Dan Haynes

A former museum trustee living in Brampton, near Beccles, has picked up a rare marker in the village's history. Gary Eves has found an original Brampton road sign from 1822 which he believes to be one of the only ones left in the area.

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A former museum trustee living in Brampton, near Beccles, has picked up a rare marker in the village's history.

Gary Eves has found an original Brampton road sign from 1822 that he believes to be one of the only ones left in the area.

He believes that the cast iron milestone would have been one of many put along trunk roads in the 1820s, but thinks that most have since been destroyed by traffic, while others still be in place are replicas of the originals.

Mr Eves plans to restore the battered milestone to its former glory, and put it back on the road.

“It's part of our history and it's got a style of that era,” he said. “It shouldn't be in a museum and it should be in a safe, open place that the public can enjoy.”

Mr Eves found the milestone propped up against a wall at a farm in the village. The owners of the farm had only just moved there, and did not know where it had come from.

As an ex-trustee of Saxmundham Museum, Mr Eves was keen to make sure that this fascinating piece of heritage did not go to waste. “You're always looking for things that are old and interesting,” he said. “I just couldn't walk past it. I was very excited to come across it, to see it lying there with no home to go to.”

The sign was made by the then well-known Leiston company J Garrett, and Mr Eves said it is one of a series of milestones that were put along all the trunk roads in England in response to people travelling more.

Having contacted the Milestone Society, Mr Eves believes it was one of three that used to be there and one of many along the Beccles road.

The sign records that Great Yarmouth is 19 miles away, Beccles five, and Norwich 23. The right side is missing, leaving just an S and an H, which Mr Eves believes used to say Saxmundham and Halesworth.

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