A devilish Tasmanian

April 10th, 2013 · 41 comments

Writes Renata: “On our holiday to northern Tasmania, we were driving to Mole Creek Caves when I spotted this sign in a tiny little town called Chudleigh. The town’s main point seemed to be the sale of honey, but obviously some of the residents have a sting in their tail.”

Restored November 2003 despite the best Efforts of the National Trust and Mrs Patric[i]a Woods

related: Canadian is angry; still says thank you

FILED UNDER: Australia · public shaming

41 responses so far ↓

  • #1   So

  • #2   e

    Is “Patrica” (rather than Patricia) actually a name, or did someone get a sign expensively produced with a typo on it? That would be like my rubbish workplace, which when you enter has a massive corporate poster full of blown-up GIF compression artifacts.

    Apr 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   redheadwglasses

      It’s a name. I googled and found numerous instances of it.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   April

      Nope, it’s a typo. Googling “Patricia Woods National Trust” throws up a number of instances of her fighting for buildings, including others who’ve posted about this splendidly passive aggressive sign.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Raichu

      She was fighting *for* the building? but against having it restored? huh?

      Apr 10, 2013 at 5:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   Taswegian

      Organisations like the National Trust want buildings to remain as they are most of the time, maybe with a bit of work to prevent them from actually falling down. Their reasoning is usually about preserving historical features. The owner of this one wanted to add to it, and the National Trust will often try to prevent that. They have rights over buildings with proven historical value, so that leads to court battles quite a lot.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   Ely North

      Maybe they spelled it wrong on purpose, just as a “screw you” to Patricia.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 6:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Taswegian


    Here’s some information about the property, in case anyone’s curious. That’s the gatehouse to a huge estate, owned by John Hawkins, who spent millions on bookshelves and imported artisans from England to trim his hedges and lay his drystone walls properly. Now Tasmania has an excess of drystone wall specialists and hedge trimmers.

    Apr 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Oedipa

    On a side note, the honey from Chudleigh is really delicious.

    Apr 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Escapist83

    If anyone tried to stop me from altering a building I owned, I’d threaten to burn the whole damn thing down instead.

    Apr 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Rachel

      People have a tendency to buy these properties, knowing full well that it is heritage listed, then chuck a tanty when ‘but i think it’s OK’ isn’t accepted as a good enough reason for destroying the historical value.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   Jeanette

      Here in the USA (or at least in NY State) you can do anything you want inside a Historic Landmarked building as long as the exterior remains exactly as it existed when landmarked. I know two people with Landmarked houses and both have explained this to me. Oddly enough, one has a neighbor who put up ugly siding on their house before landmark status and now they can’t change it without permission!

      Apr 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.3   a-Arialist

      @Escapist83 – well, you’d be very childish, then.

      Some people have more mature attitudes, and realise that (for example) when they purchase a cottage built in 1689, or a townhouse built in 1809 with unique features, it’s a historical artifact and has a value outside of it’s temporary owner having a strop and whining ‘but it’s mine and I’ll do what I want with it’.

      Apr 11, 2013 at 3:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.4   Rachel

      Hey Jeanette, I had friends who bought a heritage listed house and they weren’t allowed to replace the cracked glass in their bedroom window (which let the wind blow in), because it was hand made by convicts. It was pretty cool, by both definitions. They ended up moving.

      Apr 11, 2013 at 3:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.5   a-Arialist


      Here in the UK we have grades, Grade I (super important, great houses like Blenheim or Chatsworth), Grade II* and Grade II. You can do very, very little to a Grade I listed building – even internal changes have to be temporary.

      There are also scheduled monuments, also – things like Stonehenge, Roman ruins, ruined castles, abbeys that were burned by Henry VIII etc.

      Grade II listing is much less strict, and you can usually do a fair amount inside, as long as the outside stays the same.

      As Rachel said, when you buy a listed building you know what y0u’re getting into, and there’s no point throwing a tantrum about not being able to change things. Want a house you can rip apart and extend and do whatever you want to do? Easy! Don’t buy a listed building ;)

      Apr 11, 2013 at 3:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.6   Pinklady

      Oh dear. Another bit of misinformation about grade II listed buildings! In fact, any changes need listed building consent, as interior features and layouts can be just as important, if not more so, than exteriors. There may be more latitude in some cases, but it’s really important that we get rid of the myth that you can do what you want to the interior of a grade II building, as long as the exterior remains unaltered. I have been working in the heritage sector for 15 years and I still hear it regularly. You are open to prosecution if you undertake works without consent so it can be an expensive mistake…

      Apr 11, 2013 at 3:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.7   Jami

      While I can see the point of keeping historical homes mostly the same, if I had a cracked window I wasn’t allowed to replace I’d “accidently” make sure something falls into it completely shattering the glass.

