platinum Jubilee – plans for a new village sign

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Planning is under way to permanently commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a new Fetcham village sign.

The FRA committee has commissioned a design (main picture) from Black Forge Art, of Kent, who are one of England’s leading suppliers of bespoke village signs and artistic weather vanes.

The project is being led by Sara Gyngell, who explained the idea to the FRA AGM in April, where it received overwhelming support.

The plan is to site the new sign on the outcrop of land between Sainsbury’s and the mini-roundabout at the entrance to the village from the Cobham direction.

At present the land is occupied by trimmed shrubs and a street lamp.  It is envisaged that the area could be cleared, and as well as the new village sign, there could be paving and some space for benches. 

The proposed site for the village sign - the corner on the Cobham Road next to Sainsbury's.

However, before any work can commence it is expected that Surrey County Council’s Highways team will want to establish that sight lines for traffic will be maintained.  Any works will also have to take into account the presence of any underground pipes and utilities.

The cost of the Black Forge sign will be in the region of £11,000 fully installed, but the additional costs of the project, such as the proposed landscaping, are yet to be determined.

There are various sources of funding available, but it is also possible that there could be a public appeal.

Sara pointed out to FRA members at the AGM that most of our surrounding villages, such as Bookham, Oxshott, Cobham and Mickleham, all have decorative village signs.

She told us: “I think that a new high-quality sign like this would really reinforce the identity of the village, as well as being a fitting way of marking this very special Jubilee year.”

The proposed design, by Black Forge artist Rod Fender, imaginatively includes key aspects and landmarks of Fetcham life.  St Mary’s Church, the historic crossing of the River Mole at the Splash, the blacksmith’s forge, and figures representing community and recreation.

The project was enthusiastically supported from the outset by the FRA’s late chairman Tim Waller, and it would be a fitting tribute to him if it could be accomplished as planned.

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