Hats off to Wotton-under-Edge volunteers and their new headgear exhibit

Gazette Series: Elaine and John White with their Wotton hat exhibition Elaine and John White with their Wotton hat exhibition

IT'S HATS off to talented Wotton volunteers who have created a fascinating display of historical headgear.

For its latest exhibit the Wotton Heritage Centre has been filled to the brim with berets and boaters, cloches and caps.

Historical Society members Elaine and John White have created the playful Hats Off to Wotton! display.

A keen collector of vintage hats and clothing, Mrs White has brought much of her personal collection to the centre.

She said it was nice to reflect on the importance of headgear in Wotton’s past.

Mrs White said: "In the 1800s there were lots of milliners in Wotton."

This is demonstrated through newspaper cuttings, photographs and maps detailing the town’s tailors and milliners in years gone by.

When the formidable hat collection is matched with such archive material, the social history of Wotton comes alive.

From 1920s wedding veils to 1960s fashion, no era is left hat-less.

The history of the Town Crier’s headgear is charted, and school berets, military hats and bonnets also find their place.

And the Heritage Centre is taking the theme even further, with its second annual fundraiser, The Mad Hatter’s Ball, on Saturday, February 23.

The Swan Hotel will play host to a three-course dinner, followed by dancing in the Town Hall.

Fancy-dress, including headgear, is encouraged.

Tickets, available from Cuzuns and the Heritage Centre, cost £27 for the dance and £32 for the dinner and dance.

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