In this episode we talk to Ben Dalrymple, managing director of Lock & Co. Hatters. Lock & Co. have been with Bond since the very beginning, providing the original Sandown Trilby seen when Bond arrives at Kingston Airport.
They are the second oldest retailer in the UK and Ben reflects on that,
We are beaten by a butchers who are over 500 years old. Which is quite astonishing when you think of family’s, marriages, wars and all sorts of different things, financial crisis’. viruses and everything else. We are 344 years old this year (2020).
I’m the new boy, I’ve only been MD for 3 and a half years so I’m only a small part of Locks history, [and] I didn’t have any hat background. I’ve always been in retail and other businesses. There’s just something magic about Locks.
When you open that brass door handle on the original door, and the shop has barely changed since the early 1700’s and its the feel of it, the look of it, dare I say the smell of it.
The slight[y] creaky floorboards, slightly magic – it feels like stepping back in time. We are very fortunate where we are in St. James Street to be like a little oasis in London. Just north of us is Piccadilly, then some of the busier places in London like Haymarket and Leicester square.
But actually St. James street is relatively quiet and obviously in the shop you could really be in any time in the world. Other than the electric lights and air conditioning.
Read more about the relationship between Lock & Co and James Bond in the book From Tailors With Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films, available on Amazon.
Coming to London?
Recorded over SKYPE 4th June 2020 Pete brooker and Ben Dalrymple, Managing Director – Lock & Co. Hatters. The Sandown Trilby is currently in stock for 295 GBP and can be found on their website here. If you’re coming to London and would like a tour of all the Bond brands then this article might help.
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As per usual you can do us a solid favour by leaving a review on iTunes. You can download the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify. Or listen in the player below. You can also watch my interview with Ben on our YouTube channel.