What has Twitter ever done for the Glovers?

Well one excellent result of our online presence is finding a group of academics who are carrying out some interesting research.

Under the provocative title of Gender Power and Materiality, we found a research group led by Professor James Daybell, Professor of Early Modern British History at the University of Plymouth. The group consists of academics from Leiden, Lund and Western Australia who gather regularly both virtually and physically and the Glovers caught up with them at their latest meeting. Their current research is focussing on gloves from sixteenth-eighteenth century, and they are interested in their historical lifecycle from commission and construction, through consumption and gift-giving to their later transmission and archiving in modern day museums. They are therefore very interested in the ‘material’ aspects of gloves, how they were made and the trade connected to them.

Members of the Company (L-R: Alison Gowman, Alvan Seth-Smith, Mike Dodd, The Master and Mike Redwood) with some of the staff from the Museum of London with some of the gloves held by the Museum.

A group consisting of the Master, Renter Warden, Assistant Mike Dodd and Liveryman Michael Redwood as well as Past Master Alison Gowman gathered at Alison's offices with the academics and tried our best to answer questions such as would women have been able to create the leather for gloves in the 16th century (yes) and did they (most certainly). Were the ornate cuffs detachable and how were gloves assembled between the leather seller, glover, broderer and gold and silver wyre drawer? (an article about the Elizabethan cuff was provided  but other elements were left for further research and Liz Elvin's help). Did we know that the Glove Collection Trust has a glove with some erotic images on the cuff?  (No. Gosh let's rush down to the Museum of Fashion in Bath to have a look……..  NB Social visit with the Glovers in the Spring is already organised).

We then went on to visit the Museum of London's textile department to view that Museum's excellent collection of gloves of this period and to re-visit the wonderful glove storage drawers that the Glovers' Charity funded in 2010 - still very well used and looking good. Since Alison is a Governor of the Museum of London this smoothed the entrée and introduction to Timothy Long the Curator of Fashion & Decorative Arts. He had laid out a great collection of gloves and cuffs for us to look at. This provoked a lot of discussion about glove making and dating including the embroidery and design. I believe that the Museum learned as much from us and we did from them.

There will be a continuing link as the academic group are writing an article and finally a book about their studies and clearly this will be another opportunity for the importance of gloves to be lauded and explained.

The Master and Liveryman Oscar Holmes attended the St Paul’s Cathedral School Speech Day on 15 July in the splendid surroundings of the Milton Court Concert Hall in the City of London.

The outgoing Headmaster Neil Chippington made special mention during his speeches of the invaluable support provided by the Livery Companies for the students. Our current student chorister is Lucas Emmott and he seems to be following in the excellent footsteps of Nicholas Evans, the previous chorister we helped support. Neil’s position as Headmaster will be taken in September by Simon Larter-Evans who is presently at the Yehudi Menuhin School. Neil himself will become Headmaster of St. John’s College School, Cambridge.

The Guest of Honour was Catherine Bott who may be familiar to many through her live singing and recording and her regular work on radio in such shows as The Early Music Show, Radio 3’s Live in Concert and on Classic FM. She was most encouraging to the students and also reminded them of what a privilege it was to be able to study and sing amidst the world-famous surroundings of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Finally, one has to pay tribute to the maturity and wit of the students as their musical and speech-making abilities were of the highest order.

In September the Master, Liveryman Oscar Holmes and the Clerk Mark Butler attended Evensong in St. Paul’s Cathedral at which the Glovers’ Bursary Chorister Lucas Emmott was singing. After the beautiful Service Lucas and the other Choristers had their photographs taken with the visiting Livery Company Masters.

After this a most enjoyable reception was held in Admiral Lord Nelson’s crypt hosted by the recently appointed headmaster Simon Larter-Evans. Our chorister is doing very well at the school and the headmaster expressed his gratitude to the Glovers’ Livery Company for our continued support.

Charlotte Hannibal with the ITV This Morning Team at which she acknowledged the part played by the Company.

To see the full piece go to: https://t.co/3v8fztoqP5

The Trustee’s intention is to feature different gloves for each Newsletter. Here are the first pair:-

A pair of men's tabbed gauntlet gloves, cream kid leather with embroidered canvas work design of a stag and dog surrounded by robins, pansies and carnations, edged with metal thread bobbin lace and sequins.

These gloves were acquired by the Trustees in June 2014 at auction in Bonhams, their provenance details they were inherited through one family from the original owner Baron Honywood, who was granted his Baronetcy by Charles 1. The gloves passed through numerous members of the Family, including John Wastell a race horse trainer, a Worshipful Member of the Jockey Club and owner of the Oaks winner in 1802 (he married his housekeeper!). A member of the Family eventually put them into the Auction.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could walk around nowadays with gloves like these?

If you want to see more of the Collection please go to our web page www.glovecollectioncatalogue.org.

Or to see High Definition pictures of our gloves on the Bridgeman Images web page you can now follow this link:


The Clerk was lucky enough to get a call from a Mrs Margaret Pipe who had been cleaning out her attic when she came across some belongings of her husband John who had died 10 years previously. She sent a copy of his apprentice indenture (left) which is now in the Archive. But her letter provides a real feel for what it was like to work in gloving in the 50’s when those that worked in the factory also played together in their free time.

