Village Signs

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Village Signs' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Village Signs' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Village Signs' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Village Signs' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Village Signs' page

By Ken Porter

I drove passed Noak Bridge village sign a few days ago and thought to myself, Noak Bridge is part of Laindon, so why a village sign?  Is it because they have managed to set up a Parish Council?  Also when I checked out the other village signs in the Basildon Borough they are in areas that were not part of the development area.  Well, after discussion with a local councillor, it would appear that any parish could have one but it does need the consent of the community.

So I ask what about one for Laindon and one for Langdon Hills, come to that what about Dunton? What do you think?  Please let us know and what should be on the sign for example, should Laindon have St Nicholas Church on it?

In the meantime I did a little research and was very surprised to find that village signs first seem to appeared in Norfolk in the early 20th Century when Edward V11 suggested that village signs would aid the motorist and give a feature of interest on the Sandringham Estate.

The practice is now widespread, particular in Norfolk and the rest of the East Anglian counties and that includes Essex.

The signs in our Borough are: Billericay, Wickford, Ramsden Crays, Ramsden Bellhouse and Noak Bridge.

This page was added by Ken Porter on 26/06/2015.
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The name “Noak Bridge” has, of very recent times, been bestowed on the housing estate in Laindon that lays to the east of the A176, north of the A127 and south of Wash Road from which latter road it is accessible. To erect a sign board bearing the name Noak Bridge adjacent to this estate is, to my mind, an affection bearing in mind that the original bridge which was known by that name is still to be found a considerable distance from the estate itself.

Giving the estate the name was, presumably, the result of some idea dreamed up by a speculative developer with little regard for local history and anxious to dispose of the new properties that had replaced the original dwellings on the site.

The real Noak Bridge is, as the name implies, a bridge at the bottom of Noak Hill where the A176 crosses over the River Crouch as it flows from Laindon Common on its way past Barleylands Farm and Crays Hill and at no point through the estate.

Adjacent to the real bridge is or was Noak Bridge Farm, a farm of long standing at one time farmed by the French family who later moved to Watch House Farm in Wash Road.

The suggestion that village signs be erected in the district in much the same way as they appear elsewhere is likely to prove to be a headache as to the location such a thing should be situated. In general, village signs have been displayed at or close to some central feature that characterises the village’s centre, the Green or a duck pond, perhaps. But, given the subsuming of the parishes of Laindon, Lee Chapel, Dunton and parts of Little Burstead all into Basildon, makes the finding of some point as the “centre” damn near impossible.

The local authority has already erected a considerable number of road side signs which, quite clearly, confuse people judging by the number of locational errors that frequently appear in the local press.

By John Bathurst
On 28/06/2015

Hi Ken,   I like the idea very much.  Laindon and  Langdon Hills have lost so much over the past 50 years, it would give us a sense of identity again.

For Langdon Hills and its past of farming, I like the idea of corn fields and sheaths of wheat and maybe a badger and bluebells might be appropriate.

By Ellen English née Burr
On 27/06/2015

Hi Colin....Like it

By Ken Porter
On 26/06/2015

A great idea Ken.  I notice that the Ramsden Bellhouse sign shows a church and a crow, would the Laindon sign show St Nicholas church and a woodpecker?  ;-)

By Colin Humphrey
On 26/06/2015
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