Forches Cross fingerpost renewed

Reinstatement of Crediton's unique five finger post.

l to r: Nick Way (CTC), Sid Gardener, Liz Brookes-Hocking (CTC) and David Nation (CAHMS chairman) with the new post.

Following last year’s disappointing news item reporting the sad destruction of the Forches Cross fingerpost, it’s pleasing to record its recent reinstatement.

The Society is particularly interested because it has carried out much research into the origins of these instantly recognisable and attractive signposts in the Crediton area. Joe Mitchell learned his trade as a wheelwright in the family business at Knowle in the 1920s. When the family business closed in the 1950s Joe secured employment with the Highways Authority making and maintaining the sign posts in the area. He came up with his own design and travelled the area on his bicycle. The Society is fortunate to have been given a number of Joe's tools and photographs. 

The post at Forches Cross is unique as it is the only 5-finger post in existence. We believe that the Town Council registered it as a feature of interest and they, together with a contribution from the local County Councillor’s Locality Budget, have covered the entire cost of this replica built by Sid Gardener. Sid is a phenomenon! After inital training as a wheelwright, he worked for over 50 years as a carpenter and general handyman for Quickes. Now in retirement and in his late 80s he keeps himself busier than most people half his age! He has made a superb job of the new post and it is a credit to his workmanship and skills, emulating the work of Joe Mitchell.




16 July 2021