Village Sign - Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 50° 34.622 W 003° 48.627
30U E 442615 N 5603104
Quick Description: Local granite village sign depicting ‘Old Uncle Tom Cobley and All’
Location: South West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 10/13/2014 11:29:50 AM
Waymark Code: WMMN58
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Sir Lose-a-lot
Views: 5

Long Description:
Widecombe-In-The-Moor which is probably best known for Widecombe Fair, held annually and celebrated by a well-known folksong of the same name, ‘Old Uncle Tom Cobley and All’, featured on the granite stone village sign.

The lyrics for the song can be found here - (visit link)

"In 1920 the Daily Mail held a competition to design a village sign and one Mr. C. Churchward's idea won him £50 for Widecombe's. The sign was made from local granite and depicted Old Tom Cobley's mare astride which were all his infamous companions. At the top of the column the name of Widecombe in the Moor was placed in gold letters. The sign was unveiled by the chairman of Newton Abbot Rural Council, one Charles Stooke. As part of the ceremony two villagers, Mr. C. Churchward and Mr.F. Gough, sang the famous folk song 'Widecombe Fair', WDLHG, p.41. Incidentally, this was the first village sign to be erected in the whole of Devonshire, a fact that has not gone unnoticed as a plaque on the pillar testified. It read; "Following a speech by his Royal Highness The Duke of York at the Royal Academy in 1920 on the revival of Village Signs. The Daily Mail organised a Village Signs Competition and Exhibition offering a total of £2200 in prizes. Ten awards were made and the design from which this sign was constructed secured special prize £50.

During the Second World War there was a real threat of invasion and so in order to 'confuse' any would-be invaders the government decreed that all village signs, signposts and milestones were removed. This included Widecombe's village sign which unfortunately whilst being dismantled was dropped and damaged beyond repair. After the war it was decided that a new village sign should be erected. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. F. Hamlyn of nearby Dunstone Court the funding was found, and then Lady Sylvia Sayer came up with a new design. A plaque was placed on the column of the sign which reads; "This sign was presented to the Parish of Widecombe-in-the-Moor by Francis Hamlyn Esquire of Dunstone Court, Widecombe 1948." Along with a different design came a different location for the village sign, this time it was erected opposite its old site on the village green or Butte Park where it stands today."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Ordnance Survey map reference (10 figure) if within DNP – If outside the Park, add N/A: SX 71907 76821

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