Fairy tale sign in Norfolk village is to be replaced

The village sign in Griston. Photo: Sonya Duncan

The village sign in Griston. Photo: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009

They offer a touch of individuality and heritage at the heart of many villages, and now the residents of Griston, near Watton, are thrilled that their village sign is being renewed.

The sign, installed in the 1970s, depicts a scene from the fairy tale Babes in the Wood, as Griston is known as the home of the story's wicked uncle.

But now the sign has deteriorated beyond repair, and a copy of it is being made by artist Fiona Davies.

Griston Parish Council acting chairman David Barnett said: 'The local community has really got behind this project and we've had a terrific response to our fundraising appeal, with donations coming in from both villagers and local businesses.'

Mr Barnett said the existing sign would be moved to another spot.

He said: 'The current sign is part of our village history and we plan to get it renovated for display locally, possibly within the village church.'

The project is being funded by a £1,000 Breckland Council Pride award, £250 from the EDP Community Chest and about £700 from individuals, community groups and businesses.

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Mr Barnett said Norfolk had more village signs than anywhere else in the country.

He said: 'Before the Second World War, many villages had a sign, but they were taken down so that if we were invaded the Germans wouldn't know where they were.

'But after the war they started to come back again, with much of the work done by a Swaffham man called Harry Carter, who produced some absolutely marvellous designs.'

Breckland Council ward representative councillor Phillip Cowen said: 'These Norfolk village signs say a lot about a village's history, legends and local connections and we should do all that we can to preserve them.'

Mr Barnett said it was hoped there would be a ceremony to mark the sign's unveiling on September 10.

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