A sign company has revealed they were ‘amused’ and ‘surprised’ upon discovering the effect one of their most famous signs has had on a Powys village.

Wrexham Signs is the company behind the infamous Llandegley International Airport sign which had been a landmark for people of the village until a decision was made for it to be taken down after 20 years.

The sign was part of a running joke since 2002, signposting an imaginary airport that could be seen when travelling eastwards along the A44 between Rhayader and Kington directing people towards Terminals 1 and 3 of Llandegley International Airport.

The gag was part of a man’s tongue-in-cheek effort to signpost the fictional airport which eventually cost £25,000 over the course of two decades. 


The man behind it, journalist, Nicholas Whitehead said: “Twenty years ago I was having some after dinner drinks with some friends in Llandegley and we knew that this local sign (billboard) which was owned by Wrexham Signs was vacant.

“So, we had a kind of free-wheeling conversation about what we would put on it if we were daft enough and had more money than sense!

“We came up with the idea for some reason, of an airport.

“I rang up Wrexham Signs and told them I had an idea and would it be possible and I thought they would probably say, ‘no it’s illegal’ or something, but in fact, so long as we didn’t use a special reflective white paint, then we can do it.

“They were a little bit bewildered at first, you could see this was something which they’d never done before, it sort of brightened up a sort of routine day in the office I think.”

The sign went on to be a main stay in the village for 20 years which spawned its own Facebook page that acquired thousands of followers.

Two decades on, Wrexham Signs owner, Cris Whiting fondly recalls helping Nicholas’ idea become a reality and admitted he was taken aback upon recently learning just how famous the Wrexham made sign went on to become.

“I remember they made an inquiry about the vacant billboard, and I asked what line of business they were in and he explained the situation and what they wanted to do with it – which I found quite amusing!

“I honestly thought it would probably last six months and the joke would have finished. But I really didn’t think it was going to last 20 years.

“As they’re mid Wales and we’re North Wales, I didn’t get much feedback after the sign went up until this week and realised what effect it had on people in that area and it became part of the history of the area.

“I never realised the impact it was having down there.

“It’s definitely one of the longest clients we’ve ever had, it’s surprising how long it went on for as it was a running joke really, but everything comes to an end I suppose.”

The sign has now been taken down and is now currently in storage with Nicholas confirming that there are no concrete plans currently for any further use of the sign. 

With regards to the future, Nicholas added: "There's definitely something new in the pipeline as far as I'm concerned, it's simply the closing of one chapter and the start of the next.

"Now, an anonymous benefactor has taken over the [billboard], for I don't know how long, but a little while. And has put a new sign there saying 'Give us a Sign'."

The new 'Give us a Sign' billboard actually includes a QR code which contains a link to a GoFundme page seeking to raise £8,000 - the cost for the local authority to put a sign up at the side of the road. 

"What we want is a permanent sign which locally, will be a national treasure, a work of public art, one of those sort of things," added Nicholas.

"After spending so much time and money on it, it became established. It started off as something maverick and out there, but now it's established. 

"It was much loved and people have taken it to their hearts."