by Jeannie Swales
The winner of next month’s inaugural Tour de Yorkshire international cycling race will, on Sunday May 3, hold aloft a magnificent trophy in the form of a golden ‘Y’ on a silver base.
Fittingly, it was made by the Yorkshire-based company Thomas Fattorini Ltd, one of the world’s leading makers of trophies, badges, medals, insignia and other related objects – including the FA Cup, the Rugby League Challenge Cup, and these medals for the Scarborough and District Cycling Club. The date of the medals isn’t recorded, but presumably the club was a precursor of the current Scarborough Paragon Cycling Club, which was formed in 1953.
Fattorini & Sons was started in 1827 by founding father Antonio Fattorini (1797-1859), an Italian immigrant who settled in Yorkshire and set up a chain of shops selling jewellery, watches and fancy goods, including one in Skipton. This branch spotted an increasing demand for sporting badges and medals, and began to craft them at a factory in Birmingham.
By 1927, the small Birmingham factory could no longer cope with demand, and relocated to larger premises in the city. By the mid 60s, the company also had a branch in Manchester specialising in enamelling, and later becoming a centre for the design and manufacture of plastic badges.
In the 1980s the company started to manufacture ceremonial swords for graduation gifts, replicas and parade swords. In 1984, Fattorini & Sons was sold to Thomas Fattorini Ltd. Thomas Fattorini Ltd and Fattorini & Sons had been friendly rivals for many years; both businesses were owned and managed by descendants of Antonio Fattorini. Fattorini’s is now run by the sixth generation of the family.
Today, the company is still a leading maker of sporting cups and trophies, insignia, emblematic jewellery, silver and gold ware and collectors’ pieces.
The cycling medals are part of the Scarborough Collections, the name given to all the museum objects and artwork acquired by the borough over the years, and now in the care of Scarborough Museums Trust. For further information, contact Collections Manager Jennifer Dunne on Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org or (01723) 384510.