Rotunda crown to be converted to wishing well

Rene Hardman has taken ownership of the crown, which previously sat atop the Montague Place rotunda SUS-160202-145304001
Rene Hardman has taken ownership of the crown, which previously sat atop the Montague Place rotunda SUS-160202-145304001

THE MONTAGUE Place rotunda may be all but gone – but one key part of it has been salvaged by a Worthing woman in tribute to her late son.

Tony Hardman, who died of cancer in 2008, forged the metal crown which has sat atop the structure – commonly known as the bandstand – since it was built in the 80s.

But after hearing it was set for the scrap heap following the start of works to revamp Montague Place, his mother, Rene, agreed to take ownership of it.

Mrs Hardman, of Parham Road, Findon Valley, now has grand plans to turn the crown into a front-garden wishing well.

She said: “I didn’t want it to go to scrap, so I’m going to make it into something, probably a wishing well.

“The bandstand was the centre point. When I went down there I always pointed the crown out to people.”

Mr Hardman made the crown when he was working as a metal fabricator in Shoreham in the 1980s.

He first became interested in metalwork at school and was taught by Peter Casebow, who regularly features in the Herald for his work on the High Salvington windmill restoration project.

The crown was delivered to Mrs Hardman last week, after West Sussex County Council contractors carefully removed it during the demolition of the rotunda.

Contractors will be on site until June, as the £1.2million project to repave Montague Street progresses.

The rotunda will be replaced with new covered seating and a purpose-built performance area.