Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The Next Time You Go To London,

to Oxford Street to be precise,

and you want to impress your friends ask them to look at the top of the buildings at 105 to 109 Oxford Street and ask them what they see,

 if they look carefully they will see 4 beavers, one holding a scroll,

so why 4 beavers? well the building used to be Henry Heath's Hat Factory and for many years, the hats made here were felted with beaver fur, the factory's primary product was top hats, which were made using felted fur from, according to their adverts, 'Beavers Otter, Rabbits, Hares and Musk rats.' Henry used beavers to top the building because beaver fur was preferred to rabbit fur in hat-making for its water-proofing qualities, beaver hats were a must-have for the fashionable English gent from the 1550s onwards, the European beaver was hunted to near-extinction for its fur in the 1600s, (and are making a comeback), but the trade was revived when a Hudson's Bay Company started imports from Canada in the early 1700s, the four Oxford Street beavers sit on top of a factory that employed around 70 people,

Henry Heath's name and profession are still visible in a brick façade on the back of the former factory on Hollen Street, tell all of your friends that as you walk past and they will be impressed!

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