East Bergholt & Stradbroke
A small cottage called 'The Hatters' in The Street, opposite the Red
Lion in East
the business which once occupied it. Carefully preserved and worked
with masonry paint by the modern owners, this 18th century
resembles that on the Woodbridge milestone.
This and the two examples on this page are amongst the oldest
lettering on this website. The idiosyncratic spelling presumably comes
the trade of 'hatter':
This information comes from an estate agency website in 2012:
"Grade II Listed semi-detached cottage in the sought after village of
East Bergholt. Built around the 1780s this property offers a piece of
East Bergholt history as it was originally a hat shop. The original
lettering of “Dealer in Hatts “ has been left on the
outside wall in
between the two cottages today, which is one of the oldest recorded
lettering in the area. It has also been a bicycle repair shop and sweet
shop in its past. The Hatters is filled with original features... The
property has been constructed by a timber frame and render, under a pan
tiled roof. "
Mercury, which we now know to be highly toxic, was used
in the manufacture of hats in days of yore when everyone wore headgear
of some sort. Hatters and milliners were much more comon trades. It is
believed that hatters commonly suffered from 'hatter's shakes', a form
of nerve damage which gave symptoms similar to Parkinson's Disease and
which is still known today as 'Mad Hatter's Syndrome'. We should also
mention the black and white feature film of A.J. Cronin's novel Hatter's Castle starring Robert
Newton in a, frankly, terrifying portrayal of the title role. Gothic
and seriously scary, but we digress...
See also Vine House in Ipswich, once
embodying a hat shop.
A photograph below of the ancient equine advertisement
preserved on a
opposite the church in Stradbroke, Suffolk:
(curious use of the apostrophe ... )
HORSES AND TRAPS TO LET'
(Photo courtesy Don Mathew)
Compare with the 'Good Stabling' sign on Whitby's White Horse & Griffin.
Return to Historic Lettering from outside
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