Labour of Love Hats

by carolinejupp2014

Improvised workwear was mentioned twice in the shed last week.

One visitor was born a few doors down from the Bryant and May factory. In the 50s and 60s she remembers watching all the Bryant & May workers walking past her house, all made up immaculately, with huge turbans on their head on their way to work. She discovered the turbans were made bigger by stuffing newspaper into them – not sure whether this was a way to keep warm or competition amongst the workforce for the most majestic turban.

A retired roof tiler resting after walking down the Orbit, told me about his fitter days when he would balance piles of tiles on his flat cap to take up onto the roof. This was a commonplace method of transporting.  But he had found a little trick to help. A pair of his wife’s stockings were rolled into a bagel shape and slipped underneath his cap – helped protect his head and gave the the tiles extra support.