Thousands needed to restore historic Norwich village sign
- Credit: Hammond and Stratford
A campaign to restore a much-loved village sign is ramping up thanks to the involvement of a Norfolk-based company.
The traditional-style wooden village sign in Eaton at Church Lane and Eaton Street was installed in 1956.
The sign depicts an elephant holding a barrel in its trunk - a play on words on the village's name. The elephant represents the 'E' syllable and the barrel a 'tun'.
The sign - which requires a new post, repairs to some carved details and repainting - can be viewed from Hammond and Stratford Estate Agents' office, which prompted the company to get involved in restoring the sign.
The agents have started their own fundraiser - with the aim of raising £1,100 to support Eaton Village Residents Association's (EVRA) £3,000 campaign to preserve and maintain the city council-owned sign.
Saffron Dixon, social media executive for the agents, said: "I myself live and work in Eaton and we can see it from both our branch and head office. It's looking a bit tired which is sad.
"It's important to give it a new lease of life and reflect how lovely Eaton is.
"Everything here is very well maintained and it will be nice for the sign to reflect that, too.
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"It will be nice for it to be enjoyed for generations to come and for us to be a part of both Eaton's and the sign's legacy."
Managing director Glen Hammond added: "We are proud to support the restoration of the Eaton village sign which has become an iconic marker amongst residents as the heart of the village.
"We are fortunate to enjoy the sign every day from our branch windows so we look forward to seeing it returned to its former glory."
Although the sign is owned by the city council, EVRA has previously arranged and paid for repainting.
A Norwich City Council spokeswoman said: "It’s been fantastic to see the progress of the fundraiser and the community spirit to refurbish the historic village sign which has welcomed visitors to Eaton for 65 years.
"The residents association work incredibly hard and we’re working closely to move this project forward and agree practical timescales alongside other council commitments."
How Eaton has changed
Chris Stebbing, chairman of EVRA, said that the sign's restoration will honour Eaton's roots and propel it into the future.
"Eaton has changed enormously," he explained.
"The village has obviously grown since 1956. Back then it was just a few houses at the crossroads where the sign stands, but now it's more than 1,500 houses.
"It's the only sign like this in the city.
"Where I live in Greenways, that didn't exist until the 60s, and the Cringleford bypass was built in 1975.
"Waitrose - once Roys - wouldn't have been there either in the early days.
"There was once a row of terraced houses behind the Red Lion."
The sign is due to go to the workshop next month and will be reinstalled after a two-three month drying period.