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Hapton’s badge of honour

HERITAGE SHIELD: MP Gordon Birtwistle presenting the coat of arms  to parish council vice chairman Harry Kayley.

HERITAGE SHIELD: MP Gordon Birtwistle presenting the coat of arms to parish council vice chairman Harry Kayley.

A historic day for Hapton saw the village’s new coat of arms unveiled for the first time.

Villagers came to see the heraldic shield which depicts the rich heritage of the centuries-old settlement.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle presented the letters patent scroll and the coat of arms to Hapton Parish Council vice chairman Harry Kayley during a special ceremony.

The shield was created to commemorate the history of the village and was produced by the Queen’s Herald at the College of Arms in London.

It features elements of the village’s proud medieval and industrial past including Hapton Castle, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and becoming the first village in Britain with electricity.

Jennifer Butterfield, secretary of the Hapton Heritage Group, said it was a really good day with lots of people attending the ceremony.

Explaining the coat of arms, she said: “It was awarded by the Earl Marshall at the London College of Arms and confers the right of Hapton Parish Council to bear a coat of arms on all its documentation.

“It is an abstract design on the shield which represents the motorway running through the village and the wavy lines are the canal.

“The cogs of industry represent Hapton’s industrial past along with the castle battlements. The rays of light show the fact that Hapton was the first village in England to have electric street lighting.”

The shield is set to appear on road signs and information boards around the village.

However, the heritage group are now looking for a permanent home for the letters patent which were funded with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Jennifer said: “We need to think about the safe keeping of the valuable documents so we have to archive them somewhere.

“It should be on display for the people of Hapton but we don’t have anywhere to actually keep it safely.

“They could go to Towneley Hall or the Lancashire Archives.”

 

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