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Tourcoing (Municipality, Nord, France)

Toerkonje

Last modified: 2022-06-14 by ivan sache
Keywords: tourcoing |
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Flag of Tourcoing, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 7 July 2020


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Presentation of Tourcoing

The municipality of Tourcoing (98,656 inhabitants in 2019; 1,519 ha; municipal website) is located on the border with Belgium, 15 km north-east of Lille and north of Roubaix.

Tourcoing was first mentioned in 1080, a few decades after Lille (1056). Tourcoing was then Flanders' third most populated town after Lille and Douai. In 1173, Philip of Alsace, Count of Flanders, signed in Tourcoing a treaty allowing the sale of cloth and fabric produced in Flanders; the treaty mentioned "Tourcoing's huge cloth mill". In 1491, Maximilian of Austria established a "Free Fair" in Tourcoing. In the next century, production was diversified with the initiation of wool industry carding, combing and weaving. In 1693, 500 weaving mills were recorded in the town.
Industrialization in the 19th century fostered the development of the population of the town, which increased from 20,000 in 1825 to 81,600 in 1906. That year, international recognition was granted with the organization in 1907 of the Textile Industry International Fair. While there were still 174 wool factories in 1960, 160 of them winded up at the end of the 20th century.
In 1870, Adolphe Binet established a wool combing factory, increased and renamed to Peignage de la Tossée in 1896. Once producing 16% of wool combed in France, the company was taken over by Standard Wool Inc. in 1986 and eventually closed in 2004. Vanoutryve Félix et Cie was awarded a golden medal in the World Exhibition organized in Paris in 1899. The factory built in 1889 and eventually closed in 2006 employed up to 7,000 workers. Several textile factories were built on the boulevard surrounding the downtown, which was nicknamed "industrial boulevard". Architect Georges Forest (1881-1932) is credited some 140 industrial buildings in the north of France, including in Tourcoing the Lorthiois & Malpel (1925) and Lepoutre (1921-1923) factories; his son, Marcel Forest (1910-1998) built the Malard (1956) and Masurel (1945) factories.

The inhabitants of Tourcoing are nicknamed "broutteux", from the local world broutte, in French brouette, "a wheelbarrow". This refers to weavers carrying their products to the Lille market in wheelbarrows they pushed on a distance of 15 km, while the rich traders and burgers of the town had their own carriages. In the 18th century, Brûle-Maison, a singer from Lille, used the broutteux as recurrent characters, presented as stupid: the tradition reports that bonfires were shot in Tourcoing when the singer's death was announced.
The journalist and story-teller Jules Watteeuw (1849-1947) completely changed the image of the broutteux, who became the main character of his numerous poems, plays and satiric songs ("pasquilles") written in local Picard dialect. Himself nicknamed Broutteux, Watteeuw was offered in 1909 a wealthy house paid by a municipal subscription, while the street where the house is located was renamed for him while he was still alive. Such an honor, extremely uncommon in France, was also offered to Victor Hugo.
Watteeuw's house, better known as Broutteux' house, was designed in odd neo-Alsatian style. Its facade was decorated by prominent local artists of the time. The center of the facade features a bust of the poet designed by sculptor Georges Engrand (1852-1936), who also designed the bas-relief decorating the clockwork of the belfry of Tourcoing. The perron of the house features two bas-reliefs designed by Jules Clamagirand (1870-1937) representing characters highlighted in Watteeuw's pasquilles, merchant D'Justin and Napoleonic soldier Timoléon. D'Justin, indeed Jean-Baptiste Lertiste, was an old man who sold cakes to children at the entrance of the St. Christopher church; cherished by the inhabitants of Tourcoing, D'Justin died in 1909 at the poor's hospital. Clamagirand also decorated the Chapel of the Vow, the belfry and the cemetery of Tourcoing, as well as the Town Hall and the new theater of Lille. Placed beneath the poet's bust, a fresco designed by the Belgian painter Rémy Cooghe (1834-1935) features D'Justin and Timoléon, as well as other characters, such as Petit Clo, Thérèsse Poutche, D'Justin L'buresse. Timoléon is also featured on the door handle, surrounded by fighting roosters. Watteeuw enjoyed his house for nearly four decades, surviving the artists who had decorated it.
[Tourcoing Balade]

Ivan Sache, 14 June 2022


Flag of Tourcoing

The flag of Tourcoing (photo) is white with the municipal logo. The former flag of Tourcoing (photo, photo)was white with the logo in use between 2012 and 2018. Both logos have their graphic part derived based on the municipal coat of arms.
The logo adopted in December 2012 was presented as a "modernization" of the former logo. Jointly designed by two local agencies, A Propos and MB Design, the logo kept the tagline "La Créative", which "provides continuity with the past since the Middle Ages until today's creations, either cultural or entrepreneurial".
[Votre-Tourcoing, 6 January 2012]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 14 June 2022


Banner of arms of Tourcoing

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Flag of Tourcoing - Image by Ivan Sache, 14 June 2022

The banner of arms of Tourcoing, previously used in the town (photo), semmes to be used now mostly by giant Guillaume de Mortagne (photo, photo, photo).

The arms of Tourcoing, "Argent a cross sable charged with five bezants or" are derived from the town's seal. Th. Leuridan (Armorial des communes du département du Nord, 1909) reports that they were carved on the big bell of the St. Christopher church, cast in 1686. Suppressed during the French Revolution, the arms were re-established in 1823.
The arms are shown in the Armorial Général (image).

The arms of Tourcoing originally belonged to Guillaume de Mortagne, lord of Dossemer, Rumes, Oudenaarde and Tourcoing, who acquired in 1294 the domain of Tourcoing from Alix de Guînes. The same year, he granted a charter to the town and offered his personal seal to stamp cloth produced in Tourcoing.
[Municipal website]

Other traditions say that the seal was granted by King of France John the Good in 1372, or that year by Guillaume de Mortagne, years after his death, or by his daughter Yolanda. The very thorough Canon Leuridan does not say anything on the origin of the seal, which probably means than nothing sure can be said.
Borel d'Hauterive (Histoire des armoiries des villes de France,) as little reliable as usual, claims that "it would not be surprising that these arms originates in one of the crusades of the Count of Flanders".

Ivan Sache, 14 June 2022


Tourcoing Lille Métropole Volley-Ball

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Flagsof TLM - Images by Ivan Sache, 14 June 2022

TLM Volley-Ball (website) was established in 1912 as Saint Michel Omnisport; the main activity was athletics, volley-ball being played indoor in inter time. The volley-ball section was officially set up in 1962, to be renamed to TLM in 1994.
TLM won the French Cup 2018, defeating Chaumont (19-25, 24-26, 25-22, 25-20, 15-12).

The flag hanging on the wall of the sport hall is a green-white chequy of 5 rows x 10 columns, starting with a green square in the upper left corner.
The club's supporters, Les Anges Verts (The Green Angels) use a flag horizontally divided white-green (photo).

Ivan Sache, 14 June 2022


 
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