      Apr 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.8   JoDa

      Wowee to them regulating what happens *inside* the house. Here is DC, we have historic districts, which are insane enough. My biggest gripes with them are that (a) *everything* within the district is covered, even if the individual building doesn’t have historical character – so, if you buy a 1960′s infill house in a historic district, you still have to get your exterior stuff approved (like paint colors, siding types, windows, etc.); and (b) they restrict what can go on the roof – so, if you think you might ever want a satellite dish or solar panel, choose your house carefully…if you’d have to put it on the front half of the roof or on a pole so that it stuck up a few feet, you won’t be allowed (the roofs are flat, so this is not like putting a satellite dish on the front slope of a roof, but rather, you MIGHT see the edge of it peeking up over the front barrier of the roof from across the street…not really an eyesore).

      My favorite story with stuff on the roof was an apartment building (1950′s, not historic) that wanted to install new heat pumps/AC units. They ended up having to put them in the back. This took away the few parking spots the building had – sending the neighbors into a frenzy about “OMG STEALING OUR PARKING SPACES” – and resulted in a neighbor filing a lawsuit about the noise – which they would not have heard had the units been on the roof. The new units replaced window air conditioners, which were SO much more attractive than the potential of a peek of the edge of an HVAC unit from across the street if you’re really looking, AMIRITE?

      Apr 14, 2013 at 1:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.9   amian

      In a historic district, typically exterior changes have to be applied for. So if someone does exterior work without getting it approved I don’t have much sympathy. Also, usually there are options to purchase property outside of a historic district if you don’t what to deal with the extra hassle (and property value.)

      Apr 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.10   JoDa

      @amian, there are *46* historic districts in DC, a city of only 68 square miles. The “option to buy outside of a historic district” is SEVERELY limited. I don’t see why it’s necessary for the owners of a home built 50-100 years or even more after the historic homes to spend hundreds of dollars getting approvals for outdoor changes, when their home isn’t even historic. BY THE HOME’S NATURE, it “disrupts the historic character of the neighborhood.” Forcing owners of non-historic buildings to use INSANELY expensive windows that aren’t even consistent with the home in question or put clapboard rather than vinyl siding on is complete bull. Plus, it often looks ridiculous. Newer buildings just look like some kind of frankenstein’s monster when the period details of older homes are hastily forced onto them. If a newer home is such an eyesore, the historic board should buy them when they come on the market, demolish them, and build something period for the neighborhood.

      Plus, historic districts are now being abused to limit growth. If your neighborhood starts to grow, you can bet dollars to donuts that a historic district application will be made in short order. There’s currently an application to designate a neighborhood historic where over 75% of the buildings date from the *1980′s*. OVER THE OBJECTIONS OF THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE AND OWN BUSINESSES THERE (a board makes the applications). Why would the board present this? Oh…a bunch of land owners have signed agreements to sell into a new development. I see…we wouldn’t want people to actually be able to live here. No, no, that would be very bad. Wait…no…I mean we couldn’t possibly demolish a 30-year-old building in massive disrepair! It’s such a treasure!

      Apr 14, 2013 at 10:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.11   The Elf

      JoDa, while I understand your point regarding the fine line between historic and dilapidation, no one is making you live or rent there. And I don’t buy the “severely limited” point – I’m in the DC area too. There’s such a thing as Maryland and Virginia, where most people who work in DC actually live. *For a reason*.

      Apr 15, 2013 at 7:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.12   Sass

      The fact that it’s DC explains a lot — the place is filled with people who make a living telling other people what to do (and then excusing themselves from the rules).

      Apr 15, 2013 at 9:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.13   JoDa

      No one is making me live here, but it’s beyond absurd that an unelected board can force its will on neighborhoods to prevent growth, thereby driving up prices. It’s *also* absurd to force historic preservation on neighborhoods wholesale. Again, forcing someone who owns an infill house to put up clapboard siding or plate-glass windows not only does NOTHING for preservation (you’re not preserving anything historic in these circumstances, period), but often makes the homes look worse. I get it…I love the 100+ year old rowhouses and really cool art-deco apartment buildings all over the city. THAT’S WHY I LIVE HERE. But not everything is historic, particularly not something built in the *1980′s.*

      I don’t like the suburbs. Sorry. If that’s your thing, go for it. It’s not mine. A handful of people shouldn’t be able to swoop in a completely eliminate growth, thereby eventually pricing me out, when they feel like it. I don’t think they should do away with preservation, but, rather than forcing residents to FIGHT the applications, the board should have to (a) PROVE the historical significance of the neighborhood, (b) get the residents’ consent, and (c) develop exemptions and less-onerous regulations for non-historic properties in proposed historic districts. Dupont Circle? PASS…lots of historical significance and residents like their neighborhood preserved. H St. NW near Chinatown? Please explain exactly what we’re preserving there, besides some whimsical memory of the late ’80′s, when getting murdered was a daily threat and people couldn’t get out of the city fast enough? 1950′s apartment buildings in the Capitol Hill historic district? They should get exemptions that allow them to renovate and update the buildings so that they become functional in a modern sense (good windows, central HVAC, ADA compliance) without becoming more of a sore thumb than they are.

