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The Borough Arms and Regalia: Ashford Borough Council

The Borough Arms and Regalia

The Borough ArmsThe Ashford Borough Regalia

The borough arms was designed to symbolise the general character of the district.

Against the shield's background of gold, for the richness and fertility of the garden of England, are three sprigs of ash representing the three former Ashford areas - East Ashford Rural, West Ashford Rural and Ashford Urban. Each sprig has five leaves to indicate the five areas comprising the Ashford Borough which include the three areas above, along with Tenterden Rural District and the old borough of Tenterden.

A wavy line suggesting the rivers of the area, i.e. the Stour, Rother and Beult, borders the top of the shield. The gold and white lion is taken from the ancient arms of the Cinque Ports and indicates the historical importance of Tenterden as a member of the confederation of the Cinque Ports.

Above the shield is the closed helm proper to civic arms, with its twisted crest-wreath and decorative mantling or tournament cloak. These are white and red, the colours of the Kent County Council shield, and of the device of Ashford Urban District Council. Red is also the colour of the field of the Tenterden arms.

On the wreath is the crest which symbolises the main characteristic industries of this part of Kent. The white horse of Kent holds in its mouth a leaved hop-cone and rests a hoof on the driving wheel of the locomotive Invicta, which was a feature of the Ashford Urban District Council device.

The motto 'With Stronger Faith' is a phrase adapted from a poem by Richard Lovelace, the 17th century poet and a member of the Lovelace family of Bethersden in the former West Ashford Rural District. This phrase appropriately expresses the aspirations and determination of the borough council.

The Arms were designed by H Ellis Tomlinson, M.A., F.H.S.

The Borough Regalia

In 1974 two local professional silversmiths, Andrew Bray and Robin Beresford designed and manufactured Ashford's civic regalia.  These items are comprised of:

  • The mace and stand
  • The Mayor's badge, chain of office and Deputy Mayor's badge
  • The Mayoress and Deputy Mayoress's badges and light chains and cases for the insignia

All the pieces are hand made in sterling standard silver, parcel gilt and leather. The design reflects the amalgamation of the former five urban and rural districts to form the present borough council.

The regalia was commissioned by the following individuals and businesses:

  • The mace - Charter Consolidated Services Limited
  • The Mayor's robe - Kent Woolgrowers Limited
  • The Mayor's hat - Ashford Branch N.F.U
  • The Mayor's gloves and Jabot - Ashford Cattle Market Company
  • The Mayor's badge - The Geering Family
  • The Mayor's chain of office - Ashford Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Mayor's jabot - Mrs. Grace Wratten, Kennington
  • Deputy Mayor's badge and ribbon - Mr. and Mrs. H. Gibbs
  • Mayoress' badge and light chain - Mr. and Mrs Colin Ross-Steward
  • Deputy Mayoress' badge and light chain - British Rail, S.E. Division, British Rail Engineering Limited
  • Macebearer's robe, hat and gloves - Wye College
  • Lady Mayor's hat - Soroptimists International of Ashford

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