This blog does not concern itself in politics so I would like to assure any readers of a right of centre persuasion that this post is completely coincidental with the death of Baroness Thatcher. It does perhaps illustrates the pride that workers had (and often still have) for their industry.
This week Berwick Trades Union Council held their annual meeting at Berwick Town Hall. This was hosted by the local branch of the RMT. So it was appropriate that they asked Berwick Museum if they could display the NUR banner that was restored at Hampton Court Palace using a donation from the Trade Union Council.
Erecting the NUR banner (BERMG 2542)
The banner is large – about 4m square and for this reason it is rarely on display. There is only one position in the museum that it will fit… just! So it is great that a group of people still value it and it is an excellent opportunity to get it out, if for no other reason to check its condition (its fine, thanks).
It probably dates from the early 20th century but little more is known. at the top it bears the legend “Berwick Border & No2 Branches”. The main panel shows the Royal Border Bridge with two steam engines puffing away from each other spreading the messages (written underneath) of Unity and Progress.
Unity and Progress
Above this is a beautiful depiction of the Berwick Coat of Arms with roses and thistles. It may be that the artist drew inspiration from the relief on the portico of the Town Hall; the way the bears are positioned are very similar, the one on the right looking behind him (or her!) is unusual.
“Be Just and Fear Not”. What a good motto!
Berwick Coat of Arms.
Bottom left roundel depicting Tweedmouth signal box and the branch to Kelso. (Apologies for the acid free paper over the image!)
Bottom right roundel depicting an engine shed?
I know there are a lot of local railway enthusiasts out there. Share this. I’d love to hear some more about this. Did you march with the banner? Who painted it?
I think that people can discover history in many ways, so why not through the history of work? What is the story of trade unionism in Berwick and Tweedmouth? Again, if you have any information please let me know.
Its your heritage. Be proud of it and lets spread the world!