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Finger Post Restoration Project

By Carolyn Peck Char Valley Parish Council

Monday, 28 November 2016

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Parish Councillor for Whitchurch Canonicorum

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A number of people have been in touch concerning the disappearance of some of the Parish's finger posts. These are key way markers and, whilst it is of little consolation to anyone currently lost in the Vale, I can confirm that the posts in question have not been stolen but removed for restoration. Hopefully, they will be back in place soon. In the meantime, I find OS maps are quite useful and much more reliable than sat nav!

The repair process is slow and expensive, involving specialist restorers, skilled craftspeople, volunteers and members of Portland's Young Offenders Institute.

Char Valley Parish Council is overseeing the restoration and repair of all the Parish's twenty-one posts. We plan to work on three a year. Some can be repaired in situ but some need to be taken down to be properly repaired so there will be further “disappearances”. Once it is known how much money will be available in CVPC's 2017 budget the next round of work will begin. A post's usefulness as a way marker and its state of decrepitude determine its position on the “to do” list.

The full restoration of a four fingered post can cost up to £800. We have applied for and received a grant and advice from the AONB office and are very grateful to Mr Simon Christopher and Mr Brian Lugg for their generous donations. Offers of practical help have been received from Mssrs Coates, Scotton and Chapman. Alex Brookes and Chris Hawkins are currently working on posts in Wootton Fitzpaine and Whitchurch Canonicorum. The posts from Gassons Lane, Crooked Lane and Wootton Cross are being worked on by Roger Bond, whose experience and advice has been invaluable.

Budget cuts at County level have meant that maintenance of finger posts is now a Parish responsibility. But, odd as it may seem, whilst you and I as Council Tax payers are paying for this through the parish precept, even if CVPC pays the full cost of a newly restored post (remember: some £800) that post remains the property of the County not the Parish. Therefore, it seems to me, we have an interest in looking after them. They are useful and part of our rural heritage. The post at the corner of Gassons Lane in Whitchurch Canonicoeum suffered the double indignity of being hit by both a hedge cutter and a lorry taking the corner too sharply. It is difficult to legislate against carelessness but it would be helpful if residents could keep an eye out and report damage or potential problems. So, if there is anyone out there who would like to adopt a post, please get in touch. This brings me on to Mr Miller who has been looking after the finger post near Partway Cottage in Wootton Fitzpaine for a number of years. Thank you! You deserve a special mention as our first official adopter.

This project will be on-going for a number of years and we will continue to need help. At the moment we are looking for someone who might be able to assist with the re-siting of the newly restored posts but if you are more comfortable at the controls of a sander than a digger, then we would still love to hear from you. Full details of the project county-wide can be found on the Dorset for You website.

Carolyn Peck

for Char Valley Parish Council

 

 

Contact Information

Annette Marks - Parish Clerk

  • 01308 459268

Find Char Valley Parish Council

Whitchurch Canonicorum, Bridport, Dorset

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Please note that the map shown on this page does not cover the whole parish, for this please see the map page.