New exhibition showcases a hat for all seasons

Bankfield hat

The style, function and symbolism of headwear in British society is being explored in a new exhibition at Bankfield Museum, near Halifax, celebrating all things hat.

‘A hat for all seasons’ launches on Saturday 11 March 2023 and will feature a range of hats from the Bankfield Museum collection. The varied styles and designs on display will show the progression of headwear, from the bonnets and ‘toppers’ of the Eighteenth Century to baseball caps and Ascot hats of the current day.

Prominent Yorkshire milliners Jenny Roberts and Sherry Richardson have collaborated with the museum for the exhibition, loaning hats for display which show the breadth and possibilities of contemporary hat making. These include a range of designer hats worn for special occasions and showstoppers from the fashion catwalk.

The milliners will also be hosting several talks and hat-making workshops to coincide with the exhibition, details of which can be found at  

The exhibition will be launched with a special Hat Day at the museum on Saturday 11 March, with free children’s hat-making activities, hat trails and hat balloon modelling throughout the day as well as prizes for the best hats on display! There will also be paid-for hat workshops for adults and children led by a professional milliner. Find out more about these workshops and book a place at A hat for all Seasons events | Eventbrite(external link)

A hat for all seasons will explore the use and meaning of hats through an examination of the different roles that hats play. It takes in the working hats worn by different professions across the ages, outlandish hats worn as part of the costume of different subcultures, and the traditional flat cap and its symbolic role as part of the Yorkshire identity.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said:

“Hats and headwear have played a prominent role in our fashions throughout history, with designs throughout the years ranging from the practical to the outlandish.

“They’ve also played an important part in our social history, with different styles of hat demonstrating social standings or being associated with different cultures or identities.

“This fascinating exhibition will explore the progression of headwear and allow visitors to see the vast museum collection and the incredible skills which milliners use to create intricate and showstopping pieces.”

‘A hat for all seasons’ is on display at Bankfield Museum, near Halifax from Saturday 11 March until Saturday 30 September 2023. The museum and its exhibitions are free to enter. More information about this and other exhibitions at Calderdale Museums is available at

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