The Coat of Arms of the Newport forms part of the mayoral chains, of which there are two, one for the mayor and one for the mayoress.
In March 2002 Newport became Wales’ newest city, created to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The existing mayoral chains were adopted by the city, and are now worn by the mayor and mayoress of the City of Newport.
The Mayor’s chain
The mayor’s chain consists of an original chain and detachable medallion depicting the shield surmounted by the cherub, which was the original Coat of Arms of the County Borough of Newport before the supporters were added. This original chain and medallion were presented to the Corporation for the use of mayors of the Borough on 9 November 1886 by Edwin James Grice, then mayor of Newport.
Mounted on either side of the centre medallion are the medallions of the former Caerleon Urban District Council and Magor and St Mellons Rural District Council, which were merged with Newport in 1974, when the old County Borough of Newport became the Borough of Newport.
The Caerleon medallion is silver gilt, with a crest and the words ‘The Urban District Council of Caerleon’ on the front in red and blue enamel. The back of the medallion is engraved with the words ‘Presented by Caerleon Branch British Legion 1937, Chairman P.H. Stafford, Hon. Sec. J. Kinner.
The medallion of the Magor and St Mellons RDC is in metal gilt, and is circular with a laurel surround. The centre of the medallion features an enamelled sheaf of corn, and around the edge are the words ‘Magor and St Mellons Rural District Council’. On the back is engraved ‘Presented by Councillor Rex Silvey, 24th May, 1958’.
The chain and medallions weigh approximately 2lbs, and are 18 carat gold. The chain consists of 51 links, interspersed with shields on which the names of the mayors were inscribed up to 1933. It consists of a main string, two shoulder extensions, two cross centre strings and a lower cross centre string.
A second medallion bearing the new Coat of Arms (with supporters) was presented to the Corporation in 1964 by South Wales Builders Supply Co. Ltd, to mark the occasion of the Mayoralty of Councillor Percy C. Jones, JP in 1964/65. Councillor Jones was Chairman of the Board of Directors of SWB Ltd at that time.
This second medallion is hand-enamelled in sterling silver-gilt, and is worn on a collarette on informal occasions.
The Mayoress’ chain
The chain features a small medallion, and a larger detachable medallion. It was presented to the Corporation by Mrs C H Bailey in 1911, in commemoration of the Coronation of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary. The letters ‘G’ and ‘M’ are worked in diamonds in a centre jewelled link.
Depicted on the chain are the letter ‘N’, a seahorse and an anchor to symbolise Newport’s connections with the sea and ships. There is also a small ceramic depicting the Old Town Hall, as a symbol of local government.
The chain was first worn by Mrs J H Williams, Mayoress of Newport 1910/11. There are 25 links in the chain, and both the chain and the medallion are 18 carat gold.
Like the mayor, the mayoress also has an additional medallion for use with a collarette on less formal occasions. It is 9 carat gold, and has the full arms of the city richly carved in coloured golds and enamel. It was presented to the Corporation in September 1967 by Mr T R Coughtrie and the directors of M Mole and Son Ltd, Newport.