The Metropolitan Borough of Trafford is an area of some 40 square miles and lies to the South-west of Greater Manchester. Its population numbers about 214,000 people. Bordered by the industrial estate of Trafford Park on its eastern side, and by the open countryside of rural Cheshire on the south and Southwest, it is a borough of visible and surprising contrasts.
Trafford Town Hall, the Districts of Sale and Hale
Trafford is one of the two Greater Manchester Boroughs not based on a town or city, (the other is Tameside) – Trafford is an entity created in 1974 out of several local towns, which were combined to form the new Metropolitan Borough. Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council has 63 councillors who represent 21 wards – Altrincham, Bowden, Broadheath, Brooklands, Bucklow, Clifford, Davyhulme East, Davyhulme West, Flixton, Hale, Longford, Mersy-St Mary’s, Park, Priory, St Martin’s, Sale Moor, Stretford, Talbot, Timperley, Urmston and Village. There are three Parliamentary Constituencies in the Borough – Altrincham & Sale, Davyhulme, and Stretford. The business end of the borough is Trafford Park Industrial Estate, which has undoubtedly played a pivotal role in the economic well-being of Trafford.
The estate grew up soon after completion of the Manchester Ship Canal just before the turn of the last century, and now is the home of many great business enterprises, including Kelloggs Cereals and the Brooke Bond Tea Company. Trafford is rich in history, from the local heritage of Dunham Massey to the engineering of the Ship Canal. The name of Trafford derives from the de Trafford Family, who held most of the lands in the borough since medieval times, including Stretford, Urmston and Dunham Massey, and whose emblem, the Griffin, is represented in the Borough Coat of Arms.
The Arms of Trafford
“Arms: Perfess wavy argent and gules, a griffin segreant counter-changed holding between the foreclaws a Tau crossper pale vert and sable. Crest: On a wreath of the colours, between two sprigs of oak fructed a dexter cubit arm proper charged with a cogwheel or, the hand holding two flashes of lightning in saltire azure. Supporters: On either side a unicorn, that on the dexter ermine armed, crined tufted and ungules or and gorged with a collar azure charged with a bar argent. That on the sinister argent, armed, crined, tufted and unguled or and charged on the neck with three lozenges conjoined in fess sable. Badge: A roundel of the arms environed on a wreath of oak fructed proper.
Motto: Hold Fast That Which Is Good”.
Explanation & Description of the Arms
The design incorporates a shield divided by a wavy line representing the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal which cut across the borough. On the shield is a Griffin, representing the de Trafford Family who gave their name to the borough. The Griffin is counterchanged – the top half being the red (gules) eagle on a white background, and the bottom half being the white (argent) lion, representing the Massey Family of Dunham Massey, on a red background. The Griffin holds a T-shaped Greek Tau Cross, the initial standing for the name Trafford. The Tau is in green (vert) and black (sable), representing both the rural and the industrial nature of the borough. The Crest wreath is in the Trafford colours of red and white. In the crest is a raised forearm holding two shafts of blue (azure) lightning to symbolise Trafford’s large electrical industry, and set in the shape of an X (saltire) to represent the Roman number 10, representing the 10 communities which make up the Metropolitan Borough. The arm is also charged with a gold (or) cogwheel taken from the Altrincham Arms to represent engineering. The two branches of oak are taken from the Urmston Arms to represent the wooded countryside in that area. The two supporting creatures are both (unusually) unicorns. The one side is a pure white (argent) unicorn taken from the Sale Arms, and another is ermine as in the Altrincham Arms. The latter wears a blue and white barred collar from part of Bowden’s Crest. The white unicorn is derived from the crest of the Carringtons, kinsmen of the Masseys of Sale, whose three black diamonds (or lozenges) are seen in both the Sale and Carrington families’ shields. Thus the new Coat of Arms incorporates elements and insignia taken from historic town’s Arms and represents all of the local communities which were combined to make Trafford Metropolitan Borough.