Continuing our on-going look at the various components of British webbing sets, tonight we are turning to the 1958 pattern waistbelt. As in all other webbing sets form Mills, the 58 pattern set is built around the waist belt and the design is evolutionary rather than revolutionary from the earlier 37 and 44 pattern designs. The belt is made of the same pre-shrunk dark green cotton webbing as the rest of the 58 pattern set, but rather than brass, the fittings are made of anodised aluminium. As ever we turn to the fitting instructions for a detailed description:
This is 2 ¼ inches wide and is supplied in two sizes:
Normal- Adjustable up to 40 inches in length
Large- Adjustable between 37 inches and 46 inches in length. Each end of the belt is fitted with a metal hook, which engage in a series of eyelets for adjustment of length. The belt is fastened by a clasp buckle (hook and loop pattern) with slides to hold the two parts of the clasp in position. The two small ‘D’ rings fixed to the bottom edge of the belt are for attachment of the cape carrier. The belt is stamped with a stores number and the size on the inside, at the rear. As is often the case with 58 pattern webbing this is hard to read due to the dark base colour of the webbing set:These belts were to prove very popular and despite 58 pattern webbing having been obsolete for a quarter of a century, the belts are still commonly seen being used as trouser belts by serving service personnel- indeed I myself prefer it to the modern nylon issued belt which is particularly flimsy.