There are twelve ornate silver Society badges. These originally numbered perhaps 15 but some are missing. Possibly they were presented to retiring members for exceptional services to bell-ringing at St Mary’s; possibly some were lost or retained by a member and forgotten about. One badge came to light quite recently when a member of the public contacted us trying to research an expensive purchase he had just made. This turned out to be a Society badge but he had no further historical information about his purchase. It is quite probable that there are other badges hidden away somewhere.
The badge is in silver and oval in shape and measures 2 in X 1 ½ in. The long axis is vertical and the ten names of the original bells are inscribed around an ornate border. In the centre of the badge is the gilt monogram “S” & “M”, for St Mary’s above a little bell-shaped mount. The back of the badge has a clasped pin for fixing to clothing and carries the inscription


On the bottom edge of the badge is a little eyelet to carry a hooked pendant with a monogram “C”-“Y” signifying that the bearer is a qualified bell-ringer and a member of one of the two senior bell-ringing societies. Originally this meant the “Ancient Society of College Youths” established in London in 1637 but is nowadays extended to include “The Society of Royal Cumberland Youths” established in 1746 but thought to have started out as the London Scholars in 1717.
The badges are not on display but may be examined on request from time to time.