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“I always had an affinity with Swans, I found them very graceful and challenging. And when I started....one gets very attached to them.”
Cyril Bennis has always been a controversial figure in Stratford. An ex-mayor and manager of the Stratford Hilton Hotel, he one day started looking after the Swans. He now has people all over the town calling him to rescue Swans as he can get there before anyone else because he is always around and on his bike.
I was photographing Cyril when was called by a woman who saw a Swan walking round the RSC warehouse car park on Timothy's Bridge Road. When we got there the swan was dead and on the pavement by the road.
A distressed woman pulled up in a car and told us this: She had seen the Swan on the other side of the road and a "Jeep" coming towards it. She puled over to let the "Jeep or 4X4" around the Swan but the driver kept going and ran the Swan completely over. Her children were in the car and she said her daughter was very distressed by the event. She got out and moved it onto the pavement and went to the police (who came later when we had bagged the Swan up).