Hands-on Wiston councillor restores sign

Ken Newton with the restored fingerpost in Wiston
Ken Newton with the restored fingerpost in Wiston

A forgotten signpost has been renovated by a parish councillor who saved his village money by rolling up his sleeves and fixing the vintage sign himself.

The fingerpost was discovered in an overgrown hedge in Wiston by Ken Newton, who sits on the village’s parish council.

After receiving a quote to refurbish from a specialist company, Ken, 63, took matters into his own hands by gathering the necessary materials, paint and lettering, before starting on the restoration.

He said: “It had lost all of its fingers and was corroded, and I guess everybody had forgotten it was even there.

“We thought it would be a nice idea to bring it back to its original condition.

“These things are no longer installed like that any more so these are a bit of a heritage of Sussex. That kind of thing we will never see again if we allow it to disappear completely.”

Ken said the quote he was given equated to 20 per cent of the precept.

By renovating the fingerpost himself, he saved around 75 per cent of the overall cost.

He explained the post, by the Wiston Estate, was in poor condition, but he has received positive feedback since the renovation was completed.

He said: “This one is probably the worst I have seen along my travels.

“We are a small parish and our precept is very small, and to renovate the one sign would take a huge proportion of the precept.

“When I was renovating it, cyclists would stop and even motorists would stop, and say what a fantastic thing you are doing and complimenting on how good it looks.”

Ken believes the signpost, bearing the crest of West Sussex County Council, may have been installed in the years following the Second World War.

He added: “I guess it is a bit of social history, and to keep it there was the original objective. It is in keeping with the village.

“I guess that is why you go on the parish council in the first place, to try to improve the village in some way and make it better.

“This is just one of those small things we can do to make it that little bit better.”

In another village project, Wiston Parish Council are in the process of renovating a red telephone box, which is almost complete.

The parish council are planning to install a defibrillator in the telephone box, which would be available for emergency use by members of the public.