Swanley Town Council

Badge of Office

Badge-of-office

The Badge of Office was designed in 1971 after sufficient money had been raised by public subscription.

At that time Swanley was a parish council lying within the Rural District of Dartford in the County of Kent and had been part of the Sutton-at-Hone Parish Council area until 1955.

These facts together with Swanley’s association with thriving fruit growing and horticultural industries, influenced the composition of the Badge.

The Badge, made from hall-marked sterling silver plated with gold, is a tri-circular pendant of three apples and within each part is an enamelled coloured motif.

The top one, circular in shape, is the White Horse Rampant of Kent on a green field.

The one on the bottom right, in the shape of a shield, is the Coat of Arms of Dartford Rural District Council.

The third place on the bottom left, again in the shape of the shield, is what might be termed Swanley’s unofficial Coat of Arms.

It was designed specifically for the Badge and is a black inverted chevron with three red apples, each with two green leaves, on a silver background and is an adaption of Abraham Hill’s Coat of Arms.

​Abraham Hill was the most distinguished man connected with Swanley. He was one of the founders of the Royal Society as well as its first Treasurer.

He bought the Manor of St John Jerusalem at Sutton-at-Hone in 1660 and introduced apple orchards into this part of Kent. From then on, Swanley became famous for its apples.

The original chain for the Badge comprised of 21 links, each one intended to be inscribed with the name of the office holder each year.

These links were filled by 1985 and so an additional loop of links was placed across the front and another at the back.

Surrounding the enamelled pieces are modelled representations of apples, pears and cherries to which Swanley owed its early prosperity, together with dahlias, geraniums and cyclamen, special varieties of which were developed in local nurseries and gave Swanley its well deserved name ‘The Home of Flowers’.