They used to keep the precious Mayoral Chain locked up in a safe
I am very upset -- gutted I think would be a modern phrase to describe my feelings -- to have heard about the theft of the Mayoral chain, which has been with Marlborough Council since 1911.
It is terrible to think that there are people around who are so lacking in any sort of feeling about our common heritage. The chain was the gift of Thomas Free to celebrate the coronation of George V.
The whole point of our civic regalia is that we have it, to be worn, and not hidden away. It is bound to be noticed by all.
When I was first elected to the Borough Council almost 50 years ago the security was very slack with the regalia kept in a very insecure chest in the Town Hall.
Towards the end of the life of the Borough, security was much improved by keeping the regalia in a large safe in the Council Offices at No 1, The Green. This safe was moved to the present Council Office when the Borough became the Town Council.
As far as I was aware, this was where the regalia was kept and moving it back to the Town Hall was after my time. I remember there being a discussion in Council, about 20 years ago, of the security of the safe being in the Office.
It was felt better to have it there because there were people living close by in flats.
The protocol of wearing the full chain without the robes was that this only occurred on major Civic occasions. For example, Civic dinners etc in other Wiltshire towns.
For most events in the town without the mayoral robes, the “Day Chain” was used which is much smaller and not valuable -- this Day Chain was actually bought for the Council by Thomas Free’s son Eric who was also Mayor on several occasions.