The 2015 Feltmakers’ Luton Lunch was held on February 5, at our usual venue, the Pavilion in Luton.This annual event celebrates Luton and South Bedfordshire as the centre of the British Hatting industry. Each year, the organisers worry over the weather. The lunch had to be cancelled in 2009 because of very heavy snow. This year we woke to falling snow but fortunately the roads were clear and the snow relented and by the end of lunch we had brilliant sunshine.
A smaller number than usual sat down to lunch, not helped by two absences due to seasonal illness. Our previous caterer has been replaced by a new one but we were delighted to find that their excellent standard was maintained as we enjoyed a delicious three course meal with a main of poached salmon.
After lunch our invited speaker was Karen Perkins, Director of Arts and Museums for Luton Culture whose portfolio includes Wardown Park Museum, a couple of minutes’walk from the Pavilion, and housing a splendid collection of costumes and hats, samples of which we have been fortunate to see at previous lunches.
In a beautifully illustrated talk, Karen gave us a brief history of the building, from being a privately-owned house in the 1870’s to the present day. She outlined the plans for development including the intention to display those parts not being used for Museum purposes as the original Victorian residence. This will provide a wonderful experience for visitors. During question time, Karen explained the plan to integrate the Museum within our community and to provide an educational resource for children.
The Master closed the formal proceedings by thanking Karen and the organisers for what again proved a successful and convivial event.