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29 October 2014

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    A Sense of Place.

    Hat blocks.
    Wooden display heads

    As part of a programme about Luton’s industry, Ian Pearce has been visiting factories still playing a part in the hat trade.

    Steve Lane and Alan Davies.
    Steve Lane and Alan Davies.

    Luton hats are still being exported all over the world. At one time there were hundreds of small companies supplying the industry. Now Boon and Lane is the country’s only surviving blockmakers.

    Steve Lane and his partner Alan Davies continue a business started by Steve’s father. Their exclusive work attracts some of the top designers. Hats seen recently on the heads of Kylie Minogue and Jay Kay were formed on blocks made by Steve and Alan. The blocks either wood or metal are used to shape felt and sinamay hats by workers called blockers.

    The hat trade will feature in a programme called 'Made in Luton' .....part of our series 'A Sense of Place'.

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