….and that is what I have become recently, but for a very good reason. I was asked to repair a fan which belonged to Queen Victoria and is still owned by the Royal Family. It is definitely a thing of great beauty and I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to work on something so special. As you can see from the pictures below, it was in a bit of a sorry state, but as it was 130 years old it was entitled to be a bit rough around the edges. My restoration included fixing and cleaning some of the damaged feathers, before replacing the silk band that holds the fan in shape when opened. I am hoping my work will last another 130 years, before another lucky apprentice is tasked with restoring it to its former glory.
When I joined Denman & Goddard I was aware they were an old and established firm, but having come across a historic photo recently, I realise just how old and established they actually are. Shown below is a photograph of the Denman & Goddard Workrooms that was taken in 1905. I can tell you that the photograph of the tailors in the room together is surprisingly similar to how it is today, although we aren’t all crammed in to such a small space! We still sit and work cross legged just as they are, and if you look closely you can also see the tailors’ dobbers and damp rags, which they used for pressing. These are all traditions that have been passed down over the generations, and we feel that it is important to continue to uphold them.
Denman & Goddard Workrooms 1905
……and that’s me, Joe Holsgrove. I have been asked to share my experiences as I embark on my tailoring career. I was employed by Denman & Goddard 18 months ago, after having passed a ‘get to know you day’ in which I met the 2 owners, Peter Day and David Cook. I also spent some time with the one of the best Coat Makers in town, Dino. My grandfather was also in the trade as a trimmer at Kilgour, French and Stanbury, so I suppose it is in my blood. It is not all work and no play though, as can be seen from the photograph below. Here you can see David Cook, a famous cricketer and myself.