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Man who spent £25,000 on sign giving directions to fake airport in Wales is bringing joke to an end

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Man who spent £25,000 on sign giving directions to a fake airport in Wales is bringing the 20-year-long joke to an end – but hopes heritage body will take over maintaining it

  • A billboard pointing towards Llandegley International has turn into a landmark
  • Sign pointing towards Terminals 1 and three positioned between Rhayader and Kington
  • However it only results in field on the outskirts of Llandegley two-and-a-half miles away
  • Nicholas Whitehead spent £25,000 erecting sign near village of Powys in 2002
  • He has now decided to bring the joke, popular amongst tourists, to an end

A person who spent £25,000 on an indication giving direction to a fake airport in Wales has brought the long-running joke to an end – and now hopes 

A billboard pointing towards Llandegley International has turn into a landmark since first being erected by Nicholas Whitehead near the agricultural village of Powys in 2002.

Drivers travelling east along the A44 between Rhayader and Kington come across signs pointing towards Terminals 1 and three of the imaginary airport.

However the sign only results in a field on the outskirts of Llandegley two-and-a-half miles away, the BBC reports.

Mr Whitehead, a journalist who once wrote with Monty Python’s Terry Jones, spent £25,000 on the sign 20 years ago after a ‘wild conversation’ with friends one evening.

He has now decided to bring the joke to an end, but is launching a campaign for the institution he founded to be officially recognised.

A billboard pointing towards Llandegley International has turn into a landmark since first being erected by Nicholas Whitehead (pictured left) near the agricultural village of Powys in 2002

Drivers travelling east along the A44 between Rhayader and Kington come across signs pointing towards Terminals 1 and 3

Drivers travelling east along the A44 between Rhayader and Kington come across signs pointing towards Terminals 1 and three

Mr Whitehead said: ‘We considered renting an indication for something that wasn’t really there, possibly a project that did not exist, and we settled on the airport.

‘It began off as a little bit of a joke, then we realised it was actually possible. It was made by Wrexham Signs, given the okay, one thing led to a different and there it’s.’

The sign has turn into increasingly popular since and now draws tourists to the realm.

He added: ‘I feel the airport is established now – and I feel the establishment should take it on.

‘It is not exactly a national monument – nevertheless it is a national treasure.’

Mr Whitehead now hopes heritage body Cadw might be inquisitive about taking on the maintenance of the sign.

He said: ‘It has turn into an item of Welsh heritage. It would not cost them anything like as much because it’s cost me. By way of value for money, it’s unbeatable.’

Local resident Holly Richards also described the sign as ‘an element of our community’, with many sad to see it go.

She added: ‘I’ve lived in Llandegley all my life. The sign is an element of our community.

‘It is a bit of a running gag – people joke that they’ve just flown into Llandegley they usually’re flying back out tomorrow. It’s an exquisite feature.’

Neil Richards, a neighborhood farmer, also said it had helped put the agricultural village on the map.

He added: ‘There is no end of people that have seen and heard in regards to the sign who’ve stopped at our farm on the sting of the Radnor Forest, asking how you can find the airport.

Local resident Holly Richards also described the sign as 'a part of our community', with many sad to see it go

Local resident Holly Richards also described the sign as ‘an element of our community’, with many sad to see it go

The sign (pictured) only leads to a field on the outskirts of Llandegley two-and-a-half miles away

The sign (pictured) only results in a field on the outskirts of Llandegley two-and-a-half miles away

‘Apparently two American Air Force planes landed nearby as a part of a military mission in World War Two.’

The fake airport has gained a big following on social media.

Mr Whitehead said: ‘The sign is just an indication. The sign can come down however the airport continues to be there. The airport exists in the identical way that songs exist. 

‘Should you set fire to the scrap of paper on which Paul McCartney wrote Yesterday, that would not destroy the song.

‘The song exists as a shared experience; it’s indestructible. It’s the identical with the airport.’

The sign was modified in honour of airport fan Jill Dibling following her death. Her family were touched by the poignant tribute.

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