THE designs which have been painstakingly painted onto this year’s Shrovetide game balls have been unveiled.
Official ball painters for Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football, Tim Baker and Simon Hellaby, liaised with the turners-up for next week’s game ahead of painstakingly adorning the treasured leather with personal images.
Mr Hellaby painted the Shrove Tuesday ball which will be turned up by John Tomkinson.
He said: “On the front panel we have a picture of the gates at the bottom of John’s drive along with the hewn plinth which was used from 1969 to 1984 and where he goaled a ball in 1971.
“There are also football goalposts because he used to play football for Matlock and Ashbourne town as well as a golf club which ties into the back panel where I’ve painted Ashbourne Golf Club because he is very into his golf.
“He was captain of the club in 1981.
“On the side panel there is the crest of The Old Trust of which he is a member along with the Rotary Club insignia and the Derby County FC Ram.
“There is also the Queen’s Imperial Crown and the Union Flag.
“I’ve done a rope design in red, white and blue to cover the seams as well as two little trowels as he worked as a builder.”
Mr Baker traditionally paints the Ash Wednesday ball and this year the second day turner-up will be Ashbourne Butcher, Nigel Brown.
Mr Baker said: “Nigel has been an absolute dream to paint for. He was extremely helpful and it has been a pleasure and an honour to paint for him, not only as a person, but for the things he’s chosen for his ball.
“Everybody knows him for his shop, so that was the obvious choice for the front.”
Mr Brown’s ball has his shop portrayed on the front surrounded by laurel wreaths which cover the seams. The back panel has the traditional Imperial Crown with the words Royal Shrovetide.
Mr Baker added: “ On the side panels we have a racehorse in a filigree oval. The horse raced between 1986 and 1991 and was called Hillbeagle. It was an eight-time winner and placed 26 times.
“We also have Cheeky Chunky Freddie, a Limousin bull which was his first home bred bull to go on to win Supreme Champion at the National Show and Sale at Welshpool.”
The ball also has the Union Flag, crossed golf clubs and cricket bats as well as the names of Mr Brown’s wife, Paula and his children Craig, Andrew and Clare.
The balls are now on display at CW Sellors Jewellers in Victoria Square and more about the official ball painters and their work for Shrovetide will be in the Ashbourne News Telegraph special Shrovetide Souvenir edition on Friday next week.