VILLAGERS are seeking help from experienced people to restore a banner that dates back almost 150 years.
The Butterton History Group has found the Butterton Ancient Order of the Foresters Banner, named Court "Prince of Wales", in a box in St Bartholomew's Church. It has the unique number 4667 of the Ancient Order of Foresters printed on it and, although intact, the banner is desperatelyneeds urgent repairs to bring it back to its former glory.
Organiser of the club Maggie Risby said: "We found it rolled up with moth damage and a lot of wear and tear and some parts held together with sellotape.
There is no way we want to put it back in the box and at present it is on display in the church. I’ve contacted the Friendly Society in the hope they could help us financially with repairs, but it isn't something they do as they are more of an archive centre/museum and do not have funds available.
"I contacted local seamstresses, who say it is not as easy as it looks, and recommended a textile repairer, but it would cost four figures.
"Obviously that’s financially out of the question. We want to know if there is someone experienced in this sort of restoration out there who could advice us.
"The group is now properly constituted so we are looking to see if we can obtain grants to go ahead with a restoration programme, as this is a very historical piece for the village. In the meantime we’ve been advised not to take off the sellotape which is on the banner."
Records show that the banners in the mid 1800 could cost up to 24 guineas (£25.20) with an additional half a crown (12.5p) for two poles, brass knobs and fittings.
The Foresters were non-profit organisations. The founding principle of the society was to provide financial and social benefit as well as support to members and their families in times of unemployment, sickness, death, disability and old age.
Foresters played a particular active role in the lives of members and their families during times of crises in the depression and both World Wars.
Growth was significant in the 1940's and there were more than 100 branches. Anyone who can help or advise on the restoration of the banner is asked to contact Maggie Risby on 01538 304115.