Villages unveil sign depicting rich community history
PUBLISHED: 12:52 30 July 2018
A joint village sign for two neighbouring communities has finally been unveiled after two years of planning.
The sign for Shadingfield and Willingham St Mary was presented on Sunday, July 22, following a sustained period of fundraising overseen by local people.
With the assistance of reverends past and present from St John the Baptist Church in Shadingfield, villagers gathered for the symbolic unveiling before enjoying entertainment at the Shadingfield Fox Inn.
“Many of our locals helped with the project, including with clearing of the site, building the plinth and baking cakes to make our unveiling a very special event,” said Robbie London, one of those to have a hand in the planning process.
“We invited Revd Paul Nelson - former vicar of St. John the Baptist church - to perform the unveiling and our current vicar Revd Phillip Miller to perform a blessing.”
Plans to construct a sign were originally intended to commemorate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2016, while there was also a desire to celebrate the Queen’s sapphire jubilee last year.
As those leading the charge set to work with fundraising events, the parish council for the kindly agreed to pay for half the costs and locals began submitting their ideas for the design.
A newly-formed committee came together to discuss how the sign could reflect life in the villages and decided its primary function should be to depict the rich farming heritage and community spirit of the two villages.
Mrs London said the newly-unveiled sign perfectly encapsulates the history of the villages.
She added: “The sign includes our church - St John the Baptist - an important part of any community, and the only elm tree left standing in the villages after the Dutch elm disease decimated them in the 1970s.
“The plough and the wheat and rapeseed fields represent our farming, while the fox represents some of the oldest buildings in the villages including
Fox Farm House, Fox Cottages and of course The Fox Inn.”
The village sign committee would like to thank Bedford-based sign suppliers Sign of the Times for their guidance and patience in assisting with the design and final production.