Horsham speaks! Shelley Fountain, should it stay or should it go?

By Charlotte Schroeter

The Shelley Fountain in Horsham town centre, which faces a public consultation, is still causing quite a stir among our readers. The fountain, created in 1992 by sculptor Angela Conner, seems to be mostly disliked by residents.

Kevin Degenhard of Horsham told The District Post: “Not only was this ugly, expensive contraption that masquerades as a ‘work of art’ rejected by the wise folk of Cambridge, it was also in particularly poor taste to erect a water feature to commemorate a revered poet who tragically died by drowning.

“A sponsored bronze life sized statue of Shelley sat on a bronze bench pondering a tastefully landscaped area, with room enough for visitors to sit a while beside him would be excellent. We all love the bronze of Mr Pirie and his donkey and trap, so both theme and balance would be tastefully restored to our town.”

Mrs D Rainbird of Collingwood Road, Horsham, said: “The Shelley Fountain should go. This ugly structure has cost enough to maintain and repair over the years so we should not be spending any more money on it.

“Some years ago a vote was held and the majority of people wanted it removed but the council went against this vote – the outcome was yet more money spent on repairs. Cambridge was offered this globe but refused – how sensible of them.”

Ronald Burlow would also be in favour of the fountain being removed. He said: “I have always considered this to be a most complicated and so expensive to maintain. I would love to see it removed and either a planted area or a normal fountain in its place.”

Charlotte Bonnar said: “I passed through this section of the town at the weekend and yet again found myself getting irritated at the sight of the fountain. It is obtrusive, unattractive, often does not work and in my opinion is a waste of money.

“I would be amazed to see any positive comments. I would be interested, and no doubt further irritated, to know the amount this fountain has cost over the years. Surely the time has come (over twenty years on) to replace it with something which is an asset to the town, and for us to have a feature which all Horsham residents can be proud of rather than embarrassed by.”

B A Casserley has the most positive comment. They said: “I do not hate the Shelly fountain but to my mind it is in the wrong setting. Its present position there is too much concrete, it gives a claustrophobic feeling. Far better if it was set in a big open green space slightly elevated and viewed from a distance.”

3 comments on “Horsham speaks! Shelley Fountain, should it stay or should it go?

  1. Only the other day i brought an American friend to the town center. He loved the “quaint” shops. all open to the air. the small shopping mall covered with glass. but when we got to the fountain i tried to explain how it had been in its former glory. his reply was like most.. why does it remind him of a Females parts? The rising orb has become a joke. in fact its always been a joke. its high time it was dealt with and something more tasteful was in its place. the babbling brook, bridges and waterfall outside the Olive branch are so much more pleasant. sitting and just hearing the water trickle past is so relaxing.

  2. Having lived in the Horsham district since the mid 80s I have witnessed numerous changes in the Town that have diminished the aesthetic appeal of Horsham. However, the ‘Shelley Fountain’ is not one of them. I find it most appealing and uplifting, far preferably to more conventional street art. As art I feel it works on the senses in a positive way. As a fountain though it has been undermined by poor maintenance and sadly by schadenfreunde from many in Horsham.

  3. Madam, The ‘Shelley Fountain’ works for me as a piece of interesting public art. If it is to go then please can Horsham have another fountain. In response to Mr Dagenhard I really don’t think a statute of a long dead poet who is rarely read today, is going to improve the centre of Horsham. It’s the 21st century and a contemporary theme should be found.

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