Baildon Urban District Council

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Official Guide

As a result of the Local Government Act 1894 Baildon became an Urban District on 1 Jan 1895 and was then administered by Baildon Urban District Council.

The first meeting took place on first January 1895 in a building on Westgate and the members present were:-

  • T M Holmes (Chairman)
  • Jonathan Bentley, Shaw Robinson
  • Oliver Firth
  • John Walker
  • Thompson Hammond
  • John Whitaker
  • William Holmes and
  • Thomas W Padgett.

In 1936 they moved to Rushcroft Terrace, where they remained until Bradford Metropolitan District Council was set up in 1974. They had successfully fought off amalgamation with Shipley on a previous occasion. Baildon had a Coat of Arms and the 1964 Official Guide for Baildon, published by the Urban District Council describes its history:-

Coat of Arms


ON April 23rd, 1952, the Baildon council petitioned the Earl Marshal (His Grace the Duke of Norfolk) for the grant of heraldic arms. The Earl Marshal authorised and directed the Kings of Arms to grant and assign 'Armorial Ensigns' and this was done by Letters Patent. This document was signed by Sir George R. Bellew (Garter King of Arms), Sir Arthur W. S. Cochrane (Clarenceux King of Arms) and Sir Gerald W. Wollaston (Norroy and Ulster King of Arms).

The negotiations were conducted through Colonel J. R. B. Walker, Rouge Croix Pursuivent and Mr. Rudolph Howard Moore, then Clerk of the Baildon Urban District Council. The cost of the grant was defrayed from donations received from local ladies and gentlemen as well as from firms interested in Baildon. For their generosity, the council and town was most grateful.

The "blazon" (Heraldic description of the 'achievement') is stated in the letters patent as :— "Vert three Chevronels and in chief a Fleece Or. And for the Crest on a Wreath of the Colours A Skylark holding in the beak a sprig of Gorse slipped and flowered proper."

The colours in the Arms are :— Vert=green. Or =gold.

The Crest consists of a Skylark with a sprig of gorse in its beak, allusive to the Moors in and surrounding Baildon. The Crest stands on a Wreath of gold and green and this rests on a Helm (or helmet).

The Helm appropriate to a local authority is that of an esquire, being of steel, unadorned by gold or silver, set in profile.

The Shield is of green (vert) and at the top, known as the "chief" appears the Golden Fleece, allusive to the rearing for wool of sheep on the Baildon Moorlands. The Golden Fleece formed an integral part of Baildon's unofficial badge and which badge has been used for very many years. Its origin is unknown but it was an unauthorised badge and not in any way heraldic.

The Golden Fleece is in 'Or' as are the three Chevronels. These three chevronels point to the fact that Baildon is a three-tier Town.

The Motto, "SURGAMUS ERGO STRENUE", means "Let us arise with Vigour", a motto which would have appealed to the civic pride of the hillmen of Baildon and appears to be taken from a hymn attributed to St. Ambrose.

Commemorative Medals

Past Chair

For several years the Baildon Urban District Council gave the Chair of the Council a commemorative medal. The obverse had an enamel representation of the Coat of Arms and the reverse was engraved with the Councillors name and the date. The medal shown here was for Cllr. H O Griffiths who was Chair for 1955-56.

Council Disbanded

In 1974 the Baildon Urban District Council, which had its offices in Rushcroft Terrace, was disbanded. More detail needed. Who were the prominent Councillors of the times? Shaw Robinson born 1846 became a Councillor when he retired from being the landlord of the Shoulder of Mutton.