Emblematically Speaking - Padiham
Wed 27th December 2017 | Padiham | By Stewart Taylor
This week we enter the realms of almost pure speculation. In other words, not much is known about this particular club emblem or, rather more intriguingly, how Padiham FC came to be known as “The Storks”.
Our objective, therefore, is to put together a plausible story relating to this and then to wait and see if any learned reader can help us to fill in the detail.
There has been a club named Padiham FC in existence, with a break between 1916 and 1949, since 1878 at which time they were known as “The Caldersiders” to reflect the position of the original ground adjacent to the River Calder. There is no readily accessible record of a club emblem from those bygone days.
An image of a stork dominates the current club emblem and, more than likely, is there to reflect the club nickname of The Storks but, again, nothing is readily accessible to explain how this emblem was developed or where the current club nickname originates.
We have seen in previous articles how club emblems depict devices which come from prominent families in the local area. Admittedly, these are most often associated with club emblems which are town Coats of Arms but can we use this as a starting point?
Well, we can up to a point. Padiham is a constituent part of the Borough of Burnley and if we take a look at the Burnley Coat of Arms we see a stork represented in the crest. The name stork could well be something of a pun on the name Starkie – a prominent family in Padiham. Incidentally, the stork also appears in the crest of the Burnley FC emblem.
The Starkie family were large in both numbers and influence over a long period of time in the Padiham area. The family came from Barnton in Cheshire (we know it well!).
Roger Nowell Starkie presided at the trial of the so called Lancashire Witches (a.k.a. the Pendle Witches) at Lancaster in 1612. Huge amounts have been written about the Lancashire (Pendle) Witches and quite fascinating it is to in that, unusually for the day, the trial was meticulously recorded thus leaving a rich source of information for future generations to mull over.
Those who know me well might expect a quick reference here to a well-established real ale named Pendle Witches Brew brewed by the Moorhouse Brewery in Burnley. There we are, I’ve done it now and a more than decent beer it is too.
But to continue with the Starkie family.
Edmund Starkie was one of many wealthy individuals commanded by Elizabeth I to provide money for arms to fight off the Spanish Armada in 1588.
Nicholas Le Gendre Starkie (1799 -1865) was Member of Parliament for Pontefract from 1826 -32, but was also a prominent Freemason, being Provincial Grand Master for the Western Division of Lancashire.
The East Window at St. Leonard’s Church in Padiham bears the inscription
'To the honour & Glory of God In Memory of Le Gendre N Starkie late P G M West Lancashire Freemasons who died May 15 1865. This window was erected by his widow Ann Starkie 1868'.
Close to the church is a pub called the Starkie Arms which assures the continuity of the Starkie name in the local society to this day.
In more recent times, Edmund Starkie (1871 -1958) who served as Captain in the Boer War was a prominent local promoter of the Red Cross and St John's Ambulance Brigade.
The emblem uses red and black as the colourways. Previously we have seen the colours used in a club emblem represent the playing colours of the team. This is not so in this case as Padiham FC play in Blue although the away kit is Red. It may well be that Red and Black feature in a previous playing kit but there is no readily accessible information to confirm that.
The final part of the emblem is the motto. ‘Virtutis Fortuna Comes’ (Latin). This translates as ‘Fortune is the Companion of Virtue’. This is the motto of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, sometimes known as The Duke of Boot’s although there are other nicknames for the regiment which would probably be inappropriate in a family publication.
So, what do you reckon, have we done enough to make the link between the emblem, the nickname and the town of Padiham? Please feel free to get in touch if you are aware of anything which may substantiate, or not, the above.