At first glance our Sepia Saturday theme this week of Aprons seems a strange choice, but when you start digging you find some remarkable examples. I have decided to go with the men folk.
A distant relation found this photo in a display in the village hall in Snitterfield. It is the Chatterley family who were wooden hoop and hurdle makers. I believe the man on the right is John Chatterley (1816-1899) which would place this photo in late C19th, His two surviving sons, Thomas Chatterley and William Turner Chatterley were members of the 1887 brass band whose photo I used in A Parting Gift
Here they are in the band photo – William at the back and Thomas to the front. With their full beards they are hard to match to the first photo. Their mother was a cousin of my Tansey grandfather’s grandfather, so there is a distant connection to me through the Hutchins family.
The hurdle making is a fascinating process. One of the uses the farmers had for hurdles was for making small enclosures for lambing ewes. In this photo notice the padded leather protector worn at waist level to protect his clothes from being torn when weaving the hurdle. The man seated in the first photo is also wearing one.
In John Chatterley’s will he give and bequeath the goodwill of my trade or business of a Hurdle Maker and Hoop Shaver and the stock in trade tool-utensils chattels to his sons William and Thomas , This is the first time I have seen this phrase Hoop Shaver. Wood hoop maker is the term usually applied to the family members whereas a Hoop Shaver: created and fitted metal hoops to barrels, casks and tubs.
One interesting comment I came upon was The main use for (wooden) hoops by the middle of the 19th century would have been for baskets and light tubs: barrels tended to be hooped with iron. Expect to find a thriving baket-making industry where you find hoop makers!
Perhaps the Chatterleys even contributed to the basker making for the lovely ladies of Cranford ! of
There are some things in the photo of which I am not sure, such as what appear to be stacks of hoops.of many sizes or concentric rings. Has anyone any knowledge in this field.
PS He didn’t mention leaving any aprons in his will.
You might also enjoy Men in Aprons – The Potter
And for a range of apron stories visit the links in Sepia Saturday