Gateway signs miss the point

ndet 98408 Controversial Chesterfield Road Signs.
ndet 98408 Controversial Chesterfield Road Signs.

DISAPPOINTED residents have slated new welcome signs to Chesterfield for missing the point after they failed to include an image of the town’s treasured Crooked Spire.

Marketing team Destination Chesterfield, which includes Chesterfield Borough Council and business leaders, rolled out the eleven signs at gateways to the town during the last three weeks to encourage visitors and trade.

But many have been disappointed not to see the 14th century St Mary and All Saints’ Church spire, from Church Way, because they regard it as Chesterfield’s proudest and most identifiable symbol.

Sobia Akhtar, of Spire News, in the town, said: “The first thing I think is that there is no Crooked Spire and there’s nothing to identify the town.”

Residents added that previous signs with the spire should not have changed, that the internationally recognised spire should promote the town and they were confused by the swirl design. But some welcomed the signs publicity for the market and their interchangeable sections to promote different events.

Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield manager, said: “The swirl is a reconstruction of the Crooked Spire looking through Chesterfield through modern eyes. The idea was to have a modern awakening by using historic aspects while looking forward with modern developments.”

The £10,000 signs were funded with European Regional Development Fund as part of Destination Chesterfield’s Warm Welcome including improvements to Chesterfield Visitor Centre, the market and future projects.

Jenny Ellis, 64, of Spital Lane, Chesterfield, said: “There is no Crooked Spire on the sign. I’m a bit disappointed and I liked the old signs.”

Alistair Reid, 77, of Arbroath, Scotland, who has been visiting Chesterfield, said: “Arbroath is famous for fish smokies and we promote these and Chesterfield should promote its Crooked Spire because it really is something special.”

Christine Hancock, 58, of North Wingfield, said; “The Crooked Spire is Chesterfield. When I go abroad and mention the Crooked Spire people know exactly what and where I’m talking about.

“The new signs do promote the market which is good and it’s a good idea to have different messages promoting different events.”

Graham Krence, 55, of Walton, Chesterfield, said: “I was happy with the old signs and I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind the design of the new signs.

“The Crooked Spire is what we’re known for so you would think it should be on the signs.”

jon.cooper@derbyshiretimes.co,uk