28 August 1998

Pyjama game at this years fair

THE sun shone warmly on this years CLA Game Fair so the crowds flocking to Stratfield Saye, Hants, had no need of the usual wax jackets and wellies.

But the sun does odd things to showgoers, even at this event, persuading the whitest, fattest people to opt for shorts and sunburn, while others ignored the heat and wore ancient heavy tweeds. The eternally smart sported Panama hats and at the other end of the spectrum there was the usual smattering of camouflage wear and vests but Anthony Meynell and Deborah Dow took the biscuit for the most unusual show garb – pyjamas and nightshirt

Nightwear has become very important to Anthony and his partner Deborah since he sold off his dairy herd in 1995. "It was a good time to get out of dairying," says Anthony, who has not severed his links with dairying altogether, for he is still a director of Quality Milk Producers, of which he was chairman for six years.

He discovered a niche in the market for nightwear of quality and so the Real Pyjamas company was set up, operating at first from London but now back home at Berry Hall Farm, Hoveringham, near Norwich in Norfolk.

"We import fine cotton from Switzerland and have it made up by a shirtmaker in this country," explains Anthony, who finds the CLA Game Fair a very good venue for his products which are mainly sold mail order.

&#42 Pyjamas

Striped or checked pyjamas (£57.50) are top sellers, while "peach touch" cotton nightshirts (£48.50) account for a third of sales. Mix-and-match options such as separate pyjama trousers or tops in regular or extra long/large sizes and even pyjama shorts are also available..

"Our pyjamas have old fashioned tie pulls – they never let you down," says Anthony who was wearing his own blue and white striped favourites. That colourway and style accounted for 70% of the sales made at the Game Fair, although whether or not that was down to Anthonys modelling abilities, he wasnt saying. TG

Inquiries: (01603-880887), Website www.pyjamas-nightshirts.co.uk