The Dorking Cockerel

The ‘Dorking’ was a chunky breed of cockerel bred by the Romans for its meat, and it is the symbol of Dorking town.

Putting the Dorking Cockerel sculpture on a prominent roundabout was the idea of Neil Maltby, who was Chairman of Mole Valley District Council at the time

Neil Maltby commissioned the sculpture from Leatherhead’s Fire and Iron Gallery (Fire and Iron also made the Allen Court Arch in Dorking High Street).

Fire and Iron’s owner Lucy Quinnell project-managed the Dorking Cockerel, and her colleague Peter Parkinson – a leading light in the blacksmithing world - was chosen to design and make the sculpture

The cockerel is made of mild steel and is approximately three metres high.

It was modelled on a real-life Dorking cockerel called ‘Glen II’, owned by breeder Lana Gazder of nearby Headley.

Once Peter had finished making the cockerel, Lucy had it galvanised in Essex (one of the only tanks in England large enough to take the whole bird!). The sculpture is hollow, and is galvanised inside and out.

The galvanised cockerel was then transported back to Fire and Iron in Leatherhead, where Lucy’s husband Adam Boydell fettled it (cleaned it up after galvanising) and painted it silver.

It was then transported one more time to its final destination, the Deepdene roundabout in Dorking. Local man Derek Smith was responsible for all the transport.

Initially somewhat controversial, local people have clearly grown very fond of the Cockerel. He has been an internet hit, wittily Photoshopped into famous images  – crossing Abbey Road with the Beatles, chasing Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, first out at the Moon landing, watching from the crowd at Obama’s inauguration, etc. – and local knitters have adorned him with topical wool creations. He featured on a poster of the Olympic Cycling Road Races, and was even included in the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society's 2012 calendar. He has won a prestigious award – the Tonypandy Cup – given by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths for an outstanding example of the skills of the blacksmith.

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Photograph courtesy of Surrey & Berkshire Media Ltd.

Photograph courtesy of Surrey & Berkshire Media Ltd.