Merchants get new banner deal sewn up
Selkirk Merchant Company New Banner
Selkirk Merchant Company unveiled their new ceremonial banner on Friday night in their traditional home of the County Hotel.
Company master, Neville Dundas, remarked that the old banner had been purchased in 1939 at a cost of £22, 17 shillings and sixpence and, although still useable, was showing signs of wear and tear. The acquisition of a replacement was the culmination of several years of planning by the committee.
The new banner was manufactured by Newton Newton, of Burgh-Le-Marsh, Lincolnshire, who are the principal suppliers of ceremonial banners to HM Armed Forces. Before commissioning the work from Newton Newton, the Merchant Company undertook a significant tendering exercise across the UK to be satisfied that they were getting the best in terms of quality and cost.
Past master, Ian Clapperton, presented members with a blow by blow account of the journey of the new banner from inception to delivery. He explained that Newton Newton were the only company whose tender indicated that they were able to manufacture a banner to a satisfactory specification – appliqued (sewn) in finest quality cambric material, quite heavy, using best quality ceremonial grade material and a fully double-sided banner – which is literally two banners stitched back-to-back.
Members viewed pictures of the banner in manufacture, a process which was completed entirely by hand and took a total of six months from start to finish. The new banner, he commented, was without doubt of exceptional quality and although representing a significant capital outlay, would serve the Company well for most, if not all, of the 21st century.
Members took the opportunity to examine closely the new banner and were unanimous in their praise of the high standard of work and use of colours.
Although the cost represented an increase of approximately a hundredfold on 1939 prices, it was deemed to have been a worthwhile investment.
Master Neville Dundas brought the evening to a close with a look forward to this year’s Common Riding, when the new ceremonial banner would be carried in procession by the Company Standard Bearer.