Monday, July 28, 2008

A Dying Breed

The other evening, walking through the sedate streets of London's upmarket Belgravia, I thought my eyes were deceiving me.  It was warm and sultry but I felt fresh and summery in my turquoise Pucca and Garu short-sleeved T, paired with navy linen pants.  In contrast, advancing towards me, I spotted a man swinging his brolly, formally suited and wearing a bowler hat.  I was tempted to rub my eyes and to look around for the accompanying film crew but this was no mirage or contrived set-up...  

The slender man, of advanced middle-age, appeared to take in his stride the glances he was attracting and nonchalantly went on his way; a throwback to Steed in The original Avengers, although here - quirkily - more reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin.  It was a rare sighting of what used to be commonplace, a typical London icon, probably as far back as the 1960s - on the streets of the capital's City Square Mile.  A strange one for the noughties, on a humid late July evening in Pont Street.

The original Bowler Hat was created in 1850 by hatters to the gentry, James Lock.

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