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Sussex Central County Standard

One of the lasting gifts to Sussex Guides from the Godman family of South Lodge is the County Standard. It was one of the first made for a Guide County and was hand made by Dame Alice and her daughters from Dame Alice’s wedding dress. The material was dyed and sed for Mid-Sussex Division, Forest District. They were making the standard at the same time as one for the Princess Royal. They just managed to finish it in time to be used at her wedding, rushing it to Westminster Abbey in a taxi! The design of our Standard incorporates many interesting features-apart from the use of the dress. Gold kid was used for the trefoil, the martlets and the bordure because it does not tarnish and this has been well and truly proved.

The Standard is 94 inches long and 30 inches wide at the hoist, tapering to 10 inches; the fly is swallow-tailed. The “field” or background throughout is of blue brocade. As in all Guide Standards the trefoil comes in the place of honour nearest the hoist. Next to the trefoil is the Sussex County Council badge of six gold martlets. The martlets are birds with no feet in heraldry and are the sign used for the second son in the family because he does not inherit the family land. The martlets are placed not on a shield but in a blue lozenge outlined in gold,because to be heraldically correct women must not bear arms on a shield, but they may do so in a lozenge. Then comes seven green trees in foliage, designed after the one in the front at South Lodge, representing the seven inland Divisions. Dolphins were used to represent the six coastal divisions (Since the Standard was made there have been alterations in the numbers of the Divisions)
Between the trees and the dolphins are two diagonal bands of gold with red lettering on them. On one side is the Guide motto “Be Prepared” and the other side is the Godman family motto in Latin “Coelum quid quaerimus ultra”- what do we desire beyond heaven? This motto was used because at that time Dame Alice Godman was County Commissioner.

Running the length of the fly above and below the trees is a wavy border of gold, which with the blue field, represents the waves along the sands of the seashore. The dolphins are of silver metal brocade and the trees are embroidered in various shades of green floss silk. The Standard is edged with a blue and gold braid and with a blue fringe.

We are very fortunate in Sussex Central to be able to keep this original standard, as Sussex divided it stayed in the same county as South Lodge, so Sussex East and later Sussex West had new Standards.



 








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