Could a 10ft cockerel in Surrey, stone sheep in Somerset or plastic sheep in West Sussex inspire Ditchingham’s chicken roundabout statue bid?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 February 2013 | UPDATED: 12:57 01 February 2013

Cockerel on roundabout in Dorking Surrey, 2009, Must credit: Pete Gardner -

Cockerel on roundabout in Dorking Surrey, 2009, Must credit: Pete Gardner -

Pete Gardner -

In Dorking, in Surrey, there is a 10ft steel and zinc cockerel.

In Shepton Mallet, in Somerset, there is a flock of stone sheep, while in Shoreham, West Sussex, there are six green plastic sheep.

All have made the towns recognisable and stand out, but will any of these inspire a group wanting to pay tribute to the chickens that lived on a roundabout in Ditchingham, near Bungay?

The group have provisionally settled on an idea of installing small metal silhouettes in the middle of the roundabout, near Ditchingham Maltings, but other ideas have included a big chicken or a topiary tribute.

In Dorking their cockerel has become a centre figure with the £23,000 bird dressed up to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and Christmas in the last year.

While this might be seen as too large, a smaller flock of stone sheep on a roundabout in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, have also been affectionately taken on by locals, while the plastic sheep at Shoreham had to be put behind yellow safety barriers to stop drivers thinking they were real after their installation.

All three might provide food for thought for the online group, but at the moment they are considering their next move after Ditchingham Parish Council did not give their campaign its backing.

This decision left them “very disappointed” but they are determined to find a way to pay tribute to the chickens which famously used to live at the junction.

Didy Ward, of Flixton Road, Bungay, said: “The next stage for the group, as there has been so much support for this idea, is for us to form a committee to see who else we can talk to and see who else can support us, because basically it is a brilliant idea.”

A spokesman for Ditchingham Parish Council said they have decided not to support them because they could present a safety hazard and that the council has a policy to “discourage clutter on the roundabout”.

The Ditchingham roundabout has caused interest nationwide with chickens living near the Norfolk and Suffolk border for more than 50 years, even sparking the idea for a board game in their honour.

There was a split locally as to whether their presence was good or bad, and in 2010 the final live chickens were moved to a hen sanctuary.

A game has been made about it and last month Gordon Knowles, who fed the chickens for 21 years, was honoured with a broadsheet as one of 16 telling the story of the town. A plaque was also unveiled at Bungay’s Falcon Bridge to chronicle the story.

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