Friday 28 October 2011

A well travelled wolf with winning ways.

Way back in September 2008 I helped Cheshire born and bred motor cycle racer Rob Dixon to design a Cheshire emblem for his bike and he promised to send me a photo of the emblem being used in anger. I'm pleased to report that today I received a very pleasant email from Rob accompanied by that very photo.

Dixon logo

In his email Rob said that "the bike is a 1979 Laverda  which is raced in Endurance events in Italy with the Italian Laverda team. It's a long drive from Cheshire to get to the events but the weather makes it worth the effort. The picture was taken at the Varano circuit, close to Bologna, last weekend. I'm afraid it retired from the race due to technical problems . Last year we won the 500cc championship so some you win , some you lose. The wolf's head emblem often attracts comments and I'm always proud to say it's a symbol of Cheshire. Italians like that sort of stuff. I write for Classic Bike magazine and the bike is featured quite prominently in the current issue proudly displaying it's Cheshire connection."

Close up of Rob Dixon’s Cheshire emblem


Wednesday 26 October 2011

How bizarre!

Quite near to where I live is the rather attractive tourist town of Much Wenlock, which, because of its history, is entwined closely with The Olympics; some of my web log readers may be aware that next year the Olympic Games are to be held in London and The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games ( LOCOG) has designed a toy mascot and called it "Wenlock".

It has today come to my attention that Much Wenlock Town Council, successors to the ancient Borough of Wenlock, in Shropshire has copyrighted it's seal and intends to licence its use to local organisations who wish to use it.

It seems that the Town Council felt it necessary to ask the LOCOG for permission to copyright the seal because it contained the word "Wenlock"! Surely the LOCOG is the one who should have asked the Town Council for permission? I certainly wouldn't have asked them for permission to include a word which has been used on the Town Seal since the fifteenth century and is part of the actual name of the town ... in fact, I think it should be quite the reverse.

The Town Clerk has also stated that "Use of the Seal is free to not for profit organisations. When the draft charging policy went to Council for approval councillors could not agree on the charges. Some said it should be more and some said we shouldn't let anyone use the seal."

I am firmly in the shouldn't let anyone use the seal camp. I find it quite bizarre that a corporate body should be allowing anyone to use its seal. A seal (which can feature a coat of arms but is not to be confused with a coat of arms) is the legal signature of the corporation and is used as means of authentication. It is a mark or symbol which is attached to a legal document. If I were a resident of Much Wenlock, I would be protesting in the strongest of terms that it is not at all proper for the Town Council to license the use of its seal to anyone. This is an ancient seal - I think that the original users of it would know full well what the purpose of a seal is.

I have suggested most strongly to the Much Wenlock Town Clerk that it is not proper to take this course of action.

College of Arms Newsletter April 2024

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