Ancient Attleborough milestone given a fresh lick of paint as youngsters restore it to former glory

Youngsters from Norwich Road Nursery painting the Attleborough milestone. Picture: Supplied Youngsters from Norwich Road Nursery painting the Attleborough milestone. Picture: Supplied

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
9:15 AM

For centuries they pointed us in the right direction, signalling the sights and leading the way home.

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Youngsters from Norwich Road Nursery painting the Attleborough milestone. Picture: SuppliedYoungsters from Norwich Road Nursery painting the Attleborough milestone. Picture: Supplied

But today, the humble milestone is often ignored by modern drivers, with sat-navs and smartphones the favoured choice.

On Friday, a milestone in Attleborough was remembered when a team of youngsters gave it a fresh lick of paint.

As part of a project with the Milestone Society, seven eager children from the Norwich Road Nursery arrived at Queen’s Square brush in hand, ready to restore the milestone to its former glory.

For almost two centuries, the post in the heart of the town has directed drivers around south Norfolk - but its appearance has slowly fallen by the wayside.

Youngsters from Norwich Road Nursery with the Attleborough milestone before it was painted .Picture: SuppliedYoungsters from Norwich Road Nursery with the Attleborough milestone before it was painted .Picture: Supplied

Nigel Ford, of the society, said: “The main reason we chose to do this one is because it’s in the town centre - it was getting a little bit scruffy and it needed tidying up. It attracted comments and amusement from passers-by as the children all had paint over themselves too.”

Mr Ford has become known for his work on milestones around Norfolk, after he spotted one on the B1108 at Barford Hire falling into disrepair four years ago.

Since then, the 66-year-old has worked his way around the county - even publishing a book, Moving Miles: Restoring 60 of Norfolk’s Milestones with the Help of Children, Royalty and Hard Work.

“I love seeing part of our history preserved but also I do enjoy working with children because they get a terffic amount of children out of it.

The finished Attleborough milestone.The finished Attleborough milestone.

“Children are our future and in 20 years time I would like to think they would take over and look after them,” he said.

With a team of helpers, including wife Jenny, Mr Ford is slowly fulfilling his quest to restore Norfolk’s milestones.

Attleborough town mayor Karen Pettitt visited the square to see the children in action.

She said: “It’s lovely to see these young children getting involved with a project that they will look back on in years to come knowing they have helped with the preservation of a little piece of our history.”

The project was funded by Attleborough Town Council and local businesses Baileys Coffee Shop, Headlines, Norfolk Kitchen Diner, The Gold Shop and F. W. MYhill and Son.

Do you have an Attleborough story for us? Contact reporter Lauren Cope at Lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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