The Luton Lunch has now become an annual event much appreciated by liverymen, especially by those many Feltmakers who have connections to the Luton hatting industry, and who live in this area. However, this lunch is not an ancient tradition, having been inaugurated in the 1970s, but with a break between 2002 and 2006. So it was a bitter disappointment last year when, after all the plans had been finalised, it had to be cancelled at the last moment because of the blizzards which shut down the country, making it almost impossible for liverymen to get here. Thankfully, having prayed for better weather for the 2010 function on February 5th., our prayers were answered. After a dull and damp start to the day, the sun appeared and the temperature reached double figures for the first time since Christmas.
At our usual venue, the Luton Masonic Centre, thirty-seven of us sat down to lunch. A minute’s silence was held in memory of Liveryman Tony Horn who had been a stalwart of the Luton hatting industry and who had very recently passed away and whose funeral had been held earlier the same week. After grace was said, we enjoyed a delicious four course meal and then, as a new venture this year, Liveryman John Horn, son of the late Tony, and himself carrying on the tradition by working in the family firm, gave a short presentation on feltmaking in Luton. John’s talk was most educational and amusing, being illustrated with ‘props’ demonstrating the process from plain wool, through to a dyed and recognisable hat. The Master responded by thanking both John and also the organisers of, what was once again, a successful and very convivial event.