The Bilston Mayoral Regalia has made a welcome return to Bilston Craft Gallery after being audited and valued by City of Wolverhampton Council.

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The regalia includes the ceremonial mace, the chains and badges of office, and other civic gifts given to the town.

Bilston gained the right to elect a mayor in 1933 when they became a Borough.  After 1966, when Bilston became a part of Wolverhampton, the town no longer elected a separate mayor. The Bilston Mayoral Regalia was preserved in the Civic Centre in Wolverhampton where members of the public could view it by appointment in the Mayor's Parlour.

This important part of Bilston's heritage was brought back to the town by popular demand.

Bilston Craft Gallery will host the display, making it readily accessible to visitors.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "We're thrilled to have the Bilston Mayoral Regalia back in Bilston Craft Gallery.

"It is important such rich symbolic objects that represent an important part of Bilston's history and identity are looked after."

Bilston Craft Gallery has worked with local history society the Black Country Memories Club and relatives of past Bilston Mayors to include their memories and records in the display.

As part of Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage the gallery has been able to unite the regalia with historic records and photographs of the Borough of Bilston and its mayors, held at Wolverhampton City Archives.

In addition, related objects in the city's collections have been incorporated into the display such as the badges of the Bilston Youth Mayors, and the silver trowel used to lay the foundation stone of Bilston Town Hall.  These collaborations have greatly enriched the display.

  • released: Monday 14 November, 2016