As a Mother’s Day weekend treat, I was taken to Salisbury by my daughter. Part of the treat was searching for a new scarf and I was not disappointed. My fingers immediately identified silk with hand stitched seams. First impression was BOY SCOUTS as the design shows dozens of fleur-de-lys, the international emblem of that century old movement. Yes, I was a Girl Guide, but their emblem is the gentler trefoil. Where would a scarf with such a design take me, I wonder? I look at it a little closer and now see shields bearing the design of a crowned lion. I do have a hard task ahead. I am somewhat surprised to find I have bought a Jane Shilton scarf, very British and not French as I had originally thought.
I had thought I would be writing something about French Royalty or the lion representing Lyon, home of the silk industry. No! Instead I start with the year of my birth 1933. This was the year Alexander Shilton set up his leather business, making handbags. During World War Two, his London factory made gas masks rather than handbags. This was not particularly a pleasant memory for me remembering these practice sessions following sirens and struggling to breathe with this contraption strapped to a little face. When Alexander returned to his company following his war service, he married faithful Jane who had efficiently kept the business running. He renamed the company Jane Shilton and it continued long after her death, making good quality bags, shoes and of course silk scarves.
So, what about the Scouts? Why this particular emblem? It’s top point represents North….always important to know where that is if you get lost! The three points stand for the three parts of the Boy Scout Law, similar to that of the Girl Guides ……”To do my duty to God and my Country, to obey the Scout Law, and to help other people at all time.” Not bad principles to get one through life! Having bought this scarf, I now see these three points everywhere, on top of the railings by our back gate, and more grandly around Buckingham Palace. And what is the significance of the crowned lion head? The king of beasts wearing his crown, indicating Royalty and strength. I understand it is the most popular tattoo design. I will be giving that a miss!
I wore my scarf on Mother’s Day and unexpectedly was taken to a Point-to-Point horse race meeting at Larkhill. Just for the fun of it, I had small wagers on every race, bar one. Can you believe it, I picked the winner in every race. For the race I didn’t fancy betting on, I still had a favourite in my head. It was a dead heat after more than three miles, so not one loser. I am no horsey expert; sometimes I just liked the name of the horse, the prick of its ears, or the colours of the jockey! Maybe my winning streak was good luck brought by my new scarf and it would be fitting if I invest my modest gains in another interesting scarf. I plan to stop writing at No. 99 in this series, so I have only eight more to go!
I hope I don’t get withdrawal symptoms and need therapy! I am deliberately not writing that 200th blog! Nor am I volunteering as a Scout Mistress, having body staining embellishment or taking up horse racing.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face.
Series 2, Blog. 91.