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New Thetford sign unveiled

PUBLISHED: 15:38 02 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:24 07 July 2010

A piece of Thetford's heritage will now welcome visitors to the area once more after a new town sign was unveiled at the weekend.

The carved oak sign, located at the Icknield Way junction with London Road, depicts the town's most famous son, the radical and intellectual Thomas Paine, on one side while on the other side it delves further into Thetford's history books with an illustration of the Viking King Sewin Forkbeard.

A piece of Thetford's heritage will now welcome visitors to the area once more after a new town sign was unveiled at the weekend.

The carved oak sign, located at the Icknield Way junction with London Road, depicts the town's most famous son, the radical and intellectual Thomas Paine, on one side while on the other side it delves further into Thetford's history books with an illustration of the Viking King Sewin Forkbeard.

It is a replica of the original sign by local craftsman Harry Carter which signposted the town from 1954 until it was removed in 2001.

“The new sign means a lot for the town because it is part of Thetford's heritage. Everybody is really pleased with it,” said town mayor John Harding, who officially unveiled the sign.

Also at the event on Saturday was Norfolk craftsman Kelvin Thatcher, who created the replica, and local man Tony Lewis who helped to fund the sign which was commissioned by the town council.

The new sign begins a year of events dedicated to marking the 200th anniversary of the death of Thomas Paine.

And in his honour a new self-guided audio tour of the town's Thomas Paine trail was also launched on Saturday to help give visitors a greater understanding of Paine and his influences on the world.

This guide along with a second Thetford heritage audio tour will be available from the town's Tourist Information Centre (TIC) from March.

Both guides are for about a one-and-a-half-hour walk around Thetford.

David Brooks, from the TIC, said: “These are a wonderful way of bringing to life the story of Paine and the history of Thetford. It will help us to extend the attraction and appeal of Thetford to visitors through the town's history.”

It will cost £3.50 for each guide. They can either be downloaded onto visitors' own MP3 players, or people can use one of the centre's MP3 players by paying a returnable deposit.


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