In 1894 John Barbour established himself in the burgeoning port of South Shields, supplying oilskins and other garments to protect sailors, fishermen, river men and dockers from the worst of the North Sea weather. By the beginning of the next century Barbour’s durable Beacon oilskins were well-known throughout Britain. Over the years Barbour has become iconic for its classic British look and performance in inclement weather.