Pointing the 1,074km home to Ilkeston

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AN ILKESTON-BORN man who now lives in Germany has erected a finger post in his back garden pointing the way back home.

John Jagus, who was born in Ilkeston in 1955, decided to make the sign during the long cold winter months.

He told the Advertiser: “Last winter, it being cold and with early dark nights, I had a bright idea to make something for our back garden.

“So I came up with a finger post. They are quite common even here in Germany, but one in your back garden is not so common.

“The post has four directions, all the wood is oak and it took a few months for me to carve out all the names using only traditional tools.”

John lives in Garssen Celle, around 50km from Hanover, with his wife of over eight years Kerstin.

As well as 1,074km west to Ilkeston, the sign points 1,214km north to Bergen, in Norway, where John has worked, 888km south to Schladming, Austria, where his wife Kerstin’s parents used to live, and 772km east to Rusinowice, Poland, where John’s dad Theo was born.

His three older sisters still live locally, as does his mother Edith, who lives on Broadway, having remarried after the death of Theo, a Polish refugee who worked as a miner.

John has now lived in Germany for over 30 years, having stayed in the country after his contract with the British Army came to an end.