SIX OF ANDREW’S FAVOURITE SIGNS
SIGNS WITH SURPRISING STORIES Babingley, near Sandringham
When St Felix arrived in Norfolk to introduce Christianity into East Anglia his ship got into trouble on the River Babingley. It was guided to safety by a family of beavers. In gratitude, St Felix made the head beaver a bishop. You can see him at the top of the sign attending to some of his followers.
SIGNS THAT STATE IT SIMPLY Crownthorpe, near Wymondham
As rustic as you like – in stark contrast to the ornate signs in the surrounding communities of Wymondham, Wicklewood, Kimberley and Carleton Forehoe, the one at Crownthorpe just displays the name. It proves that all villages could produce a sign for themselves if they wished to.
SIGNS THAT ARE SIMPLY SPECTACULAR Walpole Saint Andrew, near Wisbech
Every detail in this magnificent sign represents a feature of importance to the village. A Marshall general purpose steam engine stands in front of the tower of St Andrew’s church to represent the steam rallies held in the village – funds collected during these paid for the sign itself. The war memorial is depicted to the right of the tower. An apple tree and strawberry plants signify the importance of these crops. The waves show that this area once had access to the sea.
TOWN SIGNS SHAPED LIKE A ‘T Diss
Harry Carter created many of Norfolk’s village signs. His trademark for town signs was a ‘T’ shape. The image on one side shows John Skelton, Rector of Diss, tutoring a young Henry VIII. The other side represents Matilda, the daughter of the Lord of the Manor of Diss, being presented with a poisoned boiled egg. She had upset King John by refusing his advances and he sought revenge.
SIGNS IN A SURPRISING SETTING Upton with Fishley, near Acle
Standing on its own island in the middle of the village pond the sign for this Broadland village depicts a windmill, St. Margaret’s church, a trading wherry and a ploughman at work.
SIGNS WITH A SENSE OF OCCASION Wolferton, near Sandringham
The sign at Wolferton displays two dates: 1912 and 2012. The first indicates the date the sign was first unveiled, the year after George V was crowned. The second was to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. The first village signs in Britain were erected on the Sandringham estate and the sign at Wolferton is one of the oldest.