The Banner of the Bottesford Friendly Society

A Conservation Problem

Bottesford Friendly Society banner showing damage to the fabric
Bottesford Friendly Society banner showing damage to the fabric
A crop showing the central round panel of the Bottesford Friendly Society marching banner. | Bottesford Local History Society
A crop showing the central round panel of the Bottesford Friendly Society marching banner.
Bottesford Local History Society
Bottesford Friendly Society banner, detail showing the date of the founding of the society
Bottesford Friendly Society banner, detail showing the date of the founding of the society
The Banner of the Bottesford Friendly Society
The Banner of the Bottesford Friendly Society
The Banner of the Bottesford Friendly Society
The Banner of the Bottesford Friendly Society
The Banner of the Bottesford Friendly Society

The surviving banner of the Bottesford Friendly Society (founded 1747) dates from Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year, 1887.

Many Friendly Society banners survive and this one is neither unusually early nor particularly elaborate in design, but it is nonetheless important to local people whose ancestors were members of the society.At present it is stored in its original container, a long, narrow wooden box, along with its poles, finials and some fragments of the webbing straps which were used to steady it.

The central painted area is in reasonable condition at present, but paint will begin to flake and futher discolouration will occur. The fabric of the surround has rotted into large holes. Obviously the banner needs the attention of expert conservators.

Such conservation is very costly, running into thousands of pounds. Even if it were possible to raise sufficient funds, once the conservation had been completed the banner would need to be stored in appropriate stable conditions which can only really be provided in a museum. Museums are sometimes reluctant to accept donations of this kind because they are costly to maintain

People are equally reluctant to send objects of considerable local significance to distant museums where they are no longer accessible to the people they matter to so that much of their meaning is lost.

There seems to be no obvious solution to this problem.

What do you think?
Is the banner worth spending a lot of money on?
Should it be preserved in a museum?
Should it remain in Bottesford?
Let us know your views.

This page was added on 03/01/2008.

Comments about this page

  • I have had a word with my father, Frank Sellers, now aged 95, to get his view.
    In 1947, when my Uncle Edgar Culpin (formerly of Market Street, now deceased), became Secretary, my father commenced to do all the work from that date on the Bottesford Friendly Society until it was disbanded due to insufficient members. My father thinks that when it terminated there were only 19 members.
    My father strongly feels that the Banner should be retained at Bottesford in the box as it is at present – maybe in the Library where it can be seen by local people and by whom it affects. To spend thousands on its restoration is far too costly and not appropriate to be preserved in a Museum where Bottesford people would probably not see it.
    I hope this will help towards making your decision as to the future of the Banner.
    I totally agree with my father but, of course, this may not be a general feeling.
    Brenda Turier (nee Sellers)

    By Brenda Turier (nee Sellers) (01/02/2008)

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