28th May 2016
The restoration of the historic Turnpike Milestone at the top of Duck Street has begun. Put there in about 1824 on the Charminster to Sherborne Turnpike, it has suffered in recent years by becoming overgrown and knocked sideways by hedge flailing equipment and verge cutters The Cerne Valley Parish Council has generously contributed to its restoration, to be organised by the Cerne Historical Society. The work began on 28 May by clearing back the bank and restoring the milestone to the upright position. The work was largely carried out by Nigel Furness who knew what he was doing, with a supporting team of David Burgess, Andrew Popkin and George Mortimer who largely watched!
The next stage was to clean and paint the milestone with approved materials, restore the original lettering, and consolidate the immediate area to prevent further damage. Fortunately for us a Cerne resident, Terry Cox, who used to be a signwriter volunteered his professional skills and set to work patiently recreating the original lettering even though much of the left side of the stone was missing due to successive strikes by hedge flailing machinerey. During this work one sunny morning, he attracted much attention from passing visitors and coach parties who were enthralled to see once more, a practical example of this dying craft. Our newly painted milestone now has its lettering in place with grateful thanks to Terry for doing this so skilfully.
6 July 2016