A SIGN erected in Christchurch as part of a 1920 newspaper campaign has been completely replaced with a modern, steel version.

The sign originally came about following a speech made by the Duke of York – later King George VI – in 1920 at the Royal Academy in favour of the revival of village signs.

A competition and exhibition organised by the Daily Mail offered a total of £2,200 in prizes for the design of the best signs.

Ten awards were made, with the design for the Christchurch sign gaining fourth prize out of 617 which were submitted.

The designer of the sign was Mr Eustace Nash, who lived at the time in Talbot Road, Winton. He won the princely sum of £100 – worth around £3,500 today.

The Daily Mail later offered to erect the sign, free of cost, subject to the council providing a site for its erection.

A piece of land at Somerford – opposite the Somerford public house – was found in 1922.

More recently, the sign has become worn and rundown, so Christchurch council asked local artist Cherie Wheatcroft to produce a hand-painted copy on stainless steel.

The faces of the sign depict Christchurch Priory with a priest and Borough seals against a landscaped foreground.

Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Sue Spittle said: “I’m delighted to see the sign back in place and looking so radiant and bright.

“This is a really unique and valuable part of the history of Christchurch and we are very grateful to Cherie for doing such a wonderful job on producing a new version of the sign.

“Long may it continue to provide a marker to people coming into the borough.”

• Cherie Wheatcroft is a self-taught professional artist.

She is currently exhibiting at Compton Acres and will be at Place Mill in Christchurch from April to October.