Stockport Museum of Hatting

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Many times, I’ve passed Stockport’s Museum of Hatting on the train and though to myself ‘I’ll have to go there one day‘. Yesterday, I finally did and looked at the Victorian machinery used to construct felt hats, which was once a big industry in areas of Greater Manchester such as Failsworth and Denton. How humbling to realise that people lived in awful conditions, exposed to sulphuric acid and mercury, just to make hats.
There are also displays of hats. Hats and hats and hats. Bowler hats. Top hats. Cocktail hats. Celebrity hats (one worn by Dame Judi Dench in an episode of As Time Goes By, yo!). Seeing all the craftmanship involved in their construction – and seeing the different sizes, shapes and styles – made me think ‘I should wear a hat more often‘.

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