A Sign of the Times - The Hadleigh Sign is an Asset to the Community

Hadleigh Evening Women's Institute

In 2002, Hadleigh Evening Women’s Institute organised a project to erect a new town sign in Hadleigh to highlight the 30th year anniversary of Hadleigh Women’s Institute (first formed in 1972), but also to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The scheme was heavily praised by locals and was the first project to benefit from the new funding given to area forums. Another great purpose of the sign was to encourage people driving past, to come and visit the town.

Hadleigh Evening Women’s Institute put their idea for the new sign forward and thankfully it was agreed. A number of craft fairs and organised fund-raising events were held thereafter in order to raise money for the new monument. Members of Hadleigh Evening Women’s Institute, with support from Hadleigh Morning and Afternoon W.I. as well as the local councils and support groups, raised around £3,000 to finance the new sign.

Leader of the council Dave Wells (Lab, St George’s) gave his backing to the scheme. At the time of its proposal he said “It is good to see the council working with local residents and the idea is we want a bit more local democracy.”

In August 2003, the new sign was erected placing Hadleigh more firmly on the map and welcoming people to the neighbourhood. The opening ceremony gave a real sense of community, appreciated by local residents, businesses and reverent Mike Ketley of St James who blessed the sign. The 15 foot high, carved wood structure also has a plaque thanking groups of who contributed to the cause.

David Hurrell accomplished the successful and poignant design for the sign, which features the two most beautiful landmarks of Hadleigh; the Castle ruins and St James’ the Less Church.

Hadleigh Evening Women’s Institute now maintain the sign by planting new bulbs and Geraniums as well as keeping any weeds at bay. They have done ever since its arrival in order to ensure the sign is always looking its finest. The local Hadleigh firemen have even been known to pull up in their engines and water the flower bed with their hoses.

Pat Millard, co-founder of Hadleigh Evening Women’s Institute explained how important it is for people to realise that Hadleigh is not just a place to pass through, but a pleasant, friendly town worth visiting as it has so much to offer.

The sign is located opposite the Hadleigh Morrison’s store and is well worth a look, as its picturesque images and high quality craftsmanship really make it a special characteristic of Hadleigh.

As part of the Hadleigh re-generation, the sign – which still looks brand new despite it being positioned in 2003 – is a great attribute to Hadleigh’s rejuvenation, which will put Hadleigh back on the map and allow the small town to move forward with the times as well as encouraging local businesses.


Published: July 1st, 2011


1 Comment

  1. Sandra Allen, 10 years ago

    I drive past this sign to and from work and have never paid much attention to notice it – this is very interesting to know and really nice to see people doing great things in the community. Excellent work Hadleigh Evening Women’s Institute!

       -   Reply

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