The Mayors Chain Hereford

The Mayor’s Chain


The Mayor’s Chain

Of all the chains I have seen it is probably not the grandest or most valuable but is by far the most unique of Mayoral chains, because it does not tell you who was the mayor in past years as chains often do, but rather tells a story, a pictorial story of the special City and the very special County we live in. It’s impossible to convey in words just how proud I am to be the Mayor of Hereford or describe the privilege I feel in wearing this chain. Words are inadequate, it has to be experienced, but proud I am.  Next time you see it worn in public, take a closer look at it, but if you are interested read on and I will tell the story.

The chain itself was gifted to the City in 1876 and originally consisted of 17 medallions, later a further 7 medallions were added, the most recent being that of the SAS regiment. The badge of office which is the large medallion at its centre was gifted by Edwin Edward Bosley J.P. who held the office of Mayor of Hereford in 1871-2, 1872-3- and 1873-4 and also in 1893-4. Let’s just dwell upon this a moment; the origin of the coat of arms dates back as far as 1189 to Richard the Lion Heart ,who gave us the right to use his shield for the City of Hereford. This was later  augmented by Charles the 1st who gave the City it’s motto “ Invictae Fidelitatis Praemium “  which translates from  Latin as  The reward for faithfulness unconquered. This important episode in Hereford’s history relates to the siege of Hereford by the ten Scottish regiments aligned to the parliamentary army of Oliver Cromwell.

Quote from Richard Johnson Town Clerk 1882:

“ Know ye, therefore that I, the said Sir Edward Walker, Knight, Garter principle King at Arms of Englishmen, by the power and authority annexed to my office of Garter and confirmed to me by His Majesty’s letters patent under the Great Seal of England, and likewise his special command and direction, have devised and set forth such addition and augmentation of arms with crest, supporters, and motto, unto and for the said city, and by whom it was besieged, viz:-

“ about the ancient arms of the city being gules, three lions passant gardant argent,:on a bordure azure cross saltires or, Scottish crosses argent, supported by two lions rampant ardent , each collared azure, and on each collar three buckles gold, in reference to the armies of the rebellious general Leslie Earl of Leven; and for the crest, on a helm and torse of the collars mantled gules, double argent, a lion passant argent , holding in his right paw a sword erected proper, hilted and pommelled,; and in an escarole underneath this motto   Invictae Fidelitatis Praemium

In witness thereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed the seal of my office this sixteenth day of September in the one and twentieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Charles, by the grace of god, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, etc. and in the year of our lord 1685. “

This is only a small part of the rich history and heritage of Hereford, our historic Cathedral City.

The small medallions depict the icons which say so much about our unique City and County, in no particular order as follows:

The Cathedral Chapter (The shield of the Dean and Chapter, presented by George Herbert M.A. Dean of Hereford 1867) our fantastic spiritual and historic centre, home of the Mappa Mundi, the chained Library, perhaps the finest example of the Magna Carta, all in our Cathedral, the most important destination for visitors to our City.

The next medallion is Mistletoe (Presented in 1871 by John Lamb H.M. Coroner), a parasitic plant which grows so abundantly on fruit trees, of which we have abundance in Herefordshire. Mistletoe is recognised all over the world, particularly in Japan where it is worn by brides as a lucky charm, rather than in this country, to steal a kiss at Christmas time.

The next one represents our one time excursion into heavy industry, A rolling Mill ( Presented by Henry Wiggin and Co. in 1971 to mark the Mayoralty of W.R.B.Griffin  J.P. ) Henry Wiggin moved from Birmingham to Hereford in !958 and for which we saw a massive expansion of house building at Newton Farm and Tupsley to accommodate it’s growing workforce, at its prime employing some 6,000 people, later to be known as Special Metals and indeed pioneered powder metallurgy used extensively in the exploration of space, and space age industry.

Apples is the emblem on the next medallion (given in 1861 by Joseph Carless J.P.)and represents our famous Cider making industry, probably best known brand being Bulmers Strongbow, though there are hundreds of smaller cider makers spread all over the County, most well-known of those being Westons Cider

The next one is the emblem of a pear blossom (Presented by James Rankin J.P. in 1867) and represents the other widely made aperitif Perry also a very popular product from our orchards in Herefordshire.

