Fishporter's hat of Billingsgate Market; 1930-1969
3 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm

Fishporter's hat of Billingsgate Market; 1930-1969


© Museum of London

Full image caption

This is a typical fish porter's hat. It is flat-topped so that cases of fish could rest safely on top of the head. The rims along the side direct any leaking water and fish guts away from the porter's face and onto the ground behind him. The hat is made of leather and was worn with a white smock. Such hats are rarely worn now, but the smock remains a characteristic part of the Billingsgate landscape.
Fish arrives at Billingsgate market by sea, rail, road or air. The backbreaking work of the fish porters makes the market function. Traditionally there were 240 porters at Billingsgate, all of whom started their day at 5 am, moving the fish samples from the delivery vehicles to the merchants' stands. Later they would move more fish from supply lorries to customers' vans.




1930 AD - 1969 AD

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