Development and Alumni Relations
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The Mace - a potent symbol of authority

The mace is a potent symbol used in ancient times to establish authority in a decidedly physical way. The rough and tumble of University politics has never seen the Hull mace used for this purpose but it is used on all ceremonial occasions, carried in procession for the past 20 years upon the broad shoulder of the University Beadle, Ron Naylor.

The mace is also the most visible link between Town and Gown, having been commissioned and presented by the Hull City Council in 1956 to acknowledge Hull's new status as a University.

The City asked the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths to organise an open competition for the design of the University mace and called for one with 'a genuinely modern feeling which would incorporate the University Coat of Arms and refer to the City Arms .' It was also specified that the successful design should not cost more than £600 to make.

Prizes totalling £100 were offered to the competition winners and runners-up, which resulted in 103 entries from 73 British designers. The successful design was submitted by Mr Peter Inchbald, a director of the Sheffield silversmiths Walker and Hall Lt d, and the grandson of a Master Cutler.

Mr Inchbald, 37 years old, had been with the company for only two years. The company was commissioned to build the three-and-a-half foot long mace in silver and gilt.

The mace design incorporates two globes enclosed in a 'cage' of reeded wires at top and bottom, made of parcel gilt sterling silver. At the head of the mace is a ducal coronet, part of the Arms of the City, and it is decorated with sprays of Yorkshire roses. The tail is finished with a fleur-de-lis also taken from the City and University Coats of Arms. The whole comprises 135 ounces of silver.

Inchbald also designed the stand, which is made of Honduras mahogany and veneered with figured ebony.
The mace was presented to the University in December, 1956 by the Lord Mayor of Hull, Alderman H Kneeshaw. It was accepted by Lord Hotham, the senior Pro-Chancellor at the third Annual Meeting of the University Court. The Chancellor, Lord Middleton, wa s absent because of the illness of Lady Middleton.
The Mayor described the mace as a 'spontaneous gesture' by the City Fathers and a symbol of the close relationship between the city and the University.

The heraldic elements incorporated in the mace come from the University's original Coat of Arms designed by Sir Algernon Tudor-Craig in 1928, and have since been applied in the new corporate identity and logo developed by Lloyd Northover in 1992, and n ow applied to all University stationery and publications. They are:

· The Torch for learning
· The Rose for Yorkshire
· The ducal Coronet from the arms of the City of Hull
· The Fleur-de-lys for Lincolnshire
· The Dove, symbolising peace, from the arms of Thomas Ferens

· The Charter
· The Mace
· Students past and present

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