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.
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.
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.