Thursday 26 October 2017

Whimsical Wilmslow

It seems that Wilmslow Town Council is seeking "a new identity" with Members no longer sure that their armorial bearings serve the purpose of identifying the town. This is a great pity and most probably results from the usual lack of understanding of how armorial bearings can be displayed. They are apparently (according to one Councillor) "quite a cheerful little thing' with some history behind it it doesn't stand out very well - particularly compared to other logos, such as the Cheshire East Council one." I have to say that to state that the Cheshire East logo stands out more than the arms of Wilmslow really is missing the point of heraldry; the only reason the Cheshire East logo is recognisable as being the logo of Cheshire East is because the name Cheshire East is written all over it!

In these days of austerity, when many Councils would find it hard to justify the expenditure involved in the petition for a new grant of arms from Her Majesty's Officers of Arms, surely it is appropriate for the electorate to challenge the unnecessary expenditure which will inevitable arise in the commission of a new logo?

Let us remind ourselves of the history behind this "cheerful little thing".

Granted on June 21, 1951 by The College of Arms and therefore having the authority of the Crown behind them, the arms are based on those of the Cheshire family of Fitton - Argent on a Bend Azure three Garbs Or (derived from those of the Earldom of Chester). The wavy bends were added for difference and also allude to the rivers Bollin and Dean.

The arms of Fitton.

The bear's head is derived from the crest of the Beretons and the silver estoile is from the Handforth arms, a reference to the families that held the Manor of Handforth. The crown is from the insignia of the Greg family, who operated the earliest cotton mills at Styal, refered to by the wreath of cotton.

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