The Desert Quartet sculpted by Dame Elisabeth Frink

In 2007 The Worthing Society was alerted that Mr.Humphrey Avon the developer of the Montague Centre was holding a competition for a sculpture to replace the Desert Quartet in Alexander Terrace at Liverpool Gardens.

This proposal was completely unacceptable to the Worthing Society and a campaign was launched to prevent the removal of these bronze busts. The Twentieth Century Society and the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association were informed and representations made to the Secretary of State of the Department of Culture Media and Sport. As a result the Desert Quartet and its supporting loggia was listed in the category List II* on the 11th May 2007, which provides considerable protection against the removal of the sculptures.On 28th April 2007 a petition was launched by the Society to retain the Desert Quartet in its present position. Two petitions were handed to the Mayor and the full Council on 26th June, one containing 840 signatures and the other 415 online signatures. It was hoped that this was the end of the matter but Mr.Avon applied to the Secretary of State to have the listing reviewed. The Worthing Society made urgent representations to the Secretary of State to keep the listing and urged the Worthing Borough Council to do likewise. We can now report that the bid to have the listing overturned has failed.

The Desert Quartet is a much loved local landmark and a public art work of national importance and indeed international importance; every effort will continue to be made by this Society and the Twentieth Century Society to permanently retain the sculptures in their present position.

Ted Kennard (Committee Member)

An atmospheric picture of The Desert Quartet taken on 6th April 2008 under a light dusting of snow. We are very grateful to Martin Mitchell for permission to include his photograph