Horsham memorial to poet Shelley: Date set for first fundraiser

A campaign for a lasting public memorial in Horsham to the poet Shelley was officially launched on Saturday.

The Shelley Memorial Project will stage its first fundraising event - the Shelleython - in Horsham Park over the weekend of July 31/August 1.

The sponsored event will see a team of volunteer readers undertake a public reading of Shelley’s complete poetic works - a collection of 450 poems.

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Percy Bysshe Shelley was born at Field Place, Warnham, and is internationally recognised as one of the most famous and influential of English poets.

The poet Shelley

But there is no public memorial to him in Horsham - and the Shelley Memorial Project aims to change that.

A spokesman said they wanted to “ensure that the breadth of Shelley’s contribution to our cultural, scientific and social heritage is commemorated in a way that will provide enjoyment and inspiration to residents and visitors to Horsham.”

Project secretary Carol Hayton said: “We are really excited about our first fundraising event which we are organising with the support of the Friends of Horsham Park.

“We have a great team of volunteers who will be taking part in a public reading of Shelley’s poems in the park; people from across the community, local schools and some well known local residents including Jeremy Quin MP and Chris Aldridge, who Radio 4 listeners will know well!

“We would welcome more readers so anyone who would like to come along to read is invited to get in touch.

“We hope that Shelley enthusiasts will sponsor our team and help us raise the funds we need to commission a fantastic public artwork that will commemorate the great poet and his connection to our town.”

Sponsors can find a People’s Fundraising page via the following link www.peoplesfundraising.com/donation/shelleythonAnyone who would like to find out more or get involved can contact the project via [email protected] or visit the website www.shelleymemorialproject.co.uk

The memorial would be a lasting replacement for the Shelley Fountain - formally known as The Rising Universe - which was first installed in Horsham town centre to commemorate the bicentenary of Shelley’s birth.

The controversial fountain, which suffered frequent break-downs, was sold and removed from the Bishopric in 2016 after being sited near the Lynd Cross pub for 20 years.