In 1945 shortly after the end of World War II, the Southern Railway decided to build a new class of engines to replace war wastage. They wrote to the Councils of various sea-side towns offering to name an engine after the town in exchange for the town permitting them to fix a plaque bearing the town’s arms on the engine. This opportunity was problematic, as for many years Bude-Stratton Urban District Council had unofficially used the Arms of the Grenville family without the express permission of the family, its representatives or the Herald’s College.
The Urban District Council almost passed up the opportunity due to the difficulty of designing a coat which conformed to the still stringent and complicated laws of Heraldry in addition to the expense of obtaining a Grant of Arms from the Herald’s College.
Major Chudleigh, a local resident and keen lifelong student of Heraldry, offered with the help of his Bristol based son-in-law Norman Watkins, to produce Arms for the Council’s consideration. The commissioned Arms were readily approved by the Urban District Council.
To cover the 100 guinea fee for the Grant of Arms, plus the making of the seal and other sundry expenses, the Chairman of the Council opened a subscription list, whereby for a minimum £5 subscription subscribers would be given the right to use the Arms without applying to the Council to do so.
Subscriptions flowed and on 11th September 1947 the Grant of Arms was given. After the re-organisation resulting from the Local Government Act 1972, the Arms were transferred to Bude-Stratton Town Council by consent and grant of the College of Arms.
The Arms explained
When a Grant of Arms is given the Herald’s College document a written description of the arms, called a blazon. To comply with the laws of Heraldry so long as the arms are depicted consistently with the blazon, exactly how that are shown is a matter of artistic licence.
There is a distinction drawn between the coat of arms (that which goes on the shield) and the crest (that which goes on the helm). The coat of arms and crest can be displayed on their own; equally they can be displayed together. The helm and mantling (the helmet and the strips of material flowing down from the helm) must only be shown when the coat of arms and crest are displayed.
A falcon standing on a gauntlet. This is the crest of the Acland family but to comply with the laws of Heraldry it is ‘differenced’ by having the ‘Sun in Splendour’ as a background.
A Knights helmet with the visor closed as usual for Arms of Corporations.
in the ‘fesse’ (top section)
2 golden clarions
(war trumpets) Arms of the Grenville family
A silver cross
Arms of the Berkeley family (Sir John Berkeley was one of the Royalist leaders at the Battle of Stratton in 1643)
Below the fesse
A ground of silver
Arms of the Blanchminster Family of Binhamy Castle and founders of the Blanchminster Trust.
Two wavy blue lines
Adapted from the Arms of the Stamford family (the Earl of Stamford was Commander of Parliamentarian troops during the Civil War)
Surrounding the shield
7 Golden Roundels
Part of the Arms of Cornwall but equally significantly Arms of the Whalesborough Family of Whalesborough, Bude.