Maces, chains and badges

The mace is a symbol of authority and order. It is carried by a mace bearer in front of the Mayor into the council chamber and at major events.

The chain of office represents the responsibility, authority and dignity which are attached to the office of the Mayor.

The Maces

We own two maces, one for each of the old metropolitan boroughs, Greenwich and Woolwich. Following the merger of the two boroughs, the Greenwich mace is now used on formal occasions.

Greenwich mace

The Greenwich mace was presented to the council in 1914 by Sir David Salomons, in honour of the services of his late uncle, also named Sir David Salomons, who was a member of the old parliamentary borough of Greenwich.

Forged from sterling silver and water gilt, the mace has an ornamental design based on the famous Wilton Mace.

Woolwich mace

The design of this silver mace represents a period of transition from being a fighting weapon to a symbol of royal authority.

Decorated with the royal arms and the coat of arms of the old borough of Woolwich, it features anchors and swirling waters to symbolise the nautical character of Woolwich.

The handle core comes from a piece of HMS Grampian, which was broken up during the first year of Woolwich Council's existence.

Badges and chains

There are three mayoral chains. There is one for each of the original metropolitan boroughs, Woolwich and Greenwich, which merged in 1965 to become the London Borough of Greenwich, and a third which represents the merged borough.

The current chain

Designed and executed by Leslie Durbin, the distinguished London silversmith, the insignia was commissioned with the help of donations from local industrialists and citizens of the borough.

Shaped like an astrolabe, the 18-carat gold badge embodies the 'time-ball' on the principal building of the old Greenwich Royal Observatory, the meridian line and lines of latitude and longitude. The 'time-ball' is set with small rubies.

Electrical sine waves encircle the globe, symbolic of the cable and electrical industries. Satellites, in the form of small diamonds, represent the new era of telecommunication. The Mayor's badge has a clasp with electrical waves of energy in gold radiating from the sun, which is represented by a circular cluster of diamonds.

The chain, also in 18 carat gold, consists of links in the form of a symbol recognised internationally for the electric circuit.

The badge and chain of the Mayoress are similar, but smaller in size and with a cultured pearl, representing the moon, in the clasp.

Old badges and chains

These are worn by the mayors of the former metropolitan borough of Greenwich and were presented to the borough in 1901 by Andrew Gibb, one of the original aldermen.

The badge is oval with a massive ornamental border. The centre contains an oval shield bearing the Kentish Horse, views of the Royal Observatory, the Royal Naval College, and the Arms of the Duke of Argyll.

The gold chain is 48 inches long and is composed of 26 links. The chain and badge throughout are made of 18 carat gold.