Mayor’s Column 13 September 2018

“Time will tell how trustworthy you are” or “Time Trieth Troth” is the Latin motto beneath the shield on the Somerset coat of arms.  The Mayor of Frome’s badge of office (Mayor’s Chain) is a replica of that coat of arms in enamelled and gilded solid silver.

The Chamber of Commerce and the then well-known Frome jewellers T H Vincent presented the badge to the Frome Urban District Council on 6th December 1954.  In 1957, a gilt chain was added, provided by J.W. Singer and Sons Ltd., and subscriptions from Members of the Council.

Many people ask me about the imagery on the Mayor’s chain.  The shield is black (sable), with two gold teasels at the base, which is a reminder of our connection with the cloth industry.  The ermine chevron is a reference to Bishop Ken who was buried at St. John’s Church.  The gold chevron is from the Leversedge arms.  Above the chevron are two willows (sallow), a reference to the forest of Selwood.  The crest above the shield is a closed helmet (helm), which signifies that the arms belong to the local Council, rather than an individual.  On top of the helm is a gold Saxon crown, reference to Frome’s connection with Saxon kings.  The Red Dragon (gules) rising from the crown is the Wessex Dragon.  It holds a gold crosier, the shepherd’s crook associated with bishops, and refers to the Abbey of Cirencester.

The Vincent family also presented the consort’s chain and badge in 1992.  The Deputy Mayor’s badge is silver with an enamelled coat of arms and dates from 2006.  More information can be found on a small plaque in the excellent Roundhouse gallery at the Black Swan Arts complex.  Feel free to take a closer look at the chain when you next see me out and about.