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Funding boost to give signs a fresh look
SIGNPOSTS in west Dorset are to get a makeover following a funding boost.
The project is a partnership between Beaminster Town Council and the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Town councillor Chris Turner is using his woodworking skills to recreate the iconic finger posts.
He said: “There are various finger posts in this part of the county that are looking a bit sorry for themselves, so we will be taking them down and replacing them where necessary.”
He added: “These signs are a really distinctive part of Dorset’s landscape. I know Somerset and some other counties do have them, but they are quite different.
“In a rural area like this we all tend to take them a bit for granted so it’s nice to give them a bit of a lift.”
Beaminster Town Council is contributing £500 towards the cost of the project, and this will be matched by the AONB.
The first fingerpost to have a facelift is the one in the centre of Beaminster Town Square.
Coun Turner will remake this in oak wood and paint before replacing.
He said: “A lot of them have been made in pine, but the AONB prefers oak as it is a longer-lasting wood.
“This will be the first of many in the Beaminster area. I would say there are at least six which need replacing but of course, once you start looking, there could be many more.”
The project began around three months ago with a suggestion at a town council meeting, with Coun Turner becoming involved because of his knowledge of woodwork. The council then approached the AONB for funding.
Sue Mitchell, from Dorset AONB, said fingerposts are part of ‘what makes Dorset such a distinctive county’.
While the signs are found all over the country, those found in Dorset feature the grid reference and name of the crossroads, cast metal letters, timber arms and special ‘roundles’ on the top of the posts.
They pre-date the First World War, although they were taken down in the Second World War.
She said: “We have been involved in the restoration of fingerposts for quite some time, and though they belong to Dorset County Council highways team, the funding hasn’t always been there to restore them.
“It’s great when people like Chris can get involved, as it makes them part of the community.
“In other parts of the county we have also had a lot of businesses who have paid to restore them.”
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