Friday, 3rd April 2015
A beautiful white swan has taken up residence on the grassy roundabout at the intersection of Brook Lane, Wheelers Lane and Coldbath Road near Swanshurst School and the Billesley Pub. The striking sculpture has been carved in oak by local artist Graham Jones who was commissioned by the Swan Corner community group who were there in force for the official welcome on 17th November.
The Swan Corner group was established barely a year ago by local resident and Community Art Worker Marcus Belben to take positive collaborative action to care for this area. Marcus said “Because our roundabout is on the intersection of three different wards and districts, it wasn’t clear who was taking responsibility for decisions to care for our local environment. Local residents felt important issues on parking, traffic control, anti-social behaviour and burglary were not being adequately addressed.”
They received some funding from Near Neighbours to develop gardening workshops, create a notice board, and hold workshops with local sculptor Graham Jones.
The group is well supported by residents, and works closely with Swanshurst School who hosted the grand opening. Pupils were involved in identifying problems, mainly traffic, parking, road safety, litter and graffiti, and practical workshops like designing the swan and planting trees and flowers. Head student Faryal introduced the Grand Opening proceedings and thanked all the participants.
Committee member and local resident, Lyn Reid said that the group had really brought the community together and now they were able to address problems like parking parents blocking peoples’ drives, peacefully and effectively.