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Tameside Coat of Arms

Tameside Coat of Arms

Official Heraldic Description

Shield: Per bend Or and Vert a Bend barry Wavy Argent and Azure between in chief a Rose Gules barbed and seeded proper and in a garb Or.

Crest: Out of a Mural Crown Gules a demi-Lion guardant Or resting the sinister forepaw on an Escutcheon of the Arms, Mantled Gules doubled Or.

Supporters: On the dexter a lion Or gorged with a Chain pendent therefrom a Mullet pierced Sable and on the sinister male Griffin Gules armed beaked irradiated and gorged with a Chain pendent therefrom a Cogwheel Or.

Motto: "Industry and Integrity"

Explanatory Note:

The lower half of the shield depicts the gold wheatsheaf emblem of Cheshire on a green background. This is separated by a blue and white band representing the River Tame from the upper half of the shield which contains the red rose of Lancashire on a gold background.

The Crest above the shield has been drawn from the fundamental elements of the Arms of the Greater Manchester County.

The left-hand supporter is a gold lion with a black pierced star, or rowel, hanging from a chain around its neck. The right-hand supporter is a red griffin, used to depict dynamism and progress, and hanging from a chain around its neck is a gold cogwheel indicating the industrial aspects of Tameside


The Mace of the Council

IMage of the ceremonial mace

The ceremonial mace was used early as a symbol of authority of military commanders.

The earliest ceremonial maces were practical weapons intended to protect the King's person, borne by the Serjeants at Arms, a royal bodyguard established in France.

The Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Norman invasion of Britain of 1066, depicts Bishop Odu who was the Bishop of Bayeux, riding on horseback carrying a large mace, not too dissimilar to the ones in use today.

The Mace would have been quite a formidable weapon, this being used for close combat fighting and personal protection.

By the 14th century, these Serjeants' maces had started to become increasingly decorative, encased in precious metals. The Mace as a real weapon went out of use with the disappearance of heavy armour. Thus they began to be the symbol of power and authority.

The history of the civic mace (carried by the Serjeants-at-Arms) begins around the middle of the 13th century, though no examples from that period remain today. At the time, ornamented civic maces were considered an infringement of one of the privileges of the King's Serjeants, who alone deserved to bear maces enriched with costly metals. However, the Serjeants of London later gained this privilege, as did those of York, Norwich and Chester. Records exist of maces covered with silver in use at Exeter in 1387-1388; several other cities and towns subsequently acquired silver maces, and the 16th century saw almost a universal use.

Early in the 15th century the flanged end of the mace (the head of the war mace) was carried uppermost, with the small button bearing the royal arms in the base. By the beginning of the Tudor period, however, the blade-like flanges, originally made for offence, degenerated into mere ornaments, while the increased importance of the end with the royal arms (afterwards enriched with a cresting) resulted in the reversal of the position. The custom of carrying the flanged end upward did not die out at once: a few maces, dated from the end of the 15th century, were made to be carried both ways.

Craftsmen often pierced and decorated the flanged ends of the maces of this period beautifully. These flanges gradually became smaller, and by the 16th or early 17th century had developed into pretty projecting scroll-brackets and other ornaments, which remained in vogue until about 1640. The silver mace-heads were mostly plain, with a cresting of leaves or flowers in the 15th and 16th centuries. In the reign of James I of England they began to be engraved and decorated with heraldic devices and similar ornamentation.

As the custom of having serjeants' maces began to die out about 1650, the large maces borne before the Mayor or Town bailiffs came into general use. Thomas Maundy functioned as the chief maker of maces during the English Commonwealth. He made the mace for the House of Commons in 1649. This mace is still in use today, though without the original head. The original head, which was not engraved with regal symbols, was replaced by one with regal symbols at the time of the Restoration. Oliver Cromwell referred to the House of Commons mace as "A fool's bauble" when he dissolved the Rump Parliament on 20th April 1653.

Today the mace is used mainly as a ceremonial object. It has become the Mayor’s symbol of Authority. It is used by The Civic Mayor of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, on all major and civic/ceremonial events throughout the Borough and beyond.

Although, since the 1st April 1974 the Council has the possible use of several maces which were acquired through the formation of the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, the Hyde Corporation Mace is used. This being the most ornate and decorative of the maces possessed.

The Hyde mace is silver gilt. It measures approx 42 inches (3.feet 6inches) (1.06.m) from top crown to base.

It was presented to the Corporation of the Borough of Hyde in 1936.

It carries the wording:

In memory of Thomas Gair.
First Baron Ashton of Hyde and Freeman of The Borough.
This mace was presented to the Corporation on the 10th February 1936
By his son Thomas Henry Raymond.
Second Baron Ashton of Hyde.

On the reverse it reads:

George Henry Douglas Pickthall
Roger Rose
Town Clerk.

The mace appears to have been manufactured in approximately 1935 by the company of Walker and Hall Electro-work Howard Street Sheffield. It would have been a private commission on behalf of the family.

The mace is decorated with the coat of arms of the First Baron Ashton of Hyde, Thomas Gair and on the reverse side is displayed the coat of arms of the Borough of Hyde bearing the motto, Onward.

Both the designs are enamelled. It carries varied and ornate embellishments which include acorn and oak leaves and embossed designs depicting items relating to the administration of law and order, justice, servitude and medical. It is adorned with eight hangers or brackets, 4 at its base and 4 set just below the crown.

The company of Walker and Hall was founded in 1845 in Sheffield by George Walker. Henry Hall joined in 1853 and the Company was renamed Walker and Hall. In 1960 the company expanded to form British Silverware Ltd, which incorporated the companies of Mappin and Webb and Elkington and Co Birmingham.

The mace held within the Mayors office is not on general display for public viewing.


Contact information

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0161 342 3087
The Civic Mayor's Secretary
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