Marlborough's new chains 'ready for mayor-making'

This Is Wiltshire: Marlborough mayor Guy Loosmore wearing the stolen ceremonial chains at the opening of the town's mop fair Marlborough mayor Guy Loosmore wearing the stolen ceremonial chains at the opening of the town's mop fair

Marlborough's new mayoral chains should be ready in time for the mayor-making ceremony in May.

The chains were stolen from the town hall in October and Birmingham firm Fattorini has been chosen to reproduce them.

Town clerk Shelley Parker said: “We are going with a well established company. The design is going to be a like-for-like replacement.

“It was difficult for our councillors to commission something new because the chains were part of the town’s heritage. The new design will incorporate the town council’s coat of arms.

“The insurance agreed to pay out £96,550. Needless to say our councillors have needed to be sure they were going to get value for money. It is about replacing it for its value. That is the figure we are working with to replace what was stolen.

“Although there are no guarantees, the company is making sure it is ready for May.

“We would ideally like it for the mayor making ceremony. It is a big ask because they have to source precious stones.”

Mayor Guy Loosmore, deputy mayor Marian Hannaford-Dobson and Mrs Parker visited the company in Birmingham on Tuesday to see its work and to look at the types of gold and stones used.

The 18 carat gold chains, which were decorated with amethysts and other precious stones, were taken from the town hall between 7.30pm on October 14 and 8am on October 15.

Mr Loosmore said: “It was not an easy decision. It is about replacing as much as we can because it is part of the history of the town.

“We are replacing a chain that was made over a century ago that reflects what people wanted to have at that time. This process is reflected in us going as far as we can for a like-for-like chain.

“We will have an involvement with what is going on and that will add its own history to the chain.”

Marlborough’s next mayor Mrs Hannaford-Dobson will be the first to wear the new chain in May.

She said: “I am very excited and absolutely delighted. It will be nice being the first mayor to wear it.

“Obviously we were all devastated to lose the older chain. We are trying to reinstate it to as near as possible to the older chain.”

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