Lexden had no village sign. So when it was suggested that the erection of such a sign would make a good community project for the History Group to undertake, a committee was formed under the chairmanship of local artist and sculptor Tim Holding.
His original design has captured many of the prime features of the village, including the church, the mill, the River Colne and the sun (representing pre-Christian folklore legends of pagan sun worship). Also discreetly placed on the sign is a butterfly (papillon in French) representing the Papillon family who were Lords of the Manor for several generations.
The sculpture was cast completely in aluminium in Tim’s extensive workshop, each element being cast separately. Tim devised a technique akin to the ‘lost wax’ process but using polystyrene instead of wax.
The day of the casting was combined with a barbecue for members. The then Mayor of Colchester Richard Gower was invited to help Tim cast the model of the sun, but because of another pressing mayoral engagement later that evening he was not able to stay and his job was taken by Cllr Sonia Lewis. David Cawdell cast the Lexden Mill that has been his home for the previous 30 years, the Rector of Lexden, Canon Stephen Carter was invited to cast the church and LHG member Kerry Harris cast a large tree representing the many woods and coppices that abound in the Lexden Springs area.
A time capsule containing a comprehensive portfolio of current material about Lexden was placed in the brick plinth, including a copy of the Essex County Standard and its property supplement so that future historians could compare house prices! Also included was a list of donors to the project copied below.
On 19th April 2008, an unseasonably cold morning, the sign was unveiled by Colchester Mayor Ray Gamble and dedicated by the Reverend Canon Stephen Carter, Rector of St Leonard’s Church Lexden. Over 100 members, guests and local residents attended the ceremony and enjoyed a reception at the Crown Inn afterwards.
List of individual donors to the cost of the construction and erection of the Lexden Village Sign unveiled and dedicated on 19th April 2008.
Jeanette Abrams, Terry Abrams, Jenny Bailey, Dick Barton, Shirley Barton, Bernard Bentley, Jean Bentley, Malcolm Berriman, Thelma Berriman, Anne Blaxill, Tony Blaxill,
Heather Brooman, June Brooman, Roger Brown, Janet Crees, Gareth Davis, Nigel Davis, Pat Davis, Richard Davis, Chris Dobrowolski, Sylvia Dornan, Elsie Emerson, Jill Enfield,
Jim Errington, Valerie Flack, Don Fullerton, Lesley Fullerton, John Garbett, Sonja Graham, Fred Hagon, Cynthia Hancock, Kerry Harris, Pat Harris, Edna Heinrich, Herbert Heinrich, David Hewer, Janet Hewer, Anthea Hockly, Mark Hockly, Jean Holden, Stuart Holden,
Carol Holding, Tim Holding, David Holt, Marie Holt, David Hunt, Paul Jasper,
Marguerite Jenkins, David Jenner, Michele Jenner, Mary Jones, Keith Lewis, Sonia Lewis, Jeremy Lucas CC, Colin MacAllan, Colin Moore, Joanne Newman, Colin Noon,
Graham Page, Geoff Pettit, Andrew Phillips, Gillian Plumtree, John Plumtree,
Bernard Polley ,Bernard Poole, Joan Powell, Gwen Ramsdale, Jenny Rose, Harry Royle, Guy Scott, Tom Scrimgeour, Jan Squire, Patrick Squire, Mary Stobbs, Alan Stokes,
Sue Stow, Heather Stutter, Colin Teare, Bob Thornhill, Jane Thornhill, Diana Tinson,
Peter Tweed, Peter Wade, Angela Wadsworth, Vera Watson, Alan White, Elizabeth White, Cliff Whittacker, Doreen Whittacker, Annette Williams, Maureen Yeats, Roy Yeats,
List of corporate and other organisations who made donations
to the Lexden Village Sign:
The Cadman Group of Building Companies, WH Collier Ltd, Enterprise Heritage Ltd, The Haven Project, Holmwood House Preparatory School, Kent Blaxill & Co Ltd, Lexden Conservation Group, Lexden Restoration & Development, Lexden Squash and Fitness Club, Panther Security Systems Ltd, St Mary’s School.
With special thanks to Essex County Council whose generous grant made the project possible.
The cost of the sign was raised by Lexden History Group, aided by generous donations in cash and kind from local businesses and individuals and a grant of £2000 from Essex County Council.