We launched the Horsham and Southwater Forum in 2005, and at the time, it was one of the first examples of a hyperlocal website in the UK.
The forum grew to a few hundred regular users and, for many years, was the only Horsham-wide online community forum. As a result, the forum enabled the first online example of 'people power' in Horsham when in 2007, one of our members made a post suggesting that Swan Walk's famous Swan sculpture would soon be removed.
We made some inquiries that confirmed that the Swans were indeed scheduled for removal. We reported this back in the forum, which generated the largest response we had seen to date for a thread on our forum. It became very apparent that all generations of the Horsham community felt strongly that the Swans should remain.
Shortly afterwards the West Sussex County Times picked up on our story and began their own campaign to 'Save the Swans'.
Happily, the weight of public opinion was sufficient to reverse the decision to remove the Swans, and they remain in place to this day.
In 2008 we set up the Horsham Facebook page (now Visit Horsham), and at the time, we were unaware of any other hyperlocal Facebook Pages in the country.
Our Facebook page was an instant success and grew exponentially which resulted in significantly fewer local people using the forum to communicate.
As a result, and due to the ever-increasing burden of fighting off spammers, we decided to 'retire' the Horsham Forum at the end of August 2014.
We thank all past Horsham Forum members for their contribution to the Horsham community.