The Hatworks Museum celebrates the history of Stockport’s once thriving hatting industry which specialised in the production of fur felt hats. We speak with museum officer Bronwen Simpson (who you will recognise from the podcast on her own hat making) and hat works team member Gordon as we explore the displays.
There are around 250 hats that can be seen in thematic displays in the museum. There is also an approximately equal but ever-growing number of hats in store, waiting to take their place on display.
The museum is based in Wellington Mill a previous home of Christys’, the last local hat factory. Opening on Easter Monday 2000, the display is spread across two levels with ground floor providing an introduction to fur felt hat-making and the second the hat display.
Exploring this history of the Stockport area Hat Works explores the mechanisation of the hatting industry. The space also include a recreation of a hat block maker William Plant and Co. of Great Ancoats Street that was based in neighbouring Manchester.
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