Birmingham & Black Country

Mayoral chains go back on display in Bilston

Bilston mayoral mace head
Image caption Bilston originally gained the right to elect a mayor in 1933 when it became a borough

Regalia from the days when a Black Country borough had its own mayor has been returned to its hometown after a campaign.

Bilston gained the right to elect a mayor in 1933 when it was classified as a borough, but that changed after 1966 when it became part of Wolverhampton.

The chains of office and other pieces were kept at Wolverhampton Civic Centre and could only be seen by appointment.

They are now part of a permanent display at Bilston Craft Gallery.

'Proud moment'

Last year, local people ran a campaign and petition to bring the historic pieces back to the town.

Image caption The pieces are on display at Bilston Craft Gallery

It was supported by councillors, Pat McFadden MP and the mayor's office in Wolverhampton.

The mayoral collection, which includes the ceremonial mace and badges of office, has now gone on show at Bilston Craft Gallery.

The display was unveiled by Mayor of Wolverhampton Bert Turner, who is from Bilston and represents Bilston East as a councillor.

He said: "This is a proud moment for the people of Bilston...and a special moment for me to unveil the regalia and get it back on display in the town where it belongs."

"I would like to thank the officers of Wolverhampton City Council and everyone involved in making this possible," he added.

The craft gallery has worked with the Black Country Memories Club and relatives of former Bilston mayors to include their memories and records in the display.

Curator of the gallery Sophie Heath said: "We're thrilled to be looking after these richly symbolic objects that represent an important part of Bilston's history and identity."

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