Spen Valley Civic Society appeals for help to tackle sign at key road junction

Once upon a time, long before road atlases or sat-navs, people relied on milestones and fingerpost signs to show they were on the right road, and to see how far it was to their destination.

By Staff Reporter
Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 11:00 am
Fingerpost at Westgate, Cleckheaton after repairs and repainting
Fingerpost at Westgate, Cleckheaton after repairs and repainting

The Spen Valley played its part in this story because a foundry called Brayshaw and Booth at Millbridge produced cast iron milestones. They were triangular in section, with two sides facing the road, so that places and distances for both directions could be shown.

Hundreds were positioned across Yorkshire – some can be seen on the A64 on the way to Scarborough.

Nearer to home, there are two on the A62. One is just above Stocksbank Road in Mirfield, painted dark blue and gold.

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Milestone on the A62 near Six Lane Ends

The other, near the Six Lane Ends pub in Heckmondwike, is in a sad state.

Just as quirky are “fingerpost signs”, placed at junctions. They were made of a tall cast iron post with wooden “fingers” pointing in each direction, featuring place names and the distances in miles.

Spen Valley Civic Society has already restored two of these: one at the crossroads in Hightown, opposite Casa Luli restaurant; and the other at the junction of Westgate and Hightown Road Cleckheaton.

A civic society spokesperson said: "We now want readers’ help to tackle one at the junction of Windybank Lane and Halifax Road at Hightown Heights.

"All that’s left is the cast iron post.

"We need information about the place names and distances that would have been on the long-lost 'fingers'."

If you have any old photos or records, or if you would like to help restore the sign, contact Spen Valley Civic Society via its website www.svcs.org.uk or call 01274 875262.