Inmates chip in on new sign

Unveiling of the new Bradfield Combust Village sign by David Ruffley
Unveiling of the new Bradfield Combust Village sign by David Ruffley
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A HISTORIC village is toasting the work of a group of prison inmates after it received a brand new sign.

Rather than spend thousands of pounds on graphic designers, artists and craftsmen, Bradfield Combust brought its past to life by having prisoners at HMP Highpoint produce its new sign.

Unveiled by MP David Ruffley on Saturday, the sign depicts the fire that gave the village its name and gives prime position to the name of Arthur Young, an agricultural expert who lived there.

David Crawford, from Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield Parish Council, said his work as a sessional IT lecturer at the prison had allowed the link-up.

“When we first looked at producing a sign, the costs were just too high. The chairman at the time suggested we approach the prison service to see if they could help and they were delighted to,” he said.

Producing the sign took more than three years from start to finish, with various workshops at the prison chipping in.

Cllr Crawford said the response to the sign had been ‘fantastic’.

“It’s very striking and people have been asking us questions about the different designs. It really reflects the history of the village,” he said.

Scores of villagers turned out on Saturday to see the sign unveiled, with a time capsule also being buried on the day.