      Apr 15, 2013 at 5:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   nunavut guy

    Boy that sign sure looks “photo-shopped”.I’m going to check out the webs sites listed above.

    It does look shopped though.

    Apr 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Captain Hampton

      Nice try, mayor of Chudleigh.

      Apr 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Me

    Definitely looks photoshopped… even the google earth link.

    Apr 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   nunavut guy

      Ya.The placement of the sign seems wrong.Too low,too close to the lower window.

      The Google earth link really showed that up.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   April

      It does look odd, but it’s in other photos from other years and I don’t even know how you’d go about photoshopping something on Google Earth…

      Here it is in a 2011 photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozjulian/5433619906/
      And a 2007 photo: http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t188/juried/DSCN8489.jpg

      Apr 11, 2013 at 3:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   So

      That is why I looked for it on street view, it looked all wrong. But it clearly isn’t shopped.

      Apr 11, 2013 at 11:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Juniper

    I think it’s just a stupid person error that thought they were saying the opposite of what that sign says.

    Apr 11, 2013 at 2:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   irrelevant

    Haha! Patricia Woods was my primary school principle! It seems she as just as awful now as she was back then. (It’s the same person).

    Apr 11, 2013 at 2:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Josephine

      Is your principal not your pal then? :p

      Apr 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Logically

    Explain how one would photoshop google street view, and why they would put so much effort into it? :/

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:56 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Tom

    I could very well see a sign like this going up in my area. Not over historical buildings, but just regular buildings. Towns here have an architectural review board (ARB) who review every sign that goes on buildings. A new business comes in and they have to run their sign through the board. Well, these boards have become a lot like HRAs, where 7 people with far too much time on their hands sit around a table and go “I don’t like that shade of mauve” until you’re about to pull your hair out. Mind you, they’re just supposed to check that town code is being held to (height above grade, sizes of signs, types of signs, etc) but because they fancy themselves special (they’re volunteers) they start nitpicking the colors, shapes, font, etc. Even if the signs are perfectly pretty, they’ll often browbeat someone into changing the design to what they want. As a result, the towns’ signs have turn into swaths of hunter green and burgundy backgrounds with gold or white text. Never mind the purpose of the store. A children’s daycare wasn’t allowed any bright colors. A nail salon couldn’t have pink. A theatre company finally managed dark purple. No red for a chinese restaurant. The business owners seethe every time they have to go to these people and I’m sure one day a sign will go up with a tagline saying “No thanks to that damn ARB!” I can understand that the ARB feels that their towns are vaguely historical, being on the east coast, but you have to allow your businesses some originality to stand out from the rest of the shops. Everything looks the same.

    Apr 11, 2013 at 11:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   L

    …nobody’s going to comment on Mole Creek Caves???? Come on, that name is AWESOME.

    Apr 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   Woot

      They’re very cool caves too

      Apr 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Patrica


    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Dr_Know

    Don’t tell me you didn’t stop in at the Chudleigh honey farm? They’re awesome, can’t go past all the bee products!

    Apr 12, 2013 at 9:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   PAN's_Labyrinth

    It definitely does look photoshopped. Either it is – Google street view too, though I have no idea how that could be possible – or something about the sign (colours, placement etc.) really makes it look so in photographs.

    If I saw this photo somewhere without the explanation and comments I would place all my bets on the “Photoshopped!” square without thinking twice.

    Apr 14, 2013 at 7:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   John Hawkins

    My attention has been drawn to this site.

    I put up this Public Notice after I was told by Patrica (Russian communist spelling) Woods that to have the stop work notice lifted on my building I would have to hire the National Trust architect.

    This I refused to do.

    I have won an award for the restoration and the notice is now listed under the Heritage Act.

    Apr 28, 2013 at 7:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   Jadeclaw

      “Hire our architect or else…”
      Wow, just wow. Cronyism to the nth degree.
      Well done Sir for sticking up against them.
      Judging from the pics floating around on the net,
      the result looks great.

      Apr 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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