Role of the Mayor
Pages in Role of the Mayor
4. The Mayor’s Badge
The Mayor’s Badge bears the Coat of Arms of the Borough which was granted in 1975. It is a combination of the elements of the Reigate shield, the device of Banstead and symbols of the parishes of Horley and Salfords and Sidlow. The Mayor’s Badge weighs 3.5 ounces and was presented in 1975 by Legal and General when Reigate and Banstead merged.
The shield has a background of blue and yellow chequers taken from the arms of the de Warenne family. William de Warenne accompanied William the Conqueror from Normandy and was the first Earl of Surrey and the builder of Reigate Castle. Against this pattern is the Reigate Castle Gate and oak tree.
The top of the shield has a black background as in the original Reigate arms but on which is a gold woolpack between two sprigs of oak. The woolpack or woolsack refers to the former importance of sheep rearing and wool production in Banstead. The oak sprigs represent the two parishes of Horley and Salfords and Sidlow.
Above the shield is a helmet with a wreath and draped cloth also in the blue and gold of the de Warennes. On top of the helmet is a pilgrim referring to the ancient route along the escarpment of the North Downs by Banstead and Reigate, the Pilgrims Way.
On either side of the shield is a white lion and a white horse. The lion comes from the Arms of the de Mowbray family who were briefly Lords of the Manor of Banstead in the 12th century. The horse refers to the tradition of horse racing on Banstead Downs in the 17th century and immortalised in the Oaks race of Epsom Derby Friday. On the necks of the animals are wreaths again in the blue and yellow. On the shoulders are roundels of blue and white waves indicating the River Mole in Horley and Sidlow.
The roundel on the lion has a tanner’s (or flaying) knife, the emblem of St Bartholomew, the patron of Horley, who is said to have been flayed or skinned before he was crucified. The roundel on the shoulder of the horse has a sallow leaf, a reference to Salfords, which is derived from Sallow Ford. The Sallow tree is commonly known as Pussy Willow.
The motto "Never wonne ne never shall" is taken from an ancient couplet and refers to the defeat of the Danes by King Alfred in a battle in the Vale of Holmesdale in the 9th century, now remembered in the name Battlebridge. Reigate Castle has also been known as Holmesdale Castle. A translation is "Never conquered nor never shall".