Material from Soho’s Hat Factory

The wooden material for the new ‘neighborhood forum’ (Berwick Street Working Group) has kindly been given to us from one of the building sites in Soho. The timber and floorboards e have been given  comes from the old Hat Factory building (founded by King George the fourth) not far away from Berwick street. Below is a post by the Virtual Victorian  telling the story of what happened in this hat factory and the life that was framed by the material we are now using to build the new market stall:

“Henry Heath’s Hat Manufacturers provided the most brilliant silk plush – which ‘retains its glossy brilliancy in wear.’ The discerning buyer might chance to see the advertisement that asked, Why Wear an Ill-Fitting hat? They could then visit Henry Heath’s and subject their craniums to Heath’s successful system of Head Measurement that ensures the luxury of a well-fitting Hat adapted to the form of the wearer’s head. EXTRA QUALITY, Silk Hats (Cash Price) 17/- Other Qualities (Unequalled for Hard Wear) – 13/6 & 10/6 BEST FELT HATS 7/6 9/6 10/6 The Heath Hat Factory employed upwards of seventy persons, and refused to supply goods to any Co-Operative Stores. The hats were purchased direct, at cash price and customers could always rely on receiving business-like attention. For an extra shilling, once that perfect hat had been purchased, the proud, and well-fitted owner could carry home THE NARROW HAT BRUSH which had hard bristles at one end and was perfect for keeping the brim of the hat free from dust and spots. By post one stamp extra”

One of the customers of these hats are pictured in the image below: