Half a century ago, in 1965, the Metropolitan boroughs of Stepney, Poplar and Bethnal Green were amalgamated into a new creation – Tower Hamlets.
The borough was granted a coat of arms which bore the inscription “From great things to greater” and contained an image of the White Tower, from the borough’s most famous landmark, the Tower of London.
The council has launched a campaign to commemorate the achievements of the past half a century called #50th, inviting residents to share their photos, memories and views of the borough which will be brought together to inform an legacy project to be enjoyed for years to come.
But the Conservatives are unhappy with the administration’s treatment of the council's heritage. Its five-strong grouping found a version of the coat of arms dumped in a storage area.
Leader Cllr Peter Golds said: “It is a disgrace that such a beautiful coat of arms, rich with the history of our borough has been dumped and left the rot in the Town Hall car park.
“This coat of arms should be restored to its former glory and put on permanent display at a suitable location in the town hall so that residents and visitors to our borough alike can enjoy it as an important symbol of Tower Hamlets.
“What could be a more fitting tribute to our heritage than to have our coat of arms restored on the 50th anniversary of the creation of Tower Hamlets?”
A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets Council said: “The Tower Hamlets coat of arms is one of several which are on display around the borough. This one has been in storage for a number of years and is in need of repair but we will explore whether it is possible to bring it back into use.”
The earliest use of the name “Tower Hamlets” was in the 16th century, when the Constable of the Tower of London commanded the Tower Hamlet Militia as the Lord Lieutenant of Tower Hamlets.