MGM 2006 - Toppers For Coppers At Hatworks Stockport

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 05 May 2006
a group photograph of policemen wearing traditional bobby helmets

Stockport Borough Police 1890 wearing their helmet with spike. Courtesy Hatworks/Greater Manchester Police Museum

A new exhibition entitled Toppers for Coppers, dedicated to the fascinating world of law enforcement and its functional fashion, runs at Hat Works in Stockport until July 21 2006.

The collaborative venture between Greater Manchester Police Museum and the Hat Works allows visitors to find out how and why police helmets are made and to learn about historic police hats and head gear from around the world.

The exhibition also features personal stories from police officers together with fun activities for visitors.

a black and white phtograph of a group of policemen wearing top hats

Manchester 'Peelers' in 1840 wearing the Peelers Hat. Courtesy Hatworks/Greater Manchester Police Museum

Every police force wears a slightly different uniform, and has pride in its individuality. Toppers for Coppers shows how police forces are made visible and how police hats form such an important part of police identity.

"We are delighted to have been able to work so closely with the Greater Manchester Police Museum to put together this exciting exhibition,” said Stockport Council's Access Officer, Helen Castle.

“This is a particularly appropriate exhibition for Stockport's Hat Works as the town was once the biggest hat producer in the world and at one time all UK police hats were made here. I would encourage people to come along and enjoy the display."

One of the highlights of the exhibition is a beige Stetson style hat, which forms part of the New York State Police uniform.

a black and white photograph of a line of marching policemen wearing helemts

Courtesy Hatworks/Greater Manchester Police Museum

The hat was generously donated to the museum in 2005 by Stockport's Chief Superintendent Neil Wain, who was presented with the hat by the New York State Police Department, as a 'thank you' for his assistance at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on September 11th.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of workshops and talks for people interested in how the exhibition was curated.

Helen Castle will be giving an informative talk on the subject including a guided visit around the exhibition on Thursday May 11 at 7.00pm. For details of this and other events see the museum details below or contact Hat Works on 0845 833 0975.

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