Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Never mind the quality feel the width

Diagonally opposite the New Theatre on Kingston Square this hotel was built in the early 1800s restored in the 1980s and claims to be Hull's leading independent hotel. It's abuts the New Clarence that I posted about a few months back. In my search to find something (ok, anything) interesting to say about in this post I found that this was once the workshop of a Madam Clapham, described in the hotel's rather badly written website  as "Dressmaker and courtier to Royalty and nobility" (sic). I think they meant couturier but who can tell? Emily Clapham made glad rags for the rich and royal from the late 1800's 'til  she died in 1952. She's described as "Hull's Celebrated Dressmaker" though as dressmaking in Hull is something with which I'm  not overly familiar I feel unqualified to comment and will shut up right now ...


  1. I'm one of those nerds who finds any history fascinating, and either a couturier or a courtier will do.

  2. My late grandmother (born in 1901) was in her younger days a seamstress who worked for Madam Clapham for a time. She described the work there as very demanding. The standards were much, much higher than in other places she worked, but the clothes they produced were beautiful and she felt privileged to have worked there (reading between the lines I suspect my grandmother was very talented in that field, but overly modest).

    The linked article about Madam Clapham describes her as "as an imposing woman". I think my grandmother would have regarded that as something of an understatement.

    1. Thanks John for your comment. Reading between the lines I figured Madam was a tough cookie to work for.