NOS

I didn’t know what this acronym meant for years, until I discovered New Old Stock.

Stuff they found in a drawer, in some forgotten corner of a stockroom, in the months after a company went bust, quite often. Either that or things that for some reason, either they went out of fashion or they somehow just forgot to sell them, didn’t walk out of the door with the customer.

Barn finds are similar, the legendary “I was out for a walk, spotted this old car in a barn, the farmer said take it away for £50 and stone me guvnor cor blimey it’s only the Rolls-Royce made for that Egyptian bloke they assassinated on TV, you remember?”

So NOS – barn find except real, and more to the point, not covered in 40 years of guano and working the way it was supposed to.

Now, I’m quite old myself and my boats aren’t exactly brand new, so I was bit at a loss buying myself a Christmas present this year. Not because I hadn’t been given any, but because I always get myself something with the cheque my mother insists on sending. I feel I have to do something with it. Something I’ve never had and quite often wanted on a whim is and was an anemometer. It measures how fast the wind is blowing, which is quite useful if you plan on going gliding, flying a kite, sailing – you see, there was a point after all – or just want to know if the leaves moving not he trees are doing it at 10 km per hour or the Quixotic measurements of the Beaufort scale.

Obviously, anemometer shops not being in plentiful supply in these fields, I had a look on Ebay, staring glumly at the piles of trashy Chinese electronic toys with little wind turbines set in gaily-coloured plastic. Most of them were under £15. Good, you might think. But apart from looking like rubbish they all needed batteries. What didn’t was exactly what I was looking for.

A proper, vaguely nautical looking, thoroughly German Anemo, albeit of a certain age. For me, that’s actually a good thing, as it means it was made properly. This was easy to date anyway – it said Made In Western Germany on it. Given the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 – the biggest global event ever, for anyone of my generation, not least as I once met the girl (well, she was then, just) who did the outside broadcast for the BBC, live, as it happened – then it has to be at least 33 years old now.

It doesn’t ever need batteries, because it doesn’t need batteries. It came in its original box which I now don’t feel I can throw away.

The very best bit was the price. Who wants something 33 years old that works perfectly? Well, me, for a start, but also anyone who prefers to pay £14 plus £5 postage instead of the £160 advertised on a sailing gear website with the rider Out Of Stock, Delivery Date Unknown.

Deuta, before you rush to Google them, are still going very strongly indeed. They make highly technical measuring equipment and they’ve been doing it and winning awards for it for donkeys years. But not anemometers. Not any more.

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