December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Louisa Lay
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The man who made Bungay’s famous Chicken Roundabout a national cult phenomenon has claimed his own rightful place in the Suffolk town’s official history.
Gordon Knowles has received his own broadsheet, a preserved display page only previously allocated to landmarks and legends such as the infamous Black Dog.
The plaque unveiled yesterday at Bungay’s Falcon Bridge chronicles the story of the chickens’ struggle to survive on the busy A143/B1132 Ditchingham roundabout and the 80-year-old’s bid to help them.
The broadsheet is the latest of 16 snippets of history to be unveiled in the town, although Mr Knowles is the only living legend to have received such an honour.
He said: “I’ve always loved Bungay, I’ve lived here all my life and I feel very proud. I have always looked after animals the best I can and it’s something I like doing. I was brought up with animals and I’m always feeding the birds and stray cats; they are close to my heart.”
Deidre Shepherd, who devised the broadsheet scheme said: “It’s not often you get a man with such integrity and passion willing to put his hand in his pocket to look after some chickens. He deserves some recognition as he is such a lovely man.”
Mr Knowles began feeding the chickens in 1991 using a wheelbarrow to transport the food from his home more than two miles away. His daily ritual became so successful that at one time the roadside flock numbered more than 300 cocks and hens, making them a popular tourist attraction.
Sadly as their fame increased with even a board game launched, so did the number of predators, and in 2010 they were moved to a hen sanctuary.