or meeting friends — is another good shout.

How to behave

When we think of gentlemanly behaviour, many of us will use words such as: chivalrous, honourable and gracious — and these traits still apply today. But, how should you act in order to embody the modern gentleman?

To behave like a modern gentleman, it’s crucial that how you treat others is always respectful. Be bold and assertive to make sure your point is understood — especially in the workplace — but never be overbearing or condescending. Thoughtfulness is essential; never forgot those who have done favours for you and always strive to be on time for meetings and dates. Paying attention is also a trait of the modern gentleman, so make a note of birthdays and anniversaries. This way, you can make sure to show others that their important life events are important to you, too.

Even chivalry, often now associated with the traditional way a man may treat a woman, can be part of a gentleman’s life in 2018. Simply be courteous and polite to everyone you encounter.

How to speak

A modern gent should try his best not to swear. Instead, expand your vocabulary by reading more — and we don’t mean poring over a dictionary for hours. You can peruse anything that takes you interest, from sci-fi and crime to thrillers and biographies. Even picking up a magazine in a subject that interests you will help to concentrate your mind, improve your vocabulary and present you with plenty of extra, interesting topics to kick-off small talk the next time you’re stuck in the communal area at work with nothing to say.

How to show how you feel

Merging the modern man with the traditional gent has been the aim of this article. So, forget the stereotype that men shouldn’t express their emotions. In 2018, a gentleman is in tune with his feelings and isn’t afraid to show those around him — family members, friends and partners — that he cares.

 

And this goes for negative sentiments, too. It’s important not to bottle up emotions, as this can lead to anxiety and stress. If you have a problem at work, sit down and discuss the issue calmly and directly. Don’t allow yourself to get worked up or let others dismiss what you’re saying. If you express it with confidence and tact, you’re more likely to be listened to and taken seriously while retaining your confident, gentlemanly persona.

How to spend

Having a good relationship with money is important. Be careful but never stingy, particularly with your friends and family. Being generous — whether that means buying the extra round of drinks at the bar for your friends, offering to treat your partner to a nice meal one evening, or buying a few gifts for no reason — is a true sign of a contemporary gent.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something about being the ideal modern gentleman. Before you go, check out our range of women’s, children’s and designer umbrellas — they make excellent, useful presents!