70 year-old pothole awarded Grade II listed status

Residents of Okehampton in Devon have succeeded in their bid to have a perpetually unfilled pothole given Grade II protection status.

The decision by English Heritage is important as it means that the local council is now forbidden to make any changes to it.

Sweet shop owner Marjorie Trengellis led the campaign. ‘Well I’d say the hole has been there since I was a little girl in the Fifties. I remember we used to jump in it to splash our school socks. We used to call it ‘Pete the Puddle.’

For the past 24 years, residents have petitioned the council to install speed humps to slow the traffic past the school, but to no avail.

‘We just gave up in the end,’ says Marjorie. ‘Then I had a brainwave and we made the hole really, really deep so drivers have to slow right down to go round it.’

The relevant English Heritage statement on their web site reads:

“This interesting and naturally occurring fissure on the B3215 represents a significant and valuable cultural landmark which, being more than thirty years old, qualifies for full Grade II status and is therefore protected forthwith in English law from modification or removal.”

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