RADNORSHIRE residents have the opportunity to contribute to a piece of local history as the much-loved Llandegley International Airport sign is revived.

The famous sign – which has attracted the attention of national newspapers and television programmes – is set to be returned to its billboard on the A44 near Crossgates. However, the man behind the sign has warned that it comes at a cost which must now met by its supporters.

The sign disappeared in November last year and just days after a Facebook fanclub had been started in its honour, which now stands at more than 1,000 members. Nicholas Whitehead, who has paid for the sign since its creation in 2002, is now asking for 100 ‘Heroes of Llandegley International’ to pay £10 a year, with him contributing the difference to keep the sign in place.

“I could hardly believe it. After seven years or so, I thought the sign might have had its day. But I was wrong. Someone started this Facebook site and it suddenly filled with people wanting to know what had happened to the sign and demanding its return.”

A dedicated bank account will now be set up and details of how people can get involved will be appearing shortly on the Facebook site.

“We’ll see how it goes,” said Nicholas. “If we make a profit, we could perhaps set up an airport somewhere else. About 200 fans are from outside the UK so it’s a possibility. I always thought Smelterville, Idaho, would be good.”

The sign first appeared in 2002 when Nicholas – who used to live in Radnorshire – noticed that the roadside advertising sign was vacant.

“I was visiting friends in Llandegley one evening and we came up with the airport idea,” recalled Nicholas. “The people at the billboard company were a bit doubtful when I told them what we had in mind but I was willing to pay the going rate so we had a deal.”

Since then, the sign has been discussed in national newspapers, featured in the TV series Great Welsh Roads and has even appeared in the pages of Hansard as part of a parliamentary debate.

For more information visit the Facebook group page by searching for ‘Llandegley International Airport.’