The Mayoral Badge and Chain
These were designed by a local dignitary, T W Heelas, and manufactured by the Crown Jewellers, Garrard of 112 Regent Street, London in 1892. Money for the purchase of the items was raised by subscriptions by various inhabitants of the Town of Wokingham. The monies raised were in excess of those required for the purchase of the Badge and Chain and it was decided by Council that the excess monies be used for the purchase of a Red Woolen and Fur trimmed Mayoral Robe.
The three items were presented to the Borough Council of Wokingham at a Public Dinner held in the Town Hall on 27th May 1893.
The Mayoral Badge is of gilded sterling silver of fancy openwork lozenge shaped form; bearing foliate scroll decoration surmounted by a Crown motif; the border comprising green oak leaves and gilded acorns and applied beaded embellishment surrounding a central multi-colour enamelled shield depicting the Royal Standards with top banner strip proclaiming "Incorporated" and with three additional blue enamelled fancy shields proclaiming "1583", "1613". "1885".
These dated refer to the following events:-
"1583" Granting of Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I allowing the Town to hold certain Fayres.
"1613" Granting of Royal Charter by King James I allowing Town to form a Council and erect a Guildhall.
"1885" Granting of 'Year of Incorporate" by Queen Victoria and Installation of First Mayor of Wokingham.
On rear of Badge is a sealed shield shaped box, reputed to have been a container for aromatic herbs or snuff in the first instance. The Badge is also fitted with a fine gold safety chain to prevent the Badge being damaged when worn whilst Mayor is seated at table.
The Chain is of Gilded Sterling Silver and was designed in 1892 as a single row containing twenty eight links of the larger Shields, the second inner row containing twenty-nine smaller shields were added in 1923 so that extra names and dates could be accommodated.
The Chain is therefore comprised of fifty-seven fancy openwork quatrefoil medallions each with applied central shield inscribed with Mayor's name and period of office: all interspaced with rose and reeded spacer links and incorporating a central larger fancy openwork quatrefoil medallion with applied circular disc proclaiming "Wokingham" in blue enamel above, an applied acorn and oak leaf motif, and with a gold-down clip device mounted on the reverse.
The photograph describing the donation is an extract from the All Saints' Parish Magazine dated June 1892.