The arms were designed by Mr H Ellis Tomlinson when the new Metropolitan Borough of the City of Salford was created in 1974, and combines elements of the five former local boroughs – Salford, Eccles, Irlam, Swinton & Pendlebury and Worsley – that make up the present Metropolitan Authority.
The shield is based upon the former Borough of Salford arms with the blue background and a gold ‘chief’, giving the heraldic colours of the Earls of Chester, from whom Salford received its first charter in 1230.
The gold shuttle and five bees, also from the old Salford arms, represent the growth of five industrial communities round a centre of the textile industry, and the two millrinds, the black iron centres of millstones, as symbols of engineering.
The ship motif comes from the Eccles arms and signifies the importance of waterways in the area, inluding the Bridgewater Canal and the Manchester Ship Canal.
The crest, a red half griffin holding a flag staff with a pennon, with three boar’s heads, is one of the former Eccles supporters.
Boar’s heads were also part of the Irlam arms, and the circle of steel around the griffin’s neck was part of the Irlam crest, symbolising the town’s great industry.
The two supporting lions are shown holding miners’ picks, similar to those of Swinton and Pendlebury. Each lion is collared with a steel chain, another reference to engineering, and are holding a white pentagonal medallion.
On one medallion is the black broad arrow, which with the red lion, appeared in the arms of Worsley, whilst on the other is the boar’s head from the crest of Swinton and Pendlebury, shown in that former borough’s livery colours of red and gold.
The motto is taken from the old Boroughs of Swinton and Pendlebury, and reads “Salus populi suprema”, meaning “The welfare of the people is the highest law”.
Districts of Salford
The Metropolitan Borough is named after its largest settlement, the City of Salford, but covers a far larger area which includes the towns of Eccles, Swinton, Pendlebury, Walkden and Irlam. Its administrative centre is in Swinton.