Michael Wilkinson from the Telegraph has uncovered some bad things happening in the sleepily little town of Corsham in Wiltshire. The famous High Street in Corsham was recently home to the forthcoming BBC re-boot of Poldark, starring Aidan Turner. In addition to its most recent transformation as 18th century Truro in Poldark, the Corsham High Street has been used to film the ITV Victorian drama, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, and the 1993 film The Remains of the Day, starring Anthony Hopkins.
What has enamored filmmakers for some 20+ years is the street has remained almost unchanged since the 1800’s making it quite attractive given the great expense and effort it takes to transform streets today for a period drama. Enter the 21st century. Furious residents say that the historic street has been ‘blighted by a swathe of unnecessary new road signs’ erected by the town council. The new signs, which proclaim ‘No vehicles’ and ‘Cyclists dismount’ have triggered a 200-strong petition calling for them to be removed immediately to restore the street to its 18th century glory.
In particular, Nicholas Keyworth, a former town councillor and local activist, said: “I, like so many others, am appalled by the new signs. They are totally inappropriate in scale and design in a small historic market town like Corsham“. In response, a Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “The local community asked us to improve safety for pedestrians as cyclists and motor vehicles were going through the pedestrian areas potentially causing an accident. We listened to these concerns and worked with the town council and local community on the solution to have signs reminding cyclists to dismount and prevent illegal use of cars in the pedestrianised area. The cyclist signs have been placed on planters which means they can be moved out of the way for events or historic filming.
Street sign or no street sign, Poldark is headed to the small screen in 2015 on BBC One and PBS. After seeing the behind-the-scenes video below, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Seems like a sign that says ‘No vehicles’ fits right in, doesn’t it?