Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust

New Sign for Downside Village unveiled

13th October 2014

Left to right: Kate Ellis, Sign designer, Dominic Raab MP, Mayor of Elmbridge, Cllr Barry Fairbank, John Stephens, DHCG Chairman and Gerry Acher, Cobham Conservation & Heritage TrustIt was John Baines a new resident of Downside, commenting on the lack of a sign for the village, which led to a two year project for the Downside & Hatchford Community Group (DHCG) to fund, design and erect the new village sign for Downside.

The sign is situated on the corner of Downside Road and Chilbrook Road and will welcome visitors to the beautiful rural village of Downside. In front of a large crowd, the Mayor of Elmbridge, Councillor Mr Barry Fairbank and local MP Mr Dominic Raab unveiled the new sign featuring the villages' hand-operated water pump. This local landmark was erected by Harvey Combe in 1858 and has a Grade II listing.

"The village pump is a historic part of the village. When it was built in the 1850's it represented a real step forward in the health and welfare of the village. We're delighted to feature it on our sign as it is such a significant part of our past," commented John Stephens, DHCG Chairman.

Dominic Raab MP unveils the new village signThe village sign has been the result of a successful community-wide initiative. In partnership with the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust, the sign has been designed and created by local residents whom have freely given their time or help to make the sign a reality.

The sign is made from locally sourced oak donated by Chasemore Farm in Downside, the hanging metal insert was designed by local artist Kate Ellis and paid for by proceeds from the annual Downside Sports Day, and the sign was erected by a local Downside firm, Jim Hawkins Building Services.

Sir Gerald Acher, Chairman of the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust said, 'We're delighted to be part of creating a new piece of history for Downside. Downside is the last remaining rural village in Elmbridge and the new sign celebrates its identity and heritage."

Local residents, dignitaries and St Matthews School children after the unveiling

For further information and photography:

Nikki Perkins on 07793 060861 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Downside & Hatchford Association is an association of over 200 residents of Downside and Hatchford set up to protect the interests and environment of the local community. For more information visit

The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust is committed to preserving, protecting and developing the geography, heritage and culture of the local community of Cobham and immediate surrounding areas. For more information please visit

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