Milestone dedicated by Australian visitor

At the dedication of the restored milestone at Silk Willoughby - Sue Snart Jorgenson of Australia (left), whose great grandfather lived in the village, with from left - Bill Thackray, Paul Steer and Janet Johnson. EMN-161204-101430001
At the dedication of the restored milestone at Silk Willoughby - Sue Snart Jorgenson of Australia (left), whose great grandfather lived in the village, with from left - Bill Thackray, Paul Steer and Janet Johnson. EMN-161204-101430001

A village milestone which has been missing for more than 70 years has been restored and unveiled by a special guest from Down Under.

The cast iron mile post, has been recreated and was reinstated in Silk Willoughby last year to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.

Research by villagers, with help from members of the Milestone Society, resulted in the restoration work on the line of the old A15 London Road.

The posts, mostly cast iron or stone, state the parish they are in and the distances to the nearest towns in each direction.

A government decree had most taken away during the war to thwart the enemy advance when faced with German invasion.

The iron milepost number 113 in Silk Willoughby was taken down by a villager and buried in June 1940 but no-one can remember where.

They worked out what the wording should be on it to enable it to be recreated stating the distance to London, Sleaford and Folkingham.

Two generous donors funded the cost of the £2,000 replacement cast in a small iron foundry in Norfolk.

The Parish Council held a dedication ceremony on Saturday for the milestone and a plaque, when one of the major donors, Sue Jorgenson, from Australia, was invited as special guest to remove the ribbon.

Jacqueline Andrews, parish council clerk, explained: “The ceremony was to take place last year but Sue could not come over, the Parish Council therefore postponed this ceremony until she could be with us this year.”

Sue Jorgenson’s great grandfather Robert Snart grew up on a farm located at Willoughby Gorse on Gorse Lane, Silk Willoughby.

He emigrated to Australia in 1855 and ended up owning land in north east Victoria.

He had a road and a creek named after him and exhibited three wines in the London 1886 Colonial and Indian Exhibition.

Mrs Andrews explained: “Sue has become very interested in Silk Willoughby. Over the generations the family have always spoken of Silk Willoughby and having heard so much about it she has always wanted to come and see it for herself.”