The Feltmakers’ annual Luton Lunch took place in our customary venue, the Pavilion in Luton, on February 6. The event celebrates Luton and surrounding Bedfordshire as the centre of the British hat industry. Our attendance of 41 was the best for some years.
We sat down to a delicious meal prepared by our regular caterer. A highlight this year was the attendance of several Luton hatters as the guests of Liveryman John Horn and we hope that after experiencing our celebrated hospitality one or more could be persuaded to join our Livery.
After lunch, Veronica Main, curator of clothing and textiles at Luton Museum, updated us on her research on the seventeenth century hat that she demonstrated to us last year. The age of the hat, now established as being made of hemp, is confirmed, as is its historical importance. Further scrutiny of the silk component will follow.
Our guest speaker was Helen Nellis, HM Lord Lieutenant for Bedfordshire. Sporting a magnificent Luton-made hat, Helen told us of the position and role of the Lord Lieutenant in the County. We were particularly pleased to welcome her as, since her taking up her appointment nearly 2 years ago, she has promoted our local hatting industry and regards her Luton hats as part of her uniform.
We could not ask for a better ambassador.
The Master closed the formal proceedings, in his inimitable witty fashion, thanking the organisers and catering staff.
Again, a successful and convivial event.