Landmark pub sign returns to region

By Jenni DixonVILLAGERS have celebrated the return of a landmark pub sign following an 18-month absence.Proudly hanging from a crossbar suspended high above the road, the Magpie Inn sign was a familiar sight for motorists as they travelled on the A140 between Needham Market and Norwich.

By Jenni Dixon

VILLAGERS have celebrated the return of a landmark pub sign following an 18-month absence.

Proudly hanging from a crossbar suspended high above the road, the Magpie Inn sign was a familiar sight for motorists as they travelled on the A140 between Needham Market and Norwich.

However, the 100-year-old pub sign - one of just three of its type in the country - succumbed to the elements.


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Rot had started to set in into the wooden structure supporting the Stonham Parva pub sign and it had to be taken down on safety grounds. That was about 18 months ago and villagers have been hoping for its return ever since.

Planning permission was granted for a replacement and negotiations took place between the pub owners and Suffolk County Council's highways department.

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But the moment villagers had been waiting for finally came yesterday morning when the Magpie Inn sign was hoisted proudly into place once again.

Suffolk County Council had arranged for the A140 to be closed between 6am and 8am so the operation to lift the crossbar over the busy road could be carried out.

Residents turned out in the early morning to watch as workers from Mill Construction restored the pub sign to its rightful position - and parish councillor, Denise Foster, and her husband, Norman, grabbed the opportunity of raising cash for the village children's play equiptment by serving bacon sandwiches at the roadside.

Joe Buttle, landlord of the Magpie Inn, who organised a celebratory evening of food and drink yesterday to mark the occasion, said residents and passers-by had been asking when the landmark would return and they were delighted it was now back.

"It's been a long time since it was last up and quite a few people watched it put back. It's good to see it back and everyone's just really glad it's gone up. It's part of the village and even people from outside of Suffolk know about it," he added.

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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