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SPRING MEETING 2016

MIDSHIRES & EAST OF ENGLAND MEETING

SATURDAY 7th May, at COLLINGTREE, NEAR NORTHAMPTON

Our venue is a well equipped village hall on the High Street in Collingtree, Northampton NN4 0NE , a few minutes drive from J15 of the M1.

Helen Crabtree will set the local scene, Tim Jenkinson will enlighten us about bridgemarkers,  Alan Reade will enthuse us about canals as well as the Highways Agency, Ron Westcott will take us milestoning abroad and Mervyn Benford will add a Swedish contribution. If you have photos of non UK milestones, please bring them along for our display board!

Plenty of parking at the pub opposite, “The Wooden Walls of Old England”.   Doors open 10am for a cuppa and a 10.30 start. Admission £3 to cover hall hire.  We will finish by 3.30pm. Bring a packed lunch or patronise the pub. If you require a lift from the Rail or Bus stations, please contact Hon Sec in advance to arrange.

Everyone welcome, please tell your local community groups -

A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme

The Highways Agency is currently consulting on the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme which puts a number of milestones at risk, not only on the A14 but also on the A1 Great North Road and on the B1040 Potton to St Ives road.  The consultation is open until 15 June.

Prince Charles helps restore Norfolk's oldest milestone

HRH Prince Charles demonstrates his skills with a paint brushPrince Charles has helped restore an 18th century Norfolk milestone on the Sandringham Estate as part of a Jubilee heritage project to commemorate the Queen's sixty year reign.

The Anmer milestone, dated 1764 and believed to be Norfolk 's oldest recorded milestone is the sixtieth to be renovated as part of the Norfolk Jubilee Milestone Restoration Project,.
The Jubilee project is part funded by Norfolk County

Council and through donations from other sources including Parish Councils, businesses and individuals. It is part of a wider scheme that aims to upgrade all of Norfolk 's approximately 360 milestones and is being carried out by Milestone Society member, Nigel Ford and volunteers. Milestone Society Norfolk Representative and founder member, Carol Haines, has helped with the research having catalogued all of Norfolk's milestones over the past 30 years.

Speaking about the event, Nigel Ford said: "For Prince Charles to help us celebrate the Queen's Jubilee with us in such a hands-on way is an enormous honour. "When I started this project 3 years ago - as a hobby - I had little idea that it would attract such an amazing amount of support. I have probably had about 500 people helping me in one way or another either through donations or the actual restoration process. These include people of all ages from 3 years to 99 and from all walks of life, so to add Prince Charles to that list is simply wonderful."

Anmer Milestone 05-12-2012 11-52-50David Gurney, Historic Environment Manager for Norfolk County Council added: "It's a pleasure to support this project, and a pleasure to see these signs restored on our roads. There can be few people who haven't noticed them springing back to life along our highways.

"The milestones are an important part of Norfolk 's history. The large network which developed to guide travellers across the county - whether they were moving for business or pleasure - is testimony to the vibrancy of our economic and cultural heritage. But they still give us accurate and useful information on our highways today and that is why this project is so relevant for us all."

The Anmer Milestone was installed by order of a private benefactor, James Coldham of Anmer Hall, whose initials can be found at the stone's base. A local resident recalls how people used to congregate around it, having 'a puff from their clay pipes and a mardle' and sharpening their shutknives on it – a practice, which has left an indentation which forms part of its long history. He also recalls the stone being removed and buried at the outbreak of WWII for security reasons and re-instated nearer the road shortly after the war ended. The restoration will involve re-siting it in its original position to give it better protection from heavy vehicles.

Norfolk's Jubilee Milestones Project

The Jubilee Milestone Project, by Nigel Ford

The idea of restoring 60 milestones for the Queen's Jubilee came from my brother Rodney (now a MS member) over a cup of tea, and developed from there.  As of today (5th July)  I and my helpers have completed 38, so we ought to achieve our target.  It has been a real struggle with the weather and on fine days I have clocked in 12 hours +, which causes me to smile when asked "Are you retired?"

Despite the problems we have had seven groups of children involved, three stones being  painted by those with special needs, which gave me a real buzz.  Also Poringland WI are painting two stones prepared by me, and more hands on community re-paints are planned.

The Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk is very supportive of the milestone restoration and arranged an invitation to the Queen's Garden Party, held in May at Buckingham Palace, which my wife, Jenny, and I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Coincidentally, we are also in the process of planning a book of sixty milestones, to be gifted to the Queen, although are unlikely to have it completed this year.

The whole project was rather ambitious but, although very time consuming, I have no regrets!

Jubilee Restoration proceeds apace in Norfolk!

Milestone Society member Nigel Ford is restoring milestones as a Jubilee tribute.  The project is being funded by Norfolk County Council and Parish Councils with further funds raised from many local donors who have been impressed by the quality and enthusiasm he brings to his activities!

 Nigel's Little Helpers

Nigel Fords Junior Helpers 1

Nigel Fords Junior Helpers 2