Margaret wrote saying:

Dear Glovers,
Please find attached two photos. I would say looking at them he must have been in his apprenticeship when the photos were taken, because he looks quite young in them. I think the cup is the football FA Cup. I completely forgot about them, it was on my way home I remembered them. Astoria Glove traded from Virginia Park, Pontygwindy Road in Caerphilly and John had a good two minute walk to work as he also lived on Pontygwindy Road.

John was 10 years older than me and I didn't know him until about 1966 after I had been working at the factory for a while. When the ordering system changed I used to receive all the orders and had to go over to the Cutting Shop to use the order printing tool that was installed there.

By then the factory was known as Western Glove and they made gloves for Marks & Spencer, Woolworth, Dent, Millington and others that I can't recollect. As far as I'm aware we only made ladies gloves.

The owner then was Herbert Altschul and he had a brother that we knew as Willie.


In both pictures John is the third one in. The other people as far as I'm aware are cutters except second one from left bottom row is Mick Smith who was the general handyman. Bottom row on both photos first on right is Ken Lorrey. Top row first on right on bottom photo is Ken Huxtable who was my boss and manager of the ironing room.

I used to help out if it was busy and also had an iron at home. I'm sorry if I'm going on about me, but I don't really know much about John’s glove cutting career, except that he was a leather cutter - but I do know that he was very proud of evading National Service because of his apprenticeship. I have the letters from the Ministry of Defence.

He was a good sportsman and from the age of about 17 he played table tennis. In later years he was in the premier division of the Cardiff and District League. He knew everything about football and rugby and also played tennis.

Unfortunately he passed away in January 2002.

Margaret Pipe



Liveryman Lindsey Riley has written this short piece on her final year student, Louise de Groote's conceptual gloves, created as part of her final collection and which should be of interest to all Glovers.

Talented London College of Fashion, BA Cordwainers Bags and Accessories student Louise de Groote was awarded a First Class honours degree in for her exceptional final year collection entitled ‘Cult of Identity’. Her work explores the intense relationship between individuals, brands and possessions within our fast-fashion world.

A combination of technology and craftsmanship were used to create sculptural pieces emphasising parts of the body, representing our personal identity. Materials used were velum, blown glass and human hair - her own. Louise retuned from the summer holidays with her long blond hair cropped off in anticipation of the project!

Of particular interest to Glovers are the delicate molded velum ‘gloves’ created using casts of her own hands. Another piece appears to float, with velum fingers grasping a molten glass form.

Students on the course target their designs with a particular consumer profile in mind, usually from High Street to luxury level. Louise took a more conceptual route with her bag and glove artifacts intended for an art gallery installation rather than an everyday customer.

Louise has already gained experience honing her leather craft skills on an internship year split between Bill Amberg’s London design studio and Belgian luxury leather brand, Delvaux, This along with a C.V. boasting the LCF Excellence in Technology award and first prize for the prestigious international Craft the Leather competition puts Louise is in a strong position to take the next step in her career as a fully-fledged accessories designer.

To see the full collection visit: http://showtime.arts.ac.uk/Lou

Liveryman David Thorp Writes:

The mixed doubles tournament was held at Queens Club on the 7 September hosted by the Feltmakers Company. 24 couples competed in six round robin groups in the morning followed by the last eight going through to the afternoon knock out stage.

Christine and I represented the Glovers and played the Grocers, Pewterers and Tallow Chandlers in our group. We won a close set against the Grocers. The Pewterers were anything but leaden as their lady member was reminiscent of the former 'Martina' with her dazzling shots. We redeemed ourselves sufficiently against the last pair so that we came second in our group and just qualified for the quarter finals.

We came up against the Drapers and for the second year running lost mainly due to their male tennis coach who unpicked our game with skill. They were then beaten by the Salters who went on to win against the Tallow Chandlers first team in the final.

David and Christine Thorp with Jeremy Bedford, and his tennis playing partner Hilary of the Farmers Company.

Our thanks to the Feltmakers for their excellent organisation. At least we reached the same stage as Andy Murray did at the US Open even though our world ranking and career earnings are somewhat different.


by Mark Butler

Hmmm. I wonder what will happen if I push this…..

Liveryman Vivienne Littelchild starts the Domino Tumble over 6 kms of the City

Another Year?! Did you say the Clerk was staying for another year?


Victor Spencer Bowater Liveryman
1891 – 1967
and Other Members of the Bowater Family

Victor came from a very privileged and entrepreneurial family and although he played no part in working in the family business saw his family's wealth spiral ever upwards throughout his 76 years. He was content to live life as a gentleman and by all accounts enjoy life to the full. It was remarkable that the City of London appointed four members of his family to be Lord Mayors' of London, a feat that has not been matched in recent times. The Glovers' Company were indeed fortunate to have Victor as a Liveryman whilst his eminent relatives reached the highest positions running the City of London.

In researching this article I was unable to find a picture of Victor but was able to find photographs of his family.

Download full article with photographs as pdf here.

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