Mother's pride as daughter's design used for village sign

Millie Sturman

Millie Sturman pictured with her winning design in front of the sign. - Credit: Submitted

A Norfolk village has a new sign donated by a mystery parishioner - and the mother of its 13-year-old designer has told of her pride. 

In March 2019, Cranworth Parish Council was anonymously offered the gift of a village sign and local appeals were made for design suggestions in the parish magazine.

Cranworth mother of four, Vikki Sturman, suggested it to her then 12-year-old daughter Millie.

“Millie is really into her art and drawing,” said Mrs Sturman, “so I said she should have a go. She sat for a couple of days and came up with some designs.”

Millie Sturman

The sign designed by Millie Sturman - Credit: Submitted

Mrs Sturman added: “We get a lot of pheasants and tractors, and there are cattle in a nearby field, so Millie decided to give the sign a rural feel, and that’s where the basis came from.”

Millie Sturman's village sign design

Millie's design for the original design for village sign. - Credit: Submitted

Mrs Sturman emailed the design to the parish council but said that she then didn’t hear anything about whether Millie’s design had been chosen.

With extra elements included from other parishioners, artist Diana Burnard painted the final sign which was supplied by the Village Sign People of Great Hockham - and erected in the middle of the night last month as a surprise for the village. 

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“I was out with my husband walking the dog,” said Mrs Sturman, “and I said to him ‘That doesn’t half look like Millie’s one.’ Even the angle of the church was the same.”

Cranworth village sign

The sign was erected in the middle of the night as a surprise for the village. - Credit: Submitted

“Lots of people have been over and had a look at it - we go over to it every day. It’s really bizarre, because you look out the windows of our house and you can see it,” she said.  

Mrs Sturman said that she and Millie’s father were “chomping at the bits with pride” while their daughter, now aged 13 and a pupil at Wymondham High School, was “very casual” about it.

“I keep saying to her: ‘It’s a really big thing, Millie. You’ll never meet another person in your life who has designed a village sign. It will be there for years and years,’” said Mrs Sturman. 

Parish councillor Beanie Brown said: “The total cost of the sign was met by a very generous parishioner who remains anonymous and to whom Cranworth residents are very grateful.”