Saturday, 25 February 2012

A messenger hat for charter day

Today in Wellington was Charter Day, a celebration of the town's earliest recorded market charter, granted by King Henry III eight centuries ago.  The charter document at the National Archives in London is dated 29th February 1244 so local heritage group Wellington H2A had the idea to celebrate the last Saturday in February as Charter Day.

This year was the first of these celebrations and there was a great get together in the square, there was music from the Wellington brass band, the Kings Messenger arrived on horseback to read the charter, and the ancient manor court ceremonially appointed a market clerk and a new ale taster for the year ahead.

I had been asked to make a hat for the messenger to wear for the occasion, which was exciting as I have never really made hats before, but is something I keep wanting to have a go at.  Here is the hat in action!

The King's Messenger presenting the charter

The reading of the charter

 I made a mould to stretch my felt over.  I have a polystyrene head model that used to be my Nana's (she made a lot of hats) so I made the mould to fit that.  I started with a cardboard and masking tape frame to get the sort of shape I wanted.

Framework of cardboard and masking tape

Then I covered the framework in papermache let it dry and then covered it in clingfilm.

I made a first test of the hat in a beige colour and it was okay, as a first!  I wasn't at all careful when I trimmed the fold up sides so they were very wonky, it was a bit big all over and I didn't really like the back, the shape was too wide and open.

I made the final by stretching on the same model but put a seam along the back to bring in the shape and make it a bit smaller and I'm really pleased with the results, added the feather for a little flare!

Interested in Wellington and what goes on?

Visit Wellington Soup - One Shropshire town and a bunch of ideas.  Occasionally needs stirring. A blog about all things Wellington!

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