Posted in Architecture, Re-blog

The Hat Industry of Luton

“Luton is sometimes likened to a northern town that has found itself in the south. This is understandable.” Definitely :)

Heritage Calling

Luton has an industrial pedigree to be proud of and one which has shaped almost every aspect of the town. No, not car manufacture (although that is undoubtedly important), but an older industry – hat manufacture.

The town produced as many as 70 million hats a year in the 1930s – an astonishing number, and yet Luton’s role as a global centre of hat manufacture is largely forgotten. Our new book, The Hat Industry of Luton and its Buildings, seeks to rectify this by celebrating the town’s remarkable industrial and commercial history.

A Goad fire insurance plan from 1932 illustrates the remarkable density of hat factories, warehouses and associated industries such as box factories to be found in Luton’s town centre. © Database Right Landmark Information Group Ltd A Goad fire insurance plan from 1932 illustrates the remarkable density of hat factories, warehouses and associated industries in Luton’s town centre.  © Database Right Landmark Information Group Ltd

Luton is sometimes likened to a northern town that has found itself in the south. This is understandable. The town grew rapidly in the 19th century – faster…

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"I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind, Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng" — Earnest Dowson, 1867 –1900 Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae (1896) (Excerpt)
The lovely image of an owl is courtesy of Michael Gäbler [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. The coffee image is public domain

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