At the centre bottom of the chain and the medallion from which the badge of office hangs is the Monarch, our very own Queen Elizabeth (Presented by Mayor Albert Edward Farr 1952-3 and who was also Mayor 1953-4, to mark the Coronation year). Centre stage and representing our Civic and Historical heritage, the glue that binds us together as a nation.

Following that is the emblem of an acorn (presented in 1863 by Evan Pateshull J.P. )representing the mighty oak tree and reminding us that once the county was abundantly covered with Oak forests, now only remains mighty specimens to remind us of their importance.

The next medallion is a wheat sheaf (presented by Mayor John Gwynne James 1867), representing our other major industry, agriculture, the tilling of the land, and the rural nature of our County.

The next medallion, Presented by Mayor Janet Ainsley in 1955, is the old house often referred to as the black and white house in our High Street , the most iconic representation of a bygone age of architecture that gives such interest to the millions of tourists that have visited our City over the years. Indeed the black and white trail as it is known is almost a pilgrimage to this bygone age and represents the industry that brings the most money into the county. Tourism is the greatest contributor to our economy, bringing in £510 million pounds in 2011, the last recorded year, by far the biggest contributor to our economy by a margin.

Hops is the emblem featured on the next medallion ( Presented in1867 by Charles Lingen J.P. ), the special ingredient that is grown extensively in Herefordshire, the most essential ingredient for real ale

Top at the left shoulder sits the medallion depicting The Bishops Shield, gifted by The Venerable Lord Saye and Sele canon in 1840 and Arch Deacon of Hereford 1863 )

The second row of medallions start with the emblem of the Royal Air Force (presented in 1959 to mark the granting of the freedom of the city of Hereford ), stationed at Credenhill for 54 years until the late 80’s when the station was closed, and gave way for it’s present occupation by our famous SAS regiment.

The Hereford Bull ( presented in 1924 by Mayor W.G.C Britten in memory of Thomas Jefferson an ancestor and co-founder of the Hereford Breed ), that world famous white faced Hereford Cattle known all over the world is the most iconic symbol of Hereford and is featured on this next medallion.

Centre point of the second row of the chain is that of the Lion which surmounts the coat of arms (presented in 1874 by Mayor Orlando Shellard )The Lion has long been associated with Hereford as it was Richard the 1st who granted Hereford its first Royal Charter in 1189 and the City Coat of Arms has at its centre the shield of Richard 1st . Hereford has always been loyal to the crown.  Queen Elizabeth 1st awarded us so many privileges, most conspicuously our Cap of Maintenance and the title Right Worshipful Mayor ,one of only ten in the nation, and Hereford being the senior Right Worshipful, and King Charles whom we protected against Oliver Cromwell and for which he granted us our very special coat of arms.

The next medallion bears the emblem of a salmon ( presented by the first woman to be elected Mayor of Hereford, Louise Luard  in 1929 ), still a cherished catch on the wye, though not at all as abundant as it was in years gone by.

Top of the row is the medallion representing our military heritage KLSI ( 1960 to mark the granting of the Freedom of the City of Hereford), Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, Formerly the Herefordshire Rifle Volunteers and before they were disbanded in 1908, the Herefordshire Militia, now  the 6th Rifles Brigade,

Finally and hanging from the centre of the second row of medallions is the last one added in 1981 to mark the granting of the Freedom of the City of Hereford and is the emblem of perhaps the most famous army regiment in the world, the Special Air Service Regiment, which made its home in Hereford after it’s inception in the desert operations  of the middle east in world war two. Then known as  Bradbury Lines , which has become the Saxon Gate housing estate

There are some duplicated medallions which hang upon the back of the Mayor. Hops (presented by Joseph Carless Town Clerk  in1968 ) Wheat ( presented in 1857 by Mayor Francis Lewis Bodenham) Acorn ( presented in 1863 by Revd. Archer Clive Chief Steward) Perry (presented in 1874 by  George Clive M.P.) Apples (presented in 1870 by Mayor Thomas Llanwarne) Mistletoe (presented in  1872 by Henry Graves Bull J.P. ) and centre at the back is the medallion depicting the Library Building( 1972 the gift of the Hereford teachers to commemorate the Mayoralty of Alderman M.H. Thomas )

That is the wonderful story of the chain

If you would like a more detailed history of our traditions and artefacts we have some splendid booklets available. Please send a small donation for my Mayoral charity to cover postage and I will send them to you. Don’t forget to enclose your postal contact details.

