Thursday, 11 July 2013

Bowled Over!

I was delivering some cards to the Care Home next door to the church and two residents were in the communal garden – I stopped for a chat. One admired my hat  - it’s an ancient black wedding hat, but brilliant for keeping the sun off, and preventing headaches. They lamented the demise of hat-wearing, and one suddenly said “Would you ever have any use for a bowler hat, Angela?” I said I’d love one, as I knew I could use it for Holiday Clubs, drama stuff etc. My mother had one which frequently appeared in Girls’ Brigade Displays and the like, but it had gone AWOL years ago.

And immediately this dear lady popped inside her front door and came out with a hat. She explained that it had belonged to her late husband – and she couldn’t bear to just throw it away, but had no use for it and no space in her tiny new flat to store it. “Here you are, I am glad to think it will still get used” she said. How generous is that? Thank you so much, my friend!



It is lovely quality, from Dunn and Co of Piccadilly. If fits well- but Bob and I realised that was due to the folded bands of newspaper inside the leather hatband.


This was a really exciting discovery – the front page of the Daily Express from August 17th, 1971, when the weather was dry and hot. There was an  article about “umbrellas with air-conditioning” costing £6 – the paper itself cost 3p.

We were apparently  blaming Richard Nixon for the “Dollar Crisis” two days before, but Britain was ‘sitting tight’.

The paper also featured a picture of baby Denise Weller – who had been snatched from her pram in Essex in July – it would be five whole weeks before she was found [safe and well] in Yorkshire, on September 4th.

I love my new hat, and all the history behind it. I am sure that 42 years ago, the person who folded up the newspaper to make the bowler fit more comfortably never expected where it would end up! The first bowler was designed for Edward Coke, son of the Earl of Leicester, whose Norfolk estate is just up the road from Cornerstones! [read more here] You know what they say…

If you want to get ahead, get a hat!


  1. What an absolutely precious gift!

  2. How sweet of the friend to give you the bowler...and the brief history lesson too!
    Jane x

  3. A Dunn's hat...very prestigious! What a sweet gift.

  4. Wonderful!
    Where did you get that hat, where did you get that hat? So the song goes and that''s all I know of it! Bet you know it!
    I love things like this.
    By the way, I forgot to put some bags of ribbons/trimming/cross stitch/craft stuff in with the stuff you collected last week- let me know if you can collect it.

    Sandie xx

  5. Yay for hat generosity!!!! You look lovely in it and how lovely to find an old paper to look at! I opened a book I hadn't read for years and discovered a crisp packet from 1991 inside it which I had used as a bookmark (?????). Not quite the same thing but it did make me feel nostalgic!x


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