Sometime in April 2021, all four directional fingerposts of the famous Red Post at Launcells were removed, presumed stolen (this was reported in April on Bude and Beyond – read the report by Helen Shingler here). The loss of the historic fingerposts was met with anger and sadness locally, so Launcells Parish Council has vowed to raise funds to replace them.
Since April, the Council has been investigating possible sources of funding and has now launched a Crowdfunder campaign for those wishing to donate towards replacement costs. Details of the Crowdfunder can be found here. Those unable to donate online can send cheques made payable to Launcells Parish Council to Brookfield, Diddies Road, Stratton EX23 9DW.
Alan Whittle, Chairman of Launcells Parish Council, said: “The Council is keenly aware of the importance of Red Post to the heritage of the area and to the identity of local businesses. It is cherished by locals and visitors alike and we are determined to replace the fingerposts. Total costs will be in the region of £4,500 and we are hoping to raise a proportion of that through the Crowdfunder campaign”.
The iconic Red Post signpost marks the crossing of the A3072 and B3254 roads. It is the first directional way-marker encountered by those entering Cornwall from the direction of Holsworthy, and is unique within Cornwall. The geographical importance of the area where Red Post stands is shown by the adjacent Bronze Age burial barrows, which mark the ridge separating tributaries of the rivers Neet and Tamar. Marking territory has been of importance in this area for more than 2,500 years.
The area has been labelled on maps as ‘Red Post’ since at least 1817. Around that time, it became home to a brick and tile works and a wharf for the Bude Canal. Red Post has also lent its name and identity to the nearby Red Post Inn and Tourist Park, and the Red Post Service Station. The historic inn is said to have smuggling connections and the cross roads on which it sits, and for which Red Post gives directions, was used for public executions.
For visitors to Cornwall, Red Post is a welcome sign that they are nearing the coast and the spectacular sea views afforded from Hobbacott Down. Taking ‘selfies’ at Red Post has become commonplace. For locals, Red Post is a cherished aspect of their local identity and heritage.
Launcells Parish Council sincerely hopes that this iconic, historic and much-loved signpost can be restored to bring happiness once more to local people and their visitors.