After 13 years cracks had opened up in the oak, and lichen was starting to grow on the fading paintwork.
The surface of the marine ply on each side and on the name-board had rippled slightly, causing the gold leaf to peel and crack. The ironwork surrounding the sign had lost its shiny black paint surface and was rusting.
The Northleach Town Sign was finally starting to show its age and crying out for some TLC, so in September 2009 it was taken into the workshop of local artist Chris Fothergill for restoration work. Now after several months of work and regilding the sign has been restored to its former glory.
In 1996 Northleach Town Council commissioned Chris to design, carve and paint a replacement for old Union Hotel sign which was left in the market place after the pub closed down in 1993. Chris created a design that included symbols and images to reflect the many aspects of the town including the annual market charter (granted in 1227AD), the town’s connection with the wool trade, the magnificent church of St Peter and St Paul, and the Ancient Court Leet.
The sign was officially unveiled by Lord and Lady Vestey in November 1996 – that year the now Mayor of Northleach Chris Hancock moved to Great Union House (formerly the Union Hotel) and attended the ceremony outside his very own front door!
Now fully restored the sign is back in the Market Place for all to see. Chairman of the Northleach Town Council, Chris Hancock, said “This sign has been a source of pleasure to many over the years and the Town Council has been delighted to support its refurbishment. I often see tourists posing for their photos beside it, so it is certainly now in family albums all over the world.”
You can read more and see images of restoration work in progress by visiting the town sign blog:
For further information, please contact Chris Fothergill on 01451 860462