Eagle-eyed children spot Americanism

Pupils at a Norfolk primary school could not believe their eyes when a new sign appeared at a road junction in their village.

Pupils at a Norfolk primary school could not believe their eyes when a new sign appeared at a road junction in their village.

They couldn't wait to rush back to school and collect their dictionaries to check the spelling of 'centre', because they felt sure there must be some mistake.

And the eagle-eyed youngsters from Rocklands Community School were proved correct, because the county council had used the American form of the word!

School secretary Sarah Good said: 'We went to Lopham Fen on a coach trip and the children noticed the sign on the way out. It's at the junction of Rectory Road, The Street and Magpie Lane.


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'So they went over after school with some of the parents and teachers and took photographic evidence.'

The school will be contacting the highways authority to tell them off the error.

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There is a second road sign, at the Mill Lane junction with The Street, that is also causing concern as it appears to be sending traffic in the wrong direction, added Mrs Good.

'When I saw it I thought 'Oh gosh, they have got things mixed up'. It's sending people to Shropham east rather than south.

'It's round the houses, as there is no need to go down Mill Lane to get to Shropham. It's a single track with grass growing up it,' she explained.

County council spokesman John Birchall said: 'If this was 1 April I might have claimed that we were changing all spellings of centre to center to mark the first visit to these shores of the new US President!

'I'm sorry we have made a mistake, but impressed that the Rocklands pupils were on to it so quickly. The American spelling is creeping in (eg Builder Center), but we are certainly not trying to add to it. We will see if there is a way that it can be put right at minimal cost.'

Mr Birchall said he will be contacting the maintenance engineers for Rocklands, and will ask them to have a look at the signage at the other end of the village (Mill Lane) to see if the sign to Shropham is pointing the right way.

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