Sunday, 14 August 2016

Wisdom and effort

I walk past signs like these all the time and rarely make the effort to look at the detail. This pretty milestone in Didsbury bears Manchester's coat of arms. Granted in 1842, the symbol is packed with information. The motto "Concilio et labore" means something like "Wisdom and effort". The ship represents Manchester's trading. The lion is of course a symbol of bravery and the antelope symbolises peace and harmony; both bear the red rose of Lancaster.

Most familiar is the worker bee - the globe at the top is covered with them; you can see it more clearly on this larger sign near Spinningfields. The bee is a symbol of industry, adopted during the industrial revolution. You can find bees all over Manchester, from the tiled floors in the Town Hall (a giveaway when it's used in films as a stand-in for the Houses of Parliament) to bins and bollards.

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