Crossed swords signal a mystery

Picture by Allan McKenzie/AMGP.co.uk - Ackworth Village signs, Ackworth, England - 291113 - Councillor Richard Molloy with one of the blue signs in Ackworth.
Picture by Allan McKenzie/AMGP.co.uk - Ackworth Village signs, Ackworth, England - 291113 - Councillor Richard Molloy with one of the blue signs in Ackworth.

Puzzled villagers in Ackworth have been left scratching their heads after more than a dozen mysterious signs have been painted across the village.

A pair of crossed cutlasses and the number ‘67’ have popped up throughout the village, including all along Lee Lane and Station Road, with signs painted on walls, telecom boxes, gate posts and even a warning sign near the water tower.

The first of the signs – which seem to be a spray-painted stencil – materialised a couple of years ago, but more and more of the mysterious signs keep appearing.

Ackworth Parish Council is just as perplexed as the rest of the village about the origins of the signs.

Parish councillor Richard Molloy said: “Everyone’s been talking about them, but no-one knows where they’ve come from.

“People are always stopping and asking me if I know what they are, but I’ve spoken to the other parish councillors, and can’t find out anything about them.

“Someone suggested they might be to mark a battle, but no-one’s heard of anything like that happening round here.”

Other theories have included an art project or a prank.

Mr Molloy added: “They’ve even been painted on the stones near Ackworth School, and on the black and white warning signs on the road as you go towards Pontefract.”

Richard Lockett, of Ackworth Heritage Group, said members had also been unable to find out who or what was behind the signs.

He said: “They’re an eyesore really, but unless we catch the culprit red-handed I don’t think we’re going to find out who’s behind it.

“Obviously someone is doing it, but we don’t know what they’re doing it for. They look a bit like battlefield markers, and while there were probably skirmishes around Ackworth during the Civil War, we don’t know of any significant events here.

“I feel like daubing them out, but that makes more of a mess.”