Royal town once again signposts generosity towards troops

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Four road signs welcoming people to Wootton Bassett have raised £3,320 for Help for Heroes in an online auction.

Wiltshire Council sold two original signs reading “Welcome to Wootton Bassett” – which were in place at the town before it received its Royal patronage – and two that were created for the town’s renaming ceremony, which read “Welcome to Royal Wootton Bassett”.

The original road signs were sold for £1,170 and £920, while the newer signs raised £720 and £510 when they were put up for auction on the website eBay.

The town has become known for the dignified and moving way local people lined the high street to show their respects when the bodies of troops killed in Afghanistan were repatriated.

The action of the town’s people gained international recognition, with US President Barack Obama describing it as the “best of British character”.

And in October Wootton Bassett became the first town in more than 100 years to get the “Royal” prefix.

The sale of the signs smashed the expectations of the council, which listed them with a starting bid of just £50.

Wiltshire Council is donating all the proceeds from the sale to the forces charity Help for Heroes.

The council said rather than throwing the signs away they wanted to take advantage by trying to raise some money for soldiers.