Wilson's Cap & Hat Emporium

In the 1865 edition of the Original Illuminated Clock Almanack, there appeared a verse advertising Alfred Wilson's Cap & Hat Emporium at 14 Corn Market, Halifax

   Singular Occurrence at the Old White Swan

A great attraction in our good old Town
Has been to see the Old White Swan pulled down,
And hundreds have assembled every day
To see it taken bit by bit away,
During which time an accident occurred
Of which I think there's very few have heard.
The facts are these – a workman there, named Ward,
Was passing accidentally thro' the yard
When a large stone, some ten pounds weight, 'tis said,
Dropped from the roof, and fell upon his head.
On seeing this the others gave a shout,
Thinking he must be killed beyond a doubt:
So all rushed down, and to their great surprise
They merely found his hat knocked o'er his eyes.
'Twas one of WILSON'S HATS, well made and strong,
That should to every working man belong.
So strong it was that it withstood the shock,
And only gave the man a gentle knock:
But though the man was not a bit the worse.
The hat itself was sadly crushed, of course.
The strangest part, however's yet to come;
While clearing out a sort of lumber room,
Amongst a lot of other rubbish more
With dust and dirt and cobwebs covered o'er,
He found a sort of hat or bonnet box.
It had not on it one of Wilson's Clocks,
But it had, what was pretty much the same,
A label, bearing 'WILSON HATTERS' name.
He opened it, and to his great surprise
A rich and splendid beaver met his eyes;
And what was stranger still, 'twas just his size,
And though it looked black and bright as new,
It bore the date of eighteen forty-two!
He took it to Miss Daxon, as in duty bound,
Thinking perhaps the owner might be found;
But she returned it to him with a smile,
Saying: My friend, I never wear a Tile;
Some Commercial man has left it there, no doubt,
But so long since we ne'er shall find him out;
The hat appears both handsome, new and good,
And like the 'Swan' the test of time has stood.
So you may wear the hat you've found, my man,
Twill be a relic of the old White Swan

The author was probably Alfred Wilson or James Bland

© Malcolm Bull 2024
Revised 12:37 / 17th February 2024 / 4198

Page Ref: MMW1581

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