Reprinted from Newsletter 129, dated 2009 August

Medallions and mayoral vanity

F. N. Carling

Some 40 years ago I found a similar medallion in a desk drawer, bearing the heads of the king and queen, the town coat of arms and mayor’s name, commemorating a visit to Middleton (or passing through) early last century. It too had a hole roughly pierced in it. As there are 22 Middletons in my English atlas (not all large), I had to resort to the librarian of Windsor Castle to establish which area and towns HM had visited at the time. They revealed that the visit had been to Lancashire, and I was able to pinpoint the town.

The librarian also provided photocopies of similar medallions depicted in a catalogue (Spinks, I believe)—which indicated that there are collectors of these objects.

The town clerk of Middleton, Lancs, was pleased to accept my find, to place in the town’s archive. It would appear it was common practice for town councils to celebrate a royal occasion by presenting such memorabilia to each householder or ratepayer. No doubt there was a bit of mayoral vanity to boot.

Aluminium was not a common metal and somewhat a novelty; usefully, it was soft and dies could be made cheaply.

Glastonbury council’s minutes of business before 1911 would record the council’s intentions.

F. N. Carling
Brunel Glastonbury Care Home
Pike Close, BA6 9PZ