COLIN CHANNON: Hat’s the way... why we all need proper headwear

In past weeks readers have written about health and safety, dog mess and garden birds. Oliver Bradbear, who is 16, this week looks at hats...

Those who do place a hat on their heads tend to be a different sort of person than their hatted ancestors.

Today, a common hat is the baseball cap, which is normally worn sideways by a boy who can’t afford a belt, or insists on showing the world his designer underwear.

And when a girl wears this hat, she tends to look like she is wearing her boyfriend’s clothes.

The baseball cap is not a good hat.

There are other hats out there. There is the stetson, the fedora, the trilby, the panama and, of course, the top hat.

Sadly, though, hats are all worn in jest these days. Gone are the days a man could stand proud, walking down the street in his top hat yelling at passing urchins ‘Boy! Take this message to Mr Peanut on South Street’.

Gone are the days a man could wear a stetson without someone coming up to him and saying (in an incredibly bad

Texan accent) ‘Where’s the cattle, boy?’

When these hats are worn today, it is in mockery of the old reign of the hat.

The hat is quintessentially British. It goes hand-in-hand with cricket, tea and scones; we would never allow these unique aspects of our society to be taken, so why should we let the hat die?

When we give up fighting for it, we give up a piece of our society. Would you deliberately lose a piece of the jigsaw puzzle?

One of the glorious facts about the hat is there is one for every class, every race and every person.

A person can be judged by his hat. You can tell how wealthy they are by what adorns it, what colour it is, and, most of all, what size it is. The bigger hat, the richer the wearer.

That is why expensive shops have tall door frames, and at the other end of the scale, lesser shops have Willy Wonka-style doors, that get smaller and smaller and smaller as you progress into the shop, eventually resulting in mouse-sized cheapness only an un-hatted person could want.

It is clear Chichester is a good place; the height of the door frames confirms it!

Let’s start a revival of the hat. Let’s go out in public and march proudly through the towns and villages, hats held high with the joy we have!

Let’s show the world the hat is not dead, and there are many people who refuse to believe it. Let’s incite a revolution!

Remember this day, hatted brothers and sisters, for it shall be the day we rise up as one and fight the power.

Can you do even better?

Thanks for your contribution this week, Oliver.

I have a very nice flat cap that is ideal for the cold weather. Only problem is my daughters think it looks awful and refuse to walk anywhere with me when I’m wearing it...

Next week’s column is by Caroline Bullen, who writes about supermarkets.

Come on, everyone, get writing. If you don’t, then I will – and who wants that?

COLIN CHANNON