Esoteric London

No. 529: Vauxhall Bridge Road, SW1

Posted in Shops, Statues, Theatrical London by esotericlondon on March 8, 2012

Apollo Victoria Theatre, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

The Bowler hat was designed by London hat makers Thomas and William Bowlers for hatters Lock and Co in 1849. Sir William Coke had requested a hat that would protect ones head from low branches whilst out riding. Made from hard felt it has a low melon-shaped crown and a rounded brim that turns up at the sides. It is alledged that when Sir William arrived at the shop to pick up his hat he stamped on it twice to check its robustness and then proceeded to pay twelve shillings for it.

Charlie Chaplin’s character The Tramp was well known for wearing a bowler hat. This little sculpture of him in the role can be found in one of the rear exits to the Apollo Victoria on Vauxhall Bridge Road. R.D.

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