Appeal for funds to restore Stansted's two knights of the road to their former glory
Public support is needed to complete restoration of Stansted’s two roadside wooden knight signs which welcome motorists at either end of the village.
The structures, a nod to Stansted's Norman roots, are undergoing a makeover in preparation for this year’s Anglia in Bloom competition – but discovery of extensive wood rot in the sign at the Cambridge Road/High Lane junction means the project has cost more than expected.
Battered by the elements since it was last repaired in 2002, the frame and base need replacing.
Trevor Lloyd, secretary of the Stansted in Bloom group, which is working in partnership with the parish council, said: "Once our restorer got the sign into his workshop and started to dismantle it, he discovered it was in much worse shape than we anticipated.
"We were faced with the choice of a patch-up job that might have lasted a couple of years or finding extra to replace most of the timber, which would hopefully last for 50 years. We opted for the more expensive option. The sign should be back in place by the end of March."
The £3,000 cost, including landscaping, has been met with sponsorship from Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers, of Cambridge Road, and contributions from county and district councillors' community fund pots.
But an extra £500 is needed to ensure the knight at the southern end of the village, at Blythwood Gardens, looks just as smart.
"This knight sign seems in better shape, but a fundraising effort will help pay for some preventive restoration work, " said Mr Lloyd.
Liz Lake Associates, of Station Road, has designed and will implement seasonal planting to improve the Cambridge Road junction.
Said Mr Lloyd: "Our hope is that this will become an exciting, memorable and well-loved entrance to the village all year round."