My Mayoral charities this year support Riding for the Disabled and the Alzheimer’s Society. I am sure you will agree, two very worthy causes

Cllr. Charles Nicholls Right Worshipful, The Mayor of Hereford    2015-16

Anthony Powers


Belmont Road Hereford

Anthony powers response, on behalf of IOC, to the public consultation was submitted for the 29 Jan deadline.

  • This response reflects It’s Our County’s consistently expressed views on local transport, and the transport and movement policy priorities in the party’s 2015 election manifesto.
  • As the largest opposition group on Herefordshire Council we have chosen to make our response independently of the online questionnaire format: the requirement to rank priorities (with comments on the chosen ranking) does not sufficiently allow either challenge to some of the underlying assumptions, recognition of the interdependence of many of the declared objectives, or opportunity fully to propose positive alternatives to elements of the

To view the full document click Here.

Liz Harvey Ledbury

Tories reject IOC amendment for local arts and culture.

Tories reject IOC amendment on economic growth from investing in local arts and culture
Despite a healthy local economy being the county’s joint number one priority, Conservative councilors were unanimous in their rejection of a proposal from It’s Our County to invest £60,000 in Arts and Cultural projects to support the county’s economic growth, tourism and City of Culture 2021 bid.
Cllr Liz Harvey, Deputy Leader of It’s Our County, proposed using savings generated from the fall in the council’s own electricity and energy bills to provide a small pump-priming investment fund to support projects for the county’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.
Cllr Harvey said “Five years ago the council was spending almost £450 per head of population each year in supporting tourism to the county. Many local businesses depend on the visitor economy and the money brought in each year by tourists is in excess of £500 million. Other cities bidding for City of Culture have made sure local arts projects keep their funding: it’s disappointing our council can’t see the worth of its investment or back its words of support with action. This proposal equates to less than 30p per person – but it would enable arts groups to secure more than £600,000 in external funding from other sources.”
Seconding the proposal, Cllr Jenny Bartlett (Green Party) said “Arts projects attract visitors to Herefordshire. Our creative industries have a track record of securing significant outside funding – but they depend on local authority support as a vote of confidence in their projects, for this to happen. There’s no point this administration investing in building projects to house cultural events and then not providing the seed funding to enable these events to take place.”
Conservative Councillors argued that without a commitment to provide longer term support to these projects – a commitment they were not prepared to make – it was pointless to even begin such an initiative. The proposal was defeated 21 votes to 29 with all Tory councilors voting against the initiative.

Charles Nichols

Charles Nicholls Visits Rotherwas ROF Project

Charles Nicholls ROF

14th February 2016

Hereford Mayor  and IOC Councillor Charles Nicholls had a great day at Rotherwas on Saturday, helping to launch this nostalgic journey and to record for posterity such an important era for many of us. His mother filled shells there in the war years, so very poignant for him.

Tracy Bowes & Mark Dykes

Belmont Valentines event a huge success.

Tracy Bowes & Mark Dykes

14th February 2016

It’s Our County Councillors are well known for doing things in their communities, here County Councillor for Belmont Rural Tracy Bowes and City Councillor for Newton Farm Mark Dykes, can be seen waiting on 34 local residents who attended the Community Valentine’s event at Belmont Community Centre. Well done to all the trustees and volunteers of South Wye Community Association for making the event a great success.


Liz Harvey Ledbury

Council of Europe Monitoring Committee meeting in Paris


12 February 2015

Its Our County Deputy party leader Liz Harvey is attending the Council of Europe Monitoring Committee meeting in Paris.

It is the largest attendance at the committee meeting with more than 80 delegates present. with some contentious issues to be discussed.

The committee monitors the health of democracy across 47 member states of the Council of Europe. The committee was discussing follow-up reports from monitoring visits in Georgia, Moldova and Armenia. Reports on monitoring activity on the Slovak Republic and in France.

The Slovak Republic did not agree with a number of the recommendations made by rapporteurs for their monitoring visits either. Hungarian representatives were also upset about cross-border issues, particularly w.r.t. movement (or not) of recent refugees.

