EDP Norfolk - - Community Life -

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.


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.

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