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The Story of our famous waistcoats

The Squire of Thaxted Morris Men from 1911 was Alec Hunter, who was instrumental in defining the kit worn by the team. 

The first Thaxted ‘Company’ of dancers wore costumes in the style of the Espérance Club, with baldrics and top hats for boys and pinafore dresses and bonnets for girls.  In the 1920s, the Thaxted Morris Men adopted white flannels and blue baldrics with coloured rosettes.  From 1938–52, the side wore chintz waistcoats and decorated straw Panama hats.  For a brief spell during the 1940s/50s, the men wore bleached corduroy breeches, surplus stock from the Women’s Land Army! Alec and Margaret Hunter’s son, John, later recalled that the Thaxted side wanted to distinguish themselves from the ‘Baldrick tradition of the Cotswolds’ and fashion a costume that was unique to the club. 

1947 Weave

In 1952 a new set of waistcoats were made using fabric from “Warners”, known as “Norwich Weave”, designed in 1947 by Marianne Straub as curtain fabric for RMS Caronia, a Cunard White Star Line passenger ship. A sample of this fabric is kept by the V&A.  At that time, Straub was Managing Director at Helios, but the firm later went under and in 1950 she was headhunted by Alec Hunter to join Warner & Sons where he was Production Manager.  The fabric has been re-created by Humphries (who took over Warners) in 1981 and by Beaufort Weavers in 1995. Beaufort are no longer trading in 2024. 


Terry Rose’s waistcoat: We believe this is an original 1952 waistcoat. Note that the neckline is high; this is closer to the original design by Alec Hunter, more like a military style of jacket/tunic; fastened up to the neck and wider across the shoulders.  However, over time the cut has changed, becoming more like conventional waistcoats. The long V-shaped neckline is a feature of more recent waistcoats. Some older waistcoat were modified by folding the neck corners in to look more like a waistcoat.

1981 Weave


In September 1981 20m of fabric “Norwich Weave” was made by Humphries Weavers for Thaxted Morris Men, Order #490, the fabric was hand-woven. 

Here is the Humphries fabric before the threads are cut:

1995 Weave

The fabric for the waistcoats was re-woven in 1995 by Beaufort Weavers in Hammersmith for a replacement set of jackets which are still in use today. Beaufort no longer exist.

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