For Sunday Miscellany on RTÉ Radio 1: Mae Leonard on the ornamental accessory that could be a suffragette's lethal weapon... Listen to The Power of Hatpins above.
My grandmother always wore a hat. There were four or five models of different colours and styles hanging on the hooks of her hallstand. Some were everyday felt hats, others were for Sundays and there was a finely plaited straw one for summer.
I remember her squinting at the tiny mirror on the hallstand when she pulled on a hat, tweaked it into position and then ran the tips of her fingers along the crown for the perfect position to stab it with a hatpin. Then she'd turn to me and say – "A girl’s best friend is her hatpin." She had a hedgehog of hatpins stuck into a special holder sitting on a shelf below the mirror. Some were simple beads on the pins but others were more ornate...
Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio 1, Sunday mornings at 9.10 am - listen back here.