Letter of the week Dead end
All is not lost
HAVING been brought up near Devizes in Wiltshire, I read Ptolemy Dean’s article on the town (July 20) with interest. I recall ‘the much-pinnacled Market Cross’ (right) he refers to being known as the Ruth Pierce memorial on account of the salutary tale inscribed on it.
It reads: ‘On Thursday the 25th of January 1753, Ruth Pierce of Potterne in this County, agreed with three other women to buy a sack of wheat in the market, each paying her due proportion towards the same. One of these women, in collecting the several quotas of money, discovered a deficiency, and demanded of Ruth Pierce the sum which was wanting to make good the amount. Ruth Pierce protested that she had paid her share, and said, “She wished she might drop down dead if she had not.” She rashly repeated this awful wish; when to the consternation and terror of the surrounding multitude, she instantly fell
Idown and expired, having the money concealed in her hand.’ William Newsom, Somerset READ with interest your letter of the week from Shirley Lane on the important part traditional cast-iron road signs play in maintaining rural distinctiveness and the need to maintain them (August 17).Well, all is not lost, as, since 2001, I have been restoring fingerposts back to their original condition. Local authorities are now taking their maintenance seriously and encouragement from the Department for Transport is helping in this process.
In Cumbria, a good example has been set by Eden District Council, which has embarked on a five-year project to restore all of its fingerposts. The future for our historic road signs is a little brighter now than it has been for many years. David Gosling, Signpost Restoration Limited, Cumbria
The writer of the letter of the week will win a bottle of Pol Roger Brut Réserve Champagne