Village wants to reclaim 'capital of the Broads' title

Stone mason Nick Hindle with the granite wherry sculpture which will top the new village sign for Wroham in the Norfolk...

Stone mason Nick Hindle with the granite wherry sculpture which will top the new village sign for Wroxham in the Norfolk Broads. - Credit: Malcolm Allsop

It is hoped a sculpted granite pillar featuring a model of a Norfolk wherry will help restore the identity of an oft-misunderstood Broads village. 

Wroxham Parish Council has commissioned a new sign for the village, which is regularly confused with Hoveton - its neighbour on the other side on the River Bure. 

Malcolm Allsop, council vice-chairman, said the sign would also proudly reclaim Wroxham's ancient title of ‘Capital of the Norfolk Broads'.

Stone mason Nick Hindle with the granite wherry sculpture which will top the new village sign for Wroxham in the Norfolk...

Stone mason Nick Hindle with the granite wherry sculpture which will top the new village sign for Wroxham in the Norfolk Broads. - Credit: Malcolm Allsop

Mr Allsop said: "Wroxham doesn't have a village centre, everything is tucked away to one side of the main road. A lot of visitors who go to Hoveton think they're actually in Wroxham, which causes a lot of frustration on both sides of the Bure.

"So a new sign is something the village has been asking for, for a long time, to give it back some identity and create a new focal point.

"As far as we're concerned it's not just a village sign. It's a proper piece of art, and we hope it will be inspiring for people as well."

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An aerial image of Wroxham and Hoveton, taken by John Fielding from his microlight aircraft. Picture

An aerial shot of Wroxham - below the River Bure in this photo - and Hoveton - above - taken by John Fielding from his microlight aircraft. - Credit: John Fielding

The sign will be more than 7ft (2 metres) tall and will be installed at the junction of Norwich Road and the northern end of The Avenue. 

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Stone mason Nick Hindle, who is based in the village, is creating the sign using green granite from a quarry in India for the column and Scandinavian grey granite for the wherry. 

It will be unveiled by Norfolk's Lord Lieutenant, Lady Dannatt, in spring next year. 

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Day boats lined up on the Hoveton side of the River Bure. - Credit: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Mr Hindle, who has been a stonemason for 36 years, said: “I am not aware that there is anything like this in the whole county.

“I am really honoured to be given this important commission. I’ve got a fair bit of work to do on it but it will be ready for the big day.”

Plans for how the new village sign at Wroxham in the Norfolk Broads will look.

Plans for how the new village sign at Wroxham in the Norfolk Broads will look. - Credit: Malcolm Allsop

Its cost is just over £10,000, which is being paid for out of a community infrastructure levy granted for the construction of the Wherry Gardens housing estate several years ago. 

Norfolk has more village signs than anywhere else in the country. The tradition is believed to have started when King Edward VII was staying at the Sandringham Estate and suggested they would help travellers find their way around.  

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Wroxham already has two small, wrought-iron village signs that were installed in the 1930s. It is hoped the new, larger sign will provide a focal point for the village. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

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The bridge over the River Bure at Wroxham/Hoveton. Why shouldn't the world's leaders be treated to a trip on the world famous Broads? - Credit: Denise Bradley


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