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 Recent issues

April 2007 

The Swans are saved

The decision in 2007 to remove Lorne McKean’s iconic sculpture from Swan Walk provoked a massive public outcry the like of which Horsham has not seen for many years. The decision was misconceived from the start but as the management pressed ahead with their removal in the face of public opposition disappointment turned to anger.

The Horsham Society was active in the campaign for their reinstatement, with Nigel Friswell, one of our Vice Presidents, appearing on BBC news, and direct approaches at the highest level to Aviva, the owners of the centre, and their management company. Hundreds of people expressed their anger in letters, emails and phone calls to the County Times and Swan Walk. There is no doubt that it is they who eventually forced the owners to reverse their decision and agree to the return of the swans.

But the story was far from over. Despite promises to restore the sculpture by Spring 2008, it was not until the summer that the swans reappeared – protruding out of an ugly box, without their plinth or moving water. The Society kept the pressure on the owners and management through publicity and direct contact and finally, at Easter 2009, a new plinth was unveiled with the essential moving water. The swans were back.

This saga would make a good case study for an MBA course on public consultation in the electronic age.

John Steele

Chairman's first letter to WSCT 22.09.2007»
Front page photo October 2007
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Chairman's second letter to WSCT 02.11.2007»
Let there be water: health & safety issues discussed 14.11.2008»
Horsham Society's letter to Swan Walk management 16.12.2008
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Horsham Society's letter to Aviva 16.12.2008
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Swan Walk management's reply to Horsham Society 17.12.2008
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Horsham Society's letter to Swan Walk Management 20.12.2008
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Swan Walk management's reply to Horsham Society 06.01.2009
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Aviva: new name, same old story 23.01.2009
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Campaign successful: Aviva's reply to Horsham Society 02.02.2009
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