New trail celebrates Beatrix Potter's links to Gloucester
By David Wood | 6th October 2023
A new trail celebrating the publication of Beatrix Potter's The Tailor of Gloucester 120 years ago will be unveiled on Gloucester's historic Westgate Street on Friday, October 20.
A set of 10 brass plaques depicting the tailor mice, re-drawn using the original illustrations by local artist Ella Daniel Lowe, will be hidden along the high street waiting to be discovered.
The Tailor of Gloucester was based on a real tailor, John Pritchard, who worked in Westgate Street in the late 1800s.
The story goes that a waistcoat Pritchard had left unfinished was completed by apprentices one Sunday morning. They had stayed at the shop rather than going home with hangovers after spending Saturday night at the pub.
They finished it all except one buttonhole and left a note saying: 'No more twist' (thread).
Too embarrassed to confess to their work, Pritchard, from that point on, advertised his goods as 'completed at night by the fairies'.
Beatrix Potter, who visited the city on several occasions and enjoyed sketching the historic buildings, changed the fairies to mice, and the tale of the Tailor of Gloucester was born.
Rebecca Barrett, South West regional director at Historic England, said: "Beatrix Potter is loved all over the world and is still popular with children today. I'm delighted that, through the Cathedral Quarter High Street Heritage Action Zone, we are marking the anniversary of the publication of The Tailor of Gloucester by celebrating its origins on Westgate Street."
Visitors will be able to pick up a trail leaflet from the Cathedral Quarter Makers Market or House of the Tailor of Gloucester Museum on October 20 and 21 to receive a prize for spotting all 10 plaques.
The trail has been devised and delivered by the Cathedral Quarter High Street Heritage Action Zone Partnership as the first of a series of improvements to the public areas of Westgate Street, which also includes new seating and planting schemes.
The scheme is funded by Historic England and the Cathedral Quarter Partnership and aims to preserve and repair Westgate's historic buildings and celebrate its heritage with cultural events and activities.
Copyright 2023 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.