THE STORY BEHIND THE BUTCHERS APRON
Why do butchers wear those navy blue and white striped aprons?
This is a tradition of our meat trade today, just as the straw boater is the mark of the British butcher.
Years ago the Butchers Guild, which began somewhere around the tenth century, had a blue and silver crest.
These colours were reproduced in the butchers' aprons with the difference that the rather strong blue, known as butchers' blue, was darkened to navy because this colour did not show up the stains so clearly.
If he wore a broad stripe, he was a master butcher. If the broad stripe stood alone, he had come up the hard way, learning his trade as he worked at it. But if the broad stripe was topped by a narrow stripe, he was a master butcher who had been apprenticed to his trade.
An apprentice wore an apron with a narrow stripe until he became a master, and if he then undertook to train apprentices himself, he was entitled to wear an apron sporting three stripes - a broad one signifying his mastership, sandwiched between two narrow ones signifying his own apprenticeship and the fact that he was now teaching apprentices.