On Friday morning, William Bowland, our elusive Lord of Bowland made his first official visit to the Forest, stepping briefly out of the shadows to unveil a new road sign at Dunsop Bridge.
The directional sign, handcrafted by Padiham signmaker Duncan Armstrong, bears the name BOWLAND at its top and is located at the junction of the Whitewell Road as it heads west towards the Trough.
In 1974, with the abolition of the Bowland Rural District Council, all the signposts marked with Yorks WR (Yorkshire West Riding) or with the Bowland Archer had these markings removed by Lancashire County Council.
The symbolic importance of today’s occasion wasn’t lost on our feudal master. Having already gone on the record championing Bowland’s interests, he loftily proclaimed: “This is a sign for the times. A symbol of pride. It marks a revival of Bowland’s traditional identity. It is my hope that, as the opportunity arises, we shall see more signs bearing the name BOWLAND. It is an honour for me to be invited to officiate at today’s ceremony. This is an occasion that should make every Bowlander proud”.
While mercifully no forelocks were tugged at this event (there was some mild applause), it is certainly heartening to see our mystery Lord stepping up to the plate. Who says that feudal lords aren’t without their uses?