24 September 2008
When I was walking through Jermyn Streeet a few weeks ago I stopped to admire - and snap - the straw hats in the window of Bates. It was a miserable wet afternoon and it was as much the display of optimism as headwear that caught my eye. (Or was it British stoicism that attracted me?)
I was up that way again today, and looked to see whether Bates had rearranged their shop window to show a different, more seasonal, collection of hats. But no. There they were - a window full of panamas. Maybe there was a fedora or two, but not so's you'd notice particularly. Then I realised that maybe one of the reasons why Bates is still trading is because people can rely on getting their panamas here no matter what the season, customers who are taking them back home to places where it is warm and sunny when it is cold and damp here. And that in this hat shop it's forever summer one way or another.