Update 21st April 2023
The Eaton Elephant has returned! The Eaton sign is now back on its post at the corner of Eaton Street and Church Lane following restoration. The City Council installed the sign on the newly painted post this morning.
The sign has been beautifully restored by Jon Bacon at the Harry Stebbing Workshop in Hingham and now includes features from the original sign installed in 1956 which were changed in later restorations in the 1990s. The turrets on the shields now include the flags and the design of the lions is similar to those on the original sign.
We thank all residents and businesses who contributed to the fund for the restoration of the sign. The work cost around £2900 and we have some funds remaining which will be used for future maintenance of the sign. We also thank Norwich City Council who have worked with EVRA to bring the refurbishment to fruition.
The EVRA Committee are looking at having a plaque made to commemorate the refurbishment which we would unveil at a gathering to which residents would be invited. We will let you know when we are ready to do this.
Here are photos of the newly restored sign and a press cutting from the original installation in 1956 which was provided by Margaret Hare whose father, Mr F R Eaton, commissioned the original sign in 1956. Margaret also had other press cuttings relating to refurbishments of the sign in the 1990s which provided further insight into its history.
Update March 2023
Good News! Our 66 year old Village Sign has been refurbished and is currently at the workshop in Hingham awaiting collection. We are working with Norwich City Council to arrange a date for its collection and installation back in Eaton Village which is likely to be late April at the earliest. When we know the return and installation date we will make an announcement here and arrange a get together to welcome the sign home. The sign was presented to the City Council in July 1956 and over the years EVRA has taken the lead on raising funds for its refurbishment including raising £2900 for the current major overhaul and refurbishment.
Update October 2022
The sign is currently at the specialist workshop in Hingham awaiting refurbishment. It was due back in October but the workshop owner is recovering from a recent accident that will delay completion of the work. We are keeping in touch with the workshop and waiting for news on when the work will take place.
Update August 2022
The Eaton Village Sign has been removed and sent for refurbishment at a specialist workshop in Hingham. The sign will be allowed to dry-out thoroughly over the next few months before replacement of some elements and repainting with signwriters enamel. The sign should be ready for re-installation in October.
The post will be repainted by the City Council prior to the return of the sign. Originally it was thought that the post also needed replacing but following an inspection by the City Council it has been decided that this has many more years of life.
Eaton Village Residents’ Association has raised around £2900 for the refurbishment through donations from residents and local businesses and through events. The original quote for refurbishment was for around £2900 excl Vat which included the cost of a new post and socket. The quote increased to £3200 in 2022 because of increases in the cost of materials. The expectation was that the City Council would place the order for the work with EVRA donating the money for this. The City Council would be able to reclaim any Vat. Unfortunately, pressure on Council resources meant that they couldn’t devote resources to placing an order before 2023. EVRA had reserved a slot in the workshop schedule for October for the work and didn’t want lose this. There are few workshops able to undertake the work and they have a busy order book. With the removal of the new post and socket the revised quote amounted to around £2900 incl Vat which is what EVRA has raised to date. The Cost of any further work identified during the refurbishment can be funded from the EVRA general account.
EVRA has therefore proceeded with the order and the work to prolong the life of the sign.
EVRA thanks everyone who has supported the project. We also thank Norwich City Council for their support in bringing this project to fruition.
Chris Stebbing – EVRA Chair – August 2022
Post from June 2021
Our Village sign was installed in 1956 and has stood at the junction of Church Lane and Eaton Street for 65 years. The sign is owned by the City Council although EVRA has arranged and paid for repainting on several occasions. You will have noticed that it is now in need of a bit of care and attention to give it a new lease of life. A local specialist has inspected the sign and advised that it requires a new post, repairs to some of the carved detail on the west facing side and repainting.
We are working with the City Council to determine how any work is undertaken and EVRA has offered to raise funds for the refurbishment. There are few workshops specialising in this work and indicative costs for refurbishment and supply of a new post are around £3000 with additional costs for removal and re-installation. For comparison, a new replacement oak or metal sign and post would cost at least £6000 plus fitting. The sign has welcomed visitors to Norwich, on what was the old road to the City, for 65 years and deserves to be preserved for future generations.
During 2021 our main fund raising events will be for the refurbishment of the sign but you can also donate to the project via the EVRA postbox in Waitrose or delivering these to 54 Greenways or 21 Ebbisham Drive. Any cheques should be made payable to “Eaton Village Residents’ Association” and please mark your envelope as “Village Sign Donation”.
You can also pay directly into the EVRA bank account, which would be helpful. The details are: Sort Code: 20-62-53 Account No. 90029262 Account Name: Eaton Village Residents Association. Please include your “name and Village Sign” as reference so that we know your payment is a donation for our Village Sign refurbishment project.