Lock & Co. Hatters

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Nothing quite captures the image of Victorian England better than the top hat. Hats have a very important role to play in A Christmas Carol, as our hatted and cloaked Company take over The Old Vic stage each night to tell the story of Scrooge’s transformation, which is why we were very excited to form a partnership with the world’s oldest hat shop.

Lock and Co. have transformed their shop window to create a beautiful Victorian Christmas street scene, reminiscent of A Christmas Carol, using hat boxes. Each hat box has been cut to look like a London landmark, including Big Ben and (of course) The Old Vic.

The Old VicLock & Co.

Lock and Co. began life in 1676 and was a popular spot throughout Dickens’ lifetime. The family hold fascinating claims to fame – it is said that they are direct descendants of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, as it was actually James Benning, an eccentric member of the Lock family, who inspired Lewis Carroll to create his enigmatic character.

Lock and Co. on St. James Street is worth a visit this Christmas for the windows alone but make sure you explore inside the shop too. Framed on the wall you will find different hat measurements for everyone from Evelyn Waugh to David Gandy, as well as a hat worn by Winston Churchill who was a Lock and Co. regular. You can even take a look at their conformateur, a head-measuring device which was invented in France by Allié-Maillard in 1852 and is used to this day to measure hard hats.

And when you’re done, come and see some terrificly Dickensian top hats in all their glory in A Christmas Carol, which runs until 20 January 2017.

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