New £10,000 village sign unveiled to 'excite and endure'
- Credit: Supplied by Elaine Allsop
The picturesque Broads village of Wroxham has a new focal point - a stunning 7ft high village sign.
The solid granite monolith topped with a Norfolk wherry was unveiled at a ceremony by Norfolk's Lord Lieutenant, Lady Philippa Dannatt, who called it "a most extraordinary and quite exceptional piece of art, which I know will both excite and endure".
The sign is emblazoned with water and reed symbols and an inscription proclaims Wroxham's ancient title as the 'Capital of the Norfolk Broads'.
Lady Dannatt told a group of 25 guests at the unveiling: "Few, if any of our superlative Norfolk villages deserve it more than you. Many, many congratulations and thank you so much for all the glory you heap on this county of ours. Norfolk is profoundly grateful."
The sign - at junction of Norwich Road and the northern end of The Avenue - was sculpted by Nick Hindle, who is based in the village.
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Mr Hindle said that the green granite used for the column was formed in rocks in India more than 300 million years ago. He had it imported into this country last year and has been working on it since.
Parish council chairman Malcolm Allsop said part of the idea of the sign was to give Wroxham a stronger sense of identity.
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The village, on the southern bank of the River Bure, is often confused with its larger, more bustling neighbour Hoveton on the north bank, where most shops and visitor attractions are located.
The sign cost is just over £10,000, paid for out of a community infrastructure levy granted for the construction of the Wherry Gardens housing estate several years ago.
Jerome Mayhew, Broadland MP, said the sign was "a thrilling and unique installation that, like the granite it is made from, will grace this special Broadland village for many thousands of years to come".
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.