CIVIC CHAIN OF OFFICE
The civic chain is a ‘Filigree’ style chain with large central pendant with THORNTON PARISH COUNCIL engraved and enamelled. In the design of the insignia a sundial is depicted, representing the sundial on Water Street, believed to pre-date 1720 and is perhaps the oldest in the region. It was previously the Thornton Village Cross and in his 1702 plan of Little Crosby and the surrounding area the diarist Nicholas Blundell marked the structure as a cross rather than a sundial.
The Chair’s chain of office was introduced in 1973 and since that time it has been passed over to those who take up the chair of office.
The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Parish Council are elected each year at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council. The Chair of Thornton Parish Council has responsibilities within Thornton and occasionally represents Thornton outside the Parish. If the Chair is unavailable for any reason then the Vice-Chairman or another appropriate councillor may represent the Chairman.
The chain of office is worn by the Chair of the Council, in keeping with the standing of the Parish Council, on the following official duties or civic occasions:
– All Civic Church services
– Remembrance Day Service
– Hosting social occasions or formal functions within the Parish
– Representing Thornton at formal functions outside the Parish
– At other meetings over which they may be asked to preside
– Any other occasion which the Chair considers it appropriate
Thornton Parish Council is believed to be unique among the parishes in Merseyside and Lancashire in having a Mace. The Mace is a silver mounted oak piece and is believed to be made from the timber that was formerly part of the structure of Sefton Church. It was presented to the Parish Council in the diamond jubilee year of Queen Victoria’s reign (1897). The head of the Mace is engraved with the Royal Coat of Arms and bears the inscription:
“The Mace of the Chairman of the Parish Council of Thornton in the
County of Lancaster, 1897. Anno 60 Victoria Reginae.
Presented by William Eugene Gregson”
(William Eugene Gregson was the first Chair of the Parish Council when it was created in 1895)
The Mace symbolizes the authority of the Chair.