Iain’s article ‘Parrots in the Snow: the rise and fall of Bladon Lines‘ has now been published in ‘Ski+Board’ magazine.

My first experience of working in the ski industry came 35 years ago when I went to Chatel in the Portes du Soleil to be a ‘SAS Officer’ for Bladon Lines.

SAS was not quite as exciting as it sounds (it stood for ‘Ski and Après-Ski’), but I had a fantastic season and subsequently worked for Bladon Lines in Zermatt and also in their Putney offices in the sales team.

Barring a couple of years in Australia, I’ve been working in snowsports ever since, and I’ve often reflected on the influence the company had on me.

In 2012 I wrote a blog post titled ‘Where are the ski companies of 1984 today?‘ which mentioned Bladon Lines.

As the years passed I noticed people adding comments with their memories and experiences of the company, both as employees and customers. A Google search showed that the page was scoring at the top of the organic rankings for ‘bladon lines‘.

Knowing there was interest out there, I had the idea of writing an article about the company. Last year, I pitched this to James Gambrill and Gaby Le Breton, respectively the General Manager of The Ski Club of Great Britain and Editor of their ‘Ski+Board’ magazine.

I am so grateful to them for commissioning this piece. It truly was a labour of love that took hours to research and write.

Readers will see that I interviewed many industry ‘veterans’ including Amin Momen, John Yates-Smith, Ed Mannix, Gareth Crump, Nick Morgan and Simon Hoskyns, as well as the eponymous Simon Bladon himself. I am hugely grateful to all of them for the time they generously gave.

I am also indebted to Lesley Glass, who raided her stock of Bladon Lines brochures and jackets to provide photos.

This is undoubtedly the most personal article I’ve written and the one I’m most proud of.

You can read it online here via Issuu (pages 16-20).