I am informed, this morning by Brian Reed, Democratic Services Manager Cheshire East Council, that the Council received their Grant of Arms from the College of Heralds last Monday. The news of the Council’s official armorial status was reported to the Council’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday last (12th May 2010).
The process officially began at the meeting of the Cheshire East Council held on the 23rd July 2009 when it was formally resolved to petition for arms. At that meeting (a copy of the minutes has been uploaded to the Cheshire Heraldry web site) the members of Council were presented with the draft design which had obviously been the subject of much prior discussion with with the College of Arms.
It is my understanding, having spoken to officers of the council early in the new year, that the petition was dealt with by Patrick Dickinson, formerly Richmond Herald but now, since 6th April of this year, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms.
It’s an attractive design. The minutes of the meeting show that the the design was explained to those who were present: The garbs (wheat sheaves) are the symbols most associated with Cheshire and feature prominently in the shields of all three predecessor authorities. The combination of three crowns represents the amalgamation of the three boroughs. In the crest an Eastern crown has been used, referring to the fact that the authority covers the eastern half of the county.
The main feature of the crest is a stag, a beast which enhances the grounds of Tatton Park and there were also two gold stags which supported the arms of Macclesfield Borough Council. All four of the previous authorities had lions; a lion has therefore been made one of the two supporters in the new design.
Crewe and Nantwich’s supporters were two griffins; hence the other supporter is a griffin. This has additional symbolism because in classical mythology the griffin was the guardian of treasure. It is therefore provides an allusion to the council’s role as custodian of the district’s heritage. Both the lion and the griffin have garlands of laurel round their neck in the same fashion as the stags in Macclesfield’s coat of arms. They are shown standing on a grassy mound, emblematic of the countryside and wavy blue lines suggest rivers and waterways.
Finally, a single garb and an Eastern crown have been combined to form a simple heraldic badge which will also be used as the seal for the authority.
I look forward to seeing the final grant. Mr. Dickinson and the Members and Officers of the authority are to be congratulated on their achievement.