All were warmly welcomed in a speech by the Upper Warden, Edward Hutton. Since 1989, we have held a competition for students of fashion to design a hat which incorporates felt. Some of the winning entries were on show in the Salon. The judging panel included the Lord Mayor’s consort, Nicholas Woolf, the Sheriffs’ ladies, and Rachel Trevor Morgan who the Master congratulated on her award of the Royal warrant. The Master presented the Feltmakers’ prize to Michael Wood.
There is always some feature of every banquet which makes it unique. This year, Michael Wood’s hat was not the only one which attracted special attention. The Lord Mayor explained in her speech that her chain of office includes components from the chain which Sir Thomas More can be seen wearing in the portrait of him by Holbein. On 6th June 2014, the chain was brought together with More’s only surviving felt hat.
He had left it behind when visiting friends in Holland in about 1500. His friend, Gilbert Gillekins, wore it every year on the anniversary of More’s death. Eventually, the hat found its way to Stonyhurst College in Lancashire where the Master was at school, although it needed Liveryman Richard Brumby to alert him to its existence! It was extremely kind of Stonyhurst to let us display the hat for the evening.
The Lord Mayor was presented with a cheque for £4,000 for the Lord Mayor’s appeal and in aid of her four chosen charities. Thus, in the course of one very enjoyable evening, we were able to incorporate elements of charity, history, fellowship and support for students of the “art or mystery” of feltmaking. A perfect Feltmaker occasion.
All photos by Phil McCarthy Photography – click here to see more photos