NEW signs welcoming people at the five gateways into Harworth are a clear indication that this is a town where things are happening.
The signs all have different designs, incorporating some of the town’s landmarks and its history.
They show pride in the past - and a vision for the future.
While many towns are battening down the hatches and waiting for an economic upturn, Harworth appears to be bucking the trend.
And much of it is down to an enthusiastic and proactive town council.
Some of the signs of their hard work are already apparent, perhaps most noticeably in the closed cemetery which was all overgrown but has now been cleared and spruced up.
Anyone needing to spend a penny in the town centre will also be aware how things have improved.
The public toilets in the town hall car park have undergone a £3,500 refurbishment and are now fit for purpose.
Town council clerk Steve Bowman said: “The toilets were awful. They are about 30 years old and were in very poor condition.”
“There was no hot water, no hand dryers, no baby change and no ladies’ facilities and the disabled toilet had no light, no lock and no seat.”
“We’ve got all those things now, with baby changing in both the men’s and ladies’ toilets.”
A problem with drivers mounting the pavement and parking their cars in front of the shops on Scrooby Road has also been tackled by introducing new street furniture.
Council chairman June Evans said: “We’ve got cycle racks in front of the shops to encourage the youngsters to park their bikes and we’ve got flower planters.”
“We’ve also filled in and grassed the old large flower beds which looks much neater.”
Eight new litter bins have been put on the Wimpey Estate as part of an ongoing project to improve the area around Droversdale Road and Waterslack Road, and horseshoe shaped planters next to Scrooby Road.
There are new flag poles and the large sycamore tree on the green with the cenotaph has been lopped back.
And the town councillors aren’t afraid of being self-sufficient. They are now the proud owners of a mini snow plough and gritter which attach to a tractor and which can keep local roads passable in conditions when the county council is not able to respond quickly enough.
But perhaps the biggest showpiece of all is the new town hall on Scrooby Road which has become the home of many different community groups, like Harworth Brass Band, as well as the Sure Start playgroup.
Coun Evans said: “There is all sorts going on at the hall, we have zumba, hip hop and street dance, and also education for the mums and dads and and an over 50s group. The midwives and health visitors also hold clinics in there.”
Plans are also underway to make more use of the old rent offices in front of the town hall, now used as a community information centre.
Representatives from Bassetlaw District Council and Notts County Council visit every week to answer and Two Shires Credit Union, based in Worksop, is there every Tuesday.
Mr Bowman said the latter was something the council was keen to promote.
He said: “We want people to know they don’t have to go to loan sharks, they can get a cheaper loan here.”
Two Shires credit controller Harold Genders said: “People can save with us as well.”
“We can offer instant money at 26.8 APR or money against savings at 12.7APR.”
Coun Evans said that they were in year four of the current five-year plan for Harworth.
“We’re now starting to think about what we want to achieve in the next five years,” she said.
Watch this space.