Letter: Chance to honour Horsham’s famous poet?

The former Shelley Fountain in Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1611257 19-04-16 SUS-160419-160127001
The former Shelley Fountain in Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1611257 19-04-16 SUS-160419-160127001

As a declared supporter of Horsham District Year of Culture in 2019, I do hope that the County Times will seek to promote the case for a replacement memorial to Horsham’s most prestigious son, the romantic poet - Percy Bysshe Shelley - who was born at Field Place near Broadbridge Heath in 1792.

Angela Conner’s controversial water feature - dedicated to Shelley - was removed by our district council in April 2016 - following 20 years of costly technical problems and it seems reasonable to suggest that a Year of Culture would be lacking credibility without some tangible replacement.

Here one has to recognise that funding an appropriate memorial in these difficult times could present problems for a cash-strapped local authority.

That said, we have a number of major commercial concerns in the town - along with builders and developers who will shortly be engaged in major expansion plans for Horsham.

As a gesture of goodwill, a contribution towards a suitable Shelley memorial would surely enhance their reputation by creating goodwill within our community.

Here one should also note that Shelley continues to attract global interest as witnessed by membership of the Italian based Keats-Shelley Memorial Association. From a tourist point of view, an imaginative Shelley memorial not only has cultural merits but could also promote much needed commercial benefits for our town.

Shelley’s forebears were a notable Sussex family - mainly from villages now within Horsham District and I believe that our Year of Culture in 2019 presents a golden opportunity to recognise this fact. But time is of the essence if we are to achieve this goal.

Robert B. Worley

Bourns Court, Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham