Proposed new signage for The Wheatsheaf will damage the historic character of Lower Broad Street

Pubco and brewer Marston’s is applying to replace the signage on The Wheatsheaf with modern signs. They would suit any clone town centre anywhere in England. They do not suit historic Ludlow and will damage the historic character of Lower Broad Street.

The proposals

With the Broadgate, The Wheatsheaf frames one of Ludlow’s most famous vistas. It has been photographed by countless thousands of tourists and painted by hundreds of artists. The views below date from 1826 and 1962.

Henry Bryan Zeigler 1826

Frances Frith c. 1870-90 (V&A)

Postcard c. 1900

Postcard c. 1930

Postcard 1962

Today, The Wheatsheaf looks pretty much as it did in 1962, though the pub name has been illuminated. Indeed, it is not much changed from 1824.

The Wheatsheaf today

The proposals, which include repainting the pub white, are for three lit signs, two smaller unlit signs and three floodlights under the eaves. The lantern above the entrance is to be replaced with a model that looks horrible in the mock up image above. (But I suspect the replacement will be rather similar to the lamp there today.)

I don’t like these plans. I don’t think they in keeping with the historic fabric of Lower Broad Street. The current signage on The Wheatsheaf may look old fashioned to Marston’s PLC. But the pub is in an old fashioned streetscape. Its signage should remain old fashioned.

I will be objecting to this proposal as it stands. We have a very attractive town and that supports our visitor economy. But all towns like ours risk losing their character through hundreds of small changes. This is a big change that will damage the historic environment of Lower Broad Street.

Planning references: 17/03335/ADV, 17/03337/LBC.

16 thoughts on “Proposed new signage for The Wheatsheaf will damage the historic character of Lower Broad Street

  1. Throughout Ludlow’s long history many of it’s buildings have changed and evolved in different ways. This contributes to the variety and charm of the town.
    From the image of the proposed changes, I wouldn’t say they were out of keeping with small country town pub.

  2. Can you put the pictures on the planning portal on your blog so people can easily see what you’re complaining about please? I just had a look and was surprised to see very traditional pub signage. Not sure what the issue is.

      1. Sorry! I thought you were saying it’s a disgrace that signage is coming down. It looks much smarter and more welcoming. Thanks for highlighting the application though.

  3. The floodlights will cause significant light pollution for neighbouring properties. The existing lights (sometimes left on overnight) are not as powerful and already have a negative effect.
    Given the inconsiderate attitude of the landlords and bar manager to neighbours with regards to noise pollution in evenings/at night, I am disappointed but not surprised by this latest development.

  4. If it’s the top photo in your blog, it looks like an improvement!
    I would agree the lighting needs to take in account of the properties near by. But having said that, what are your views on the new LED street lights going up in the town ?
    Is there anything you support in the town when it comes to change ?

  5. We have watched the Wheatsheaf fall into dilapidation over the years and now an opportunity has arisen. I think that in the 30 years we have lived in Lower Broad Street we now seem to have the best landlord and lady, and a great opportunity for the overdue refurbishment and modernisation of a public house which serves food and offers accommodation and needs to be fit for purpose. What is all the fuss about? Let us make history. Why not paint it in a brighter colour? We do think the old sign would be preferable as it is simple and has become very much part of the street’s identity however if the Brewery insists on new signage then so be it live and let live we are living in paradise.

    1. Well said. It’s tough being in business so let’s help the new tenants as much as possible.

  6. Looks pretty good to me. Not sure what Bodders is moaning about. Would be more impressed if he got the potholes in the pavement fixed, reinstated the lost parking spaces and lost e useless signage which still allows lorries and buses up the Street on a daily basis. All of the above are more damaging than a sign and a couple of lights!

  7. The new sign will be machine-produced using synthetic materials. The lettering and design will not be individual. It is a pity to lose the simplicity and originality of the existing sign that links it to its past. The purpose in changing its appearance must be the expectation of attracting more business from visitors. Do visitors look for modernisation or a place of unique historical interest? It may depend on perception and sensitivity. Light pollution for local residents is a simple issue to assess.

  8. I agree that the signs do look wrong for a place like the Broadgate and sticking one on the side of the building and a hanging one as well is over-kill. Makes it looks like a “towny” pub and very chain like. Apart from that, a sympathetic refurb is welcome but with originality and quirkiness preserved.

  9. Andy, thanks for putting this together. I live next door to the Wheatsheaf and know how the previous landlords struggled to make ends meet. The new landlord along with the Brewery, are putting an enormous effort in refurbishing and making the pub we can all be proud of. It’s not easy running a profitable hospitality business and I feel we need to support all we can. I like what they’re doing and although everything may not be to everyone’s taste, it is a marked improvement. It’s very easy to say “no”, so let’s offer our support. It will add enormous value go beautiful Ludlow.

  10. Multiple, brightly lit signs are essential for a pub on a fast highway so that cars have plenty of warning to slow down and swing into the car park. None of this is applicable in Lower Broad Street. It is the glow of the lights inside that is appealing to pedestrians. Only a single pub sign needs to be illuminated.

  11. As another resident of Lower Broad Street I was preparing myself to dislike this proposal but actually I think it looks fine. I think the lamp over the doorway could be a little smaller but otherwise I think overall this is an improvement to a shabby-looking establishment that we have had there for years. I’d also quite like them not to have an illuminated sign under the archway as I think that’s uneccessary. However I’m more concerned that the new landlords are granted permission for this development to ensure they get a thriving business, supported by the residents, and ultimately that we have a functioning pub at the end of our street. I think the white walls and new signage will make the façade look much smarter. We can’t live in this street as if it’s still 1840 and really don’t wish to. I urge you to drop your objection Andy, find a more suitable target….

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