Liz commented that “Compliance with the European Charter of Local Self-government will be reviewed in the Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey and Italy and election observations in Ukraine and Albania will be reviewed”.

Explanations on the complexity of local government in Italy were received. They seem to be having some similar local area border redrawing issues to France at the regional level.

Liz comments “The situation in Azerbaijan and local/regional human rights will be examined.”

Needless to say the Russian delegation is at full complement and is expected to take an ‘active’ part in the meeting.

Sharon Michael

Cllr Sharon Michael – Comments on Budget 2016-17 SHYPP

5th February 2015

The amendment I proposed, for £200k in one-off funding to be removed from the Hereford Relief Road budget and used to fund SHYPP (Supported Housing and Young Persons Project) instead, was never intended to be a further row about the merits of the Cabinet’s road building schemes. It simply is the most logical place to take a small amount of funding from to support an extremely valuable service, which has had it’s funding from the Council completely cut with next to no notice.

I’m disappointed I had no opportunity to come back and clarify this in the Council Chambers as rules of debate never gave me the opportunity to reply.

I had to identify where the money would come from for the proposed one-off funding grant and I explained that this should come from the Council’s financial reserves. Reserves the current Conservative administration wish to keep for the Hereford Relief Road.

I appreciate that the council offered their support to the Supported Housing and Young Persons Project and are being proactive with regards to  promising to help SHYPP to secure alternative funding but at the end of the day that’s all they are so far; promises and assurances.

My amendment would of given SHYPP enough secured funding to enable them time to plan their future financial strategy for next year, now that all their Council funding has been withdrawn at such short notice.

Anthony Powers

Anthony Powers – Opening Budget Speech Feb 2016-17 Debate

5th February 2015

Once again we are presented with a budget that gives almost no scope at all for us to propose the big changes that we, It’s Our County, would make to create ‘Our Herefordshire’.

Our two amendments, whilst vital for the services concerned, only account for a tiny fraction of the overall budget. Those amendments do not mean that we necessarily agree with the rest of the budget. And yes, we know that the ever-rising costs of our statutory care services suck in money like a black hole: unless the council can do all it can to enable people not to need those services. What most people value – like our libraries – and what they depend on the most, is the entire range of other services.

Speaking of what people value, it was Einstein – he of E=mc2 (so he knew a bit about equations) – who said: “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count. Everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” So let’s remember the values which count for our residents, and not just what this budget can count.

Any budget – whether a household’s or Herefordshire Council’s – is about making choices. This administration continues to make poor choices – in its revenue and capital programmes – and continues to overlook the smart choices which would enable and empower our local communities and our partners to survive and prosper through the continuing financial storm. This is another ‘eyes down’ budget from an ‘eyes down’ administration. Let’s look up and around instead; and let’s do better.

For example, with our ideas and smarter choices the council would already be:

  • Supporting the key roles of tourism and culture in economic growth
  • Working with city, market town and rural parish councils, maximising their capability to co-operate and share funding to retain and support local services
  • Keeping the county farms estate in public ownership
  • Prioritising an eastern river crossing in Hereford, as supported by common sense, logic, the City Council – and even the local Conservative MP(!)
  • Benefitting from the in-county waste contract solution that was on offer as a viable alternative to the costly and inefficient out-of-county incinerator in East Worcestershire
  • Extending the local ‘Funding Circle’ concept to maximise the council’s investments in-county
  • Building social housing
  • Delivering Hereford’s Urban Village
  • Adding to our stake-holding in West Mercia Energy
  • Maximising income generation from services

So ‘Our Herefordshire’ would now look very different.

  • We would have robust policies to control industrial agriculture, threats from fracking, and the disastrous pollution levels in our rivers.
  • We would properly communicate, consult, listen, and act on what we hear
  • We would work with all our parishes, and invest in the county – not the stock market – to face present and future challenges.
  • We would have a thriving, community-owned, county farms estate, playing a key part in our food and drink industry
  • We would have a comprehensive ‘bottom-up’, not ‘top-down’, way of working

In short, and in conclusion, as far as this budget is concerned…“if we were you – the administration – we wouldn’t be starting from here”.