History of Adur District Council and Civic Insignia

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Brief history of Adur District Council

On 1st April 1974, Adur District Council evolved from the Local Government Act 1972 by the amalgamation of the former Shoreham Urban District Council, Southwick Urban District Council and the towns of Lancing, Sompting and Coombes from part of the former Worthing Rural District Council.

The remainder of Worthing Rural District Council (Findon, East Preston, Angmering and Rustington) combined with the former Littlehampton and Bognor Regis Councils to form Arun District Council.
Elections to the new councils were held in 1973.

The word 'Adur' is said to be of Celtic origin and comes from 'Dwyr' meaning 'water'. The district takes its name from the River Adur which divides Shoreham-by-Sea and Southwick in the east, from Coombes, Lancing and Sompting in the west.

Adur District Council is a south coast authority of approximately 60,000 population situated on the West Sussex coast between Brighton & Hove and Worthing. It stretches inland from the coast to the South Downs.

The District, although largely residential, has substantial industrial areas, a seaport and airport, where there are significant regeneration opportunities.

Inland from the built-up area, most of the District is part of the Sussex Downs National Park).

West Sussex is renowned for its coastal retreats and countryside.

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Borough Seal of New Shoreham,
13th century A.D.

The original probably dates from the invitation to New Shoreham to send two Burgesses to Edward I's Great Council of the Nation at Westminster in 1295. Representation continued for 600 years.

The legend may read:

"By this emblem of a ship am I proclaimed a harbour and so with a fitting name"

Replica of the original seal and drawing of the boat detail from the seal:

Copy of 13th century borough seal of New Shoreham   Shoreham seal boat image

Note: This is not the council's coat of arms but a copy of the old borough seal.

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Council Coat of Arms

Adur District Council does not have a coat of arms (or armorial bearings). It does not have borough status.

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Civic Insignia

Current Civic Insignia

The Adur Civic Insignia consists of an Official Chain and Badge of Office, when the Chairperson is at an event outside the boundaries of Adur the chain is usually replaced by a ribbon.

The oval badge has an image of a sailing ship in relief in metal which appears on the 13th century Seal of New Shoreham.

Chairman's chains Shoreham seal boat image

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Old Civic Insignia of Shoreham Urban District Council

Inscription on the back of the badge reads:

"This Chairman's Insignia of Office was provided by funds raised by public subscription and presented to the Shoreham-by-Sea Urban District Council October 1933".

Shoreham Urban Council

For further information relating to Shoreham you may want to refer to the Shoreham Society website.

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Old Civic Insignia of Southwick Urban District Council

Inscription on the back of the badge reads:

"Presented by members of the Council To Commemorate The Coronation of King George VI 1937".

Southwick Urban Council

For further information relating to Southwick you may want to refer to the Southwick Society website.

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Past Chairman's medal

When a chairman has finished their term of office they are presented with a replica medal and ribbon (with a bar saying 'past chairman') which they can wear at council meetings and other official civic events.

All councillors that have served as Chairman for Adur District Council receive a commemorative medal on their leaving the post of Chairman.

The medal is based on the borough seal of New Shoreham.

Past Chairman's medal

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Page last updated: 27 August 2021

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