Walberswick village sign returns home after a long absence
A long lost emblem of a north Suffolk village has been returned to its rightful home - almost three decades after it was stolen and presumed gone forever.
Residents of Walberswick, near Southwold thought they had seen the last of their village sign when it went missing in the mid-eighties - but a strange set of circumstances has since led to its grateful homecoming.
The sign is currently being restored by metal specialists in nearby Aldeburgh, and is due to be officially reinstated in the summer, after a couple from Kent made an unwitting second-hand purchase.
Walberswick parish council chairman, David Webb, explained: 'They bought it in a garage sale, not realising that Walberswick was even a place until they went on holiday to Norfolk and saw us signposted on the A12.
'They contacted us through the parish website, saying they had our sign and that they were happy for us to have it back.
'It was in pretty bad condition and needed a lot of renovation.'
A replica sign, two-thirds its size, has stood on the village green since the original was stolen from the entrance to the village.
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The parish council now hopes to unveil the salvaged sign opposite the church in June and will be inviting the couple up from Kent as special guests.
The sign is currently being restored by Aldeburgh-based firm JT Pegg & Sons Ltd, whose work includes a number of projects with artist Maggi Hambling, including her famous Scallop sculpture at Aldeburgh.
Dennis Pegg said: 'The main frame is still there so we're able to see the old design.
'We'll now have to restore what can be restored and replace what needs to be replaced.'