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Cheveley pensioner appeals for return of sign which marked the spot where he remembers his late wife

A Cheveley pensioner is appealing for the return of a sign which marked the spot where he remembers his late wife.

The Oak Tree Corner sign disappeared in March 2019, nine years after Alan Walker placed a commemorative bench remembering his wife, Riding for the Disabled stalwart Judith, who died in 2010, close by.

Since then he has lovingly tendered the area at junction of Oak Lane with Saxon Street road by planting flowers, providing water for dogs, and feeding birds all year round, to the extent it has become a popular spot with both villagers and visitors.

Alan Walker (43837002)
Alan Walker (43837002)

“It has never been explained properly to me why the sign was removed in the first place,” said Mr Walker. “It had been there many years. I later heard that one of our parish councillors had reported it as being unsuitable because it marks a place rather than a road. It just seems so petty if that’s the case.

“It’s a shame because everyone knows Oak Tree Corner and it’s not just special for me because it’s how I remember my wife, I know that people such as dog walkers, hikers and cyclists stop there and sit down on the bench and rest or contemplate. I’ve even had delivery drivers say to me they love passing the corner because it’s so pretty”.

Mr Walker has the support of one parish councillor, Richard Fullerton, in his bid to get the sign returned.

“I heard from our clerk that the parish council reported it to East Cambridgeshire District Council who removed it,” said Cllr Fullerton. “I was told that the council won’t allow a road sign to be used to mark a place, and when I pointed out this was absurd, given it had been there for so long, I was told we could put a sign back there so long as it doesn’t look like a road sign.”

Cllr Fullerton continued, “Last month the parish council voted not to buy a replacement sign. I was the only councillor who supported the resolution. This was not the council’s finest moment and I feel for Mr Walker.”

Parish council chairman Sallie Thomas, said Cllr Fullerton’s proposal for a new sign on the existing posts was rejected because they were unstable. An alternative solution to reinstate a sign had been formulated and the council was due to discuss it at its next meeting on Tuesday.

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