This is the story of five generations of Hereford Master Tailors, the Pritchards, from the 1830s until today. Tailoring may seem hum-drum – though few wish to go without clothes – but the Pritchard family prove anything but hum-drum.
Their ledgers and manuals show the changes that took place in the way they turned cloth into comfortable clothes, from solid local broadcloth for chilly farms, houses and offices to the light-weight of a central-heated age. Their ledgers also show how wide their geographic customer base became and what groups they served: the still dominant landowners; clergy from bishop to curate, both with liveried servants; the army; plus newly emerging professional classes – solicitors, doctors, accountants, humble teachers. They also served many fellow shop owners within the city walls, with whom they joined in the sports, the pleasures, the charities and the religious life of the town.
In the First World War Percy Pritchard fought at Gallipoli, joined a new Camel Corps raised in Egypt to flank the advance across the Sinai desert to Gaza, was posted to the equally new Flying Corps at Heliopolis and served as despatch rider to the GOC. Not averse to adventure, the Pritchards took up gliding and went in for cult cars (tiller-steered Oldsmobiles, a monster 16 cylinder Mercedes-Maybach). In the Second World War Percy served again in the RAF, training glider pilots over the wide Lugg Meadows.
The work the Pritchards did and the social worlds they joined make fascinating reading.
Paperback | 192 pages | 242 x 171 mm | 2016