About the Village Signs Series

Village signs is a series of caches based on the ornate signs that depict the heritage, history and culture of the villages that put them up (generally on the village green!).

The signs can be made of different materials from fibreglass to wood, from forged steel to stone. They can depict anything from local industry to historical events. The tradition probably stated in Norfolk or Suffolk and has now spread across most of the country.

The beginning of the tradition of Village signs is likely to have been Edward VII adding a sign to the Sandringham Estate to help motorists to find places of interest. Other members of the Royal family expanded this, it then spread to the mainstream when the Daily Mail ran a national completion where winners would win £200, a fair amount of money for 1920.

Over the next century, the practice has spread to every corner of the county. Villages often place signs to mark national celebrations. This practice has continued into recent memory marking the Queen’s Silver jubilee and more recently the new millennium. This brings us to 2013 with our first winter caching.

So on a cold February day Smokeypugs we’re travelling back home to Hemel Hempstead from Leighton Buzzard down a road we have often travelled. Melissa (Mrs Smokeypugs AKA M in our logs) spotted the village sign in Dagnall. She suggested we place a cache there. We’d not been caching long, since the previous summer, so we were looking for places for caches. When we got home, Geoff (Mr Smokeypugs AKA G in our logs) started researching. He found two other signs in nearby villages that were placed at the same time. So we soon had three new caches and a mini-series. This expanded to 10 over the next few months.

Team Hippo (Alan) was the first to ask about expanding the series. So soon we had #11 up and running and time to think about this series going national. Over the next year, the local cachers helped expand the series over the Beds, Bucks and Herts area. It was our local Facebook group that the news of the series spread. It was at this time Norfolk12 (Carolynn) who asked if she could place some near her holiday home in Norfolk. Of course, we said yes! So with the series spreading out of the immediate area, the requests started to come in.

Five years later the series has spread to Scotland, Wales, Cornwall even the Isle of Wight. We’ve gone well over 1000 caches, and there appears to be no end of requests in sight.

We now have a stats page which is something people have been calling for some time. Thanks to SideTrackedChris for giving up his spare time to create the Village Signs website.

I dedicate this series to:

  • Smokey, the pug for without him we wouldn’t cache.
  • M for her suggestion of the series.
  • Team Hippo for pushing the series beyond us.
  • Norfolk12 for all her support with the series, she is sadly missed.
  • Charlton11 for his support for the series and spreading the love.
  • Bones1 for being crazy enough to try and find all VSs.
  • sadexploration for his advice and support.
  • SideTrackedChris (formerly known as bus.stop) for setting up this webiste.

I hope you enjoy the series and this site. If you wish to add to the series, please click on ‘get involved’ tab at the top of the page. Happy caching!