English town mourning Derek the Goose to erect statue in her honour

1 year ago 120

A West Country harbour municipality celebrated for its links to an albatross is to erect a bronze statue successful tribute to different vertebrate – Derek the Goose.

Residents of Watchet successful Somerset are coming to presumption with the nonaccomplishment of Derek, really a female, who had lived successful their harbour for much than a decade.

She is believed to person suffered a convulsive and mysterious decease but, determined not to hide her, residents person launched a fundraising effort for a imperishable memorial.

Watchet harbour was the inspiration for Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and a striking statue of the sailor and the albatross helium shoots is simply a landmark successful the town.

A 2nd statue, of locally calved John Short – Yankee Jack – who is known arsenic a 19th-century begetter of oversea shanties, is besides a diagnostic of the harbour.

The Watchet nonmigratory Carron Scott, who runs a Facebook leafage called Derek the Female Goose, has launched a fundraiser, explaining: “As galore cognize Derek sadly died and she was portion of our municipality of Watchet for specified a agelong time. It has been decided we request a memorial – a bronze to autumn successful enactment with Jack and The Ancient Mariner.”

Derek had lived among the boats successful Watchet marina since being blown into the harbour by a tempest and had been fed and looked aft by the town’s assemblage ever since.

Scott said: “It’s devastated the municipality arsenic I can’t deliberation of anyone who did not cognize astir Derek. When she arrived it was thought she was a lad truthful she was named Derek but erstwhile she had a wellness cheque it was discovered helium was a she. But we ne'er changed the name.

“She was good fed and determination was a money astatine the marina store you could springiness to for food. When I went retired successful the evening I ever had fractional a Weetabix to tempt her. She got connected with everyone, adjacent the vessel cat.”

Flowers person been laid astatine a impermanent memorial created connected the Esplanade by Watchet marine staff, which includes a photograph of “the guardian of the marina”.

The goose’s decease remains a puzzle. Derek regularly slept connected the town’s slipway astatine debased h2o and an aboriginal greeting dog-walker reported seeing humor stains and a heap of feathers, though nary assemblage has been found.

Chris Moiser, the proprietor of Tropiquaria zoo successful Somerset, was brought successful to analyse and confirmed that the feathers and remains were those of a goose. Moiser, a erstwhile lawyer, suggested a fox could person done for Derek but said residents would person to beryllium contented with an unfastened verdict.