2 October 2007
West Sussex County Times
Horsham, RH12 1HD
It is excellent news that common sense has prevailed
and the swans are to return to Swan Walk.
But the cynical contempt with which the management
have treated the people of Horsham will take a long
time to live down. History shows that the sculpture
has been treated with scant regard ever since it was
hemmed in by the wholly inappropriate café. So we must
look to the Council to ensure that whatever the final
reinstatement scheme there is a legally binding
commitment on the part of Norwich Union to retain the
Hopefully, this change of heart will be accompanied by
a wider rethink. They removed the swans not because of
environmental or safety considerations but primarily
for commercial gain. Lorne McKean’s iconic sculpture
stood in the way of “a series of planned modernisation
initiatives to create a new flexible and interactive
space for commercial and community services.” Whatever
this nonsense means you can be sure they plan more
commercial exploitation of what were once wide,
pleasant circulation areas.
They think this will help them compete better with
Crawley. What rot. Horsham’s commercial success
depends not on aping Crawley but by offering a
different shopping experience.
If the management want to breathe new life into the
centre they should reduce the unrealistically high
asking prices for the empty units and encourage
smaller companies into the town.
A new approach is needed which reflects Horsham’s
unique character. And, of course, the swans must be
restored to pride of place and not tucked away in a
Congratulations to everybody who added their voice to
the protest. Make no mistake, it is people power that
has changed minds.