A VICTORIAN signpost is the latest iconic artefact being restored to its former glory in an innovative scheme.

A circular roundel which once sat proudly on top of the original Victorian cast-iron fingerpost in Loders has been reunited with its sign.

The roundel, which bore a unique grid reference, was rescued from the Dorset County Council depot in Bridport 15 years ago, by local resident Geoff Rumsey.

Mr Rumsey has now donated it to Loders Parish Council and the sign is being refurbished as part of the Dorset Fingerpost Project.

The campaign has been created by Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to encourage residents, communities and businesses to restore the county’s iconic fingerpost signs back to their original state.

Hilary Nadin, a volunteer from Loders Parish Council said: “Originally all our village fingerposts had roundels and now there are only two surviving on the outskirts of the parish.

“We have no idea what happened to the two missing from the main fingerposts in Loders and Uploders and we are keen to replace them to get the fingerposts back to their original condition, as they form such an important part of our landscape.

“Mr Rumsey explained how this particular roundel was going to be scrapped by Dorset County Council, so we’re happy that it can now be used in our restoration project in Loders and Uploders. We are calling upon the support and skills from local residents, and Martin Stones from Minster Joinery has kindly supplied five hardwood fingers which will enable us to make a start on this village project.”

Sue Mitchell from the Dorset AONB added: “This is another fantastic example of how passionately Dorset residents feel towards our iconic fingerpost signs. We are encouraging everyone to get involved in any way that they can to help the county maintain its local distinctiveness.

“If anyone would like to find out how to become a fingerpost spotter or champion, they can contact Dorset AONB expressing their interest about a local sign and together we can then ensure that the signs are restored to retain their historical integrity.”

For more information on the Dorset Fingerpost Project and how to become a fingerpost champion visit dorsetaonb.org.uk or alternatively call Katharine Wright 01305 228239.