Market Lavington Museum

A Straw Boater


It may be the bleak mid-winter – a time when we think more of wearing warm coats, scarfs and gloves, but we can look forward to better climes in the new year, or look back to those enjoyed in the past.

In this case we are looking back more than 100 years and perhaps we can imagine a trip out for a picnic and relaxing, on a warm summer’s day by a lake or a river. Or maybe we can imagine a smart young man, sitting near the boundary of a cricket ground and hoping to impress his young lady when it is his turn to bat. What we are looking at is a hat of the Edwardian era, although of a style which stayed in use for much longer. Our batsman will need to change headwear before heading for the crease, for the hat is a straw boater.

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This hat dates from the Edwardian era and is a standard straw boater with an elegant black ribbon to set it off. It was made by Tress and Co. They were very well known hatters based in Southwark, London.

The hat belonged to the Gye family. It could well have been a hat worn by Tom Gye’s father. He would have been around 15 when the twentieth century began.