If you want to get ahead…

Look at any picture taken in a street about a hundred years ago and you are almost bound to see a sea of hats.  Tall and top, fedora, trilby, cloche, cap, they all had their place. Take this same photo in the same street today and you might, if lucky, spot the odd one usually worn back-to-front.  Hats it seems are out of fashion. The same trend is true in British schools, once upon a time there were caps, berets and boaters a-plenty; some went further and adopted more exotic styles.  Most schools had some sort of compulsory headgear, usually detested by the school population.  Go back a little further and it was even normal for teachers to wear a hat; I don’t predict a massive return of the mortar board at the BSP, but who knows?

Historical interpretations suggest that hat wearing took a real knock in the 1960s.  Hair grew longer, more people owned cars and the times they were a-changing.  JFK took a hat to his inauguration but he didn’t wear it.  Personally, I am an enthusiastic wearer of hats.  Those of you who have seen me out front of school in the rain will have witnessed my homage to Dr. Jones (Indiana), others will have seen the panama in summer.  I have never played cricket without a hat.  As a spectacles wearer, hats are to me useful objects.  This weekend I hope to be wearing a stetson, or at least something that would not look out of place on the wild frontier; more about that next week perhaps.

Whilst I generally wear a hat to shield my specs, there is a far better reason to be wearing a hat in summer.  Over the coming weeks the meteorologists suggest that we are going to be basking in high temperatures and bright, hot sunshine.  Could I ask that we revive the habit of hat wearing while things warm up? The reasons for wearing hats are well publicised, on a hot playground I’d argue that a hat or cap is essential.  We have school baseball caps and legionnaire’s caps but frankly anything within reason and with a suitable brim will do.  

Nicholas Hammond


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