Posted 6th May 2016
Paul shows off the progress he is making with the new village sign
The reason why . . . .
(photos by Jean)
Mandy & Fran at work painting the restored sign.
(photo by Dani)
Unveiling of the restored village sign ~ (Umbrella parade) ~ Scroll down for full report
Unveiling the Clippesby Village Sign to Mark the Queen’s 90th Birthday
The original Clippesby Village Sign, unveiled in 1978, had been showing signs of deterioration so the Fleggburgh Parish Council agreed to let Clippesby parishioners remove and restore it. However, when Paul Guise-Smith and his trusty helpers Malcolm Guymer, Lee and Ben Clarke and Dan Farman took it to his workshop they found it to be beyond repair so Paul decided that he would create a new one and having decided he quickly got to work; he found some Brazilian mahogany for the top of the sign, just like the first one, and Johnnie Lindsay gave him Clippesby oak for the post and the rest of it.
Paul spent hours in his workshop, which is in the old tithe barn attached to his cottage, he probably worked for about a couple of hundred hours all told. His wife Verna knew exactly where to find him at mealtimes and she had a job to prise him away from this labour of love. The sign itself has been carved and faithfully replicates the original in every detail but the supporting arms are Paul’s own design with carved shields of John Clippesby’s coat of arms on either end of them and with carved wooden supports rather than wrought iron ones as formerly.
After the top of the sign had been carved and undercoated it was given over to Mandy Youngs and Frances Lindsay-Smith to be painted and varnished. Since it was Mandy’s design in the first place there was no-one better qualified to paint it. In 1977, the year of the Coronation, she, together with her Clippesby schoolfriends Karen Williams and John Carter had submitted their designs and suggestions which were incorporated into the original sign by Squadron Leader Bill Hidden. Bill organised the whole thing then using money left over from the Coronation celebrations; it therefore seemed fitting to do this restoration in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday and there is a brass plaque on the post to commemorate this.
Paul repaired the flint and brick plinth and manufactured a stainless steel lining to go into it to hold the sign; he has made everything as weather-tight as possible. He has done a fantastic job and we Clippesby people are very grateful to him and to all his trusty helpers for doing this for our little village.
We hardly noticed the rain on Sunday, which happened at the time of the unveiling, for it was a proud moment for us spectators. Margaret Alston performed the unveiling - her late husband Willy had given us the land for the sign. In her speech Margaret asked how many of us were at the previous unveiling and there were quite a few including her son Robert who was there with his boys.
I didn’t count the number of people watching ( last time, as reported by the Yarmouth Mercury, there were a hundred) but possibly there were not too many short of a hundred. Present amongst the Clippesby villagers and friends were Borough Councillor, Haydn Thirtle, Fleggburgh Parish Council Chairman, Frank Brown and Parish Clerk, Jenny Coleman.
The little ceremony finished with a blessing of the sign by our Rector the Revd. Karen Rayner.
Through the years . . . deterioration sets in.
At the time of the Queen's Silver Jubilee Clippesby villagers thought that a village sign for Clippesby would be a good way of marking this and help to give an identity to Clippesby. There was money left over from the jubilee celebrations and this went towards the provision of a sign. Several of the young people were involved in submitting designs and one or two meetings were held; the project went ahead thanks to the enthusiasm shown by the children and by Bill Hidden who brought it all together. Timothy Aldrich carved the sign and various people co-operated in helping to build and erect it on land donated by Willy Alston. Gordon Chapman who was chairman of Fleggburgh Parish Council performed the unveiling in 1978.
(To bring this story up to date see below for pictures and an account of our 2016 unveilng of the new Clippesby Village Sign. )
Clippesby's First Village Sign
Sqn. Ldr. Bill Hidden constructing the base to hold the sign.
Bill was the co-ordinator and organiser behind the erection of our sign which was one of the earliest to appear in the Fleggs.
After all the planning the sign is up and ready to be unveiled by the Chairman of Fleggburgh Parish Council, Gordon Chapman.
Our Village Seat.
This was presented to Clippesby by the Fleggburgh Parish Council having been received from the Gt. Yarmouth Borough Council to mark the Jubilee.
Sadly it was stolen in the following year. It was taken in broad daylight .
More photos of this event, kindly sent to us by Basil Ransome, to be found here