THE petition to restore the treasured model cows to the roof of the Dairy Crest building was handed into management at Hanworth, this afternoon (17).
A moo-ving number of people have added their signatures to bring home the cows, which are an historic landmark in the borough.
More than 6,500 people from Feltham to Wales, France and Australia have supported the campaign, started by businessman Jochaim Jellinek of Park Road, East Twickenham, and backed by the Chronicle.
Mr Jellinek, 43, a father-of-four whose youngest son Cosmo pointed out the missing cows just over a week ago, said: “What I continue to maintain is that Dairy Crest should be able to afford to replace the cows easily and should make a commitment to do so and preferably state a time frame.”
The campaign was launched on Tuesday, July 8 with 30 signatures in 24 hours and grew to more than 900 by the Thursday afternoon and then to 3,941 names by the morning of Friday, July 11.
For nearly four decades, millions of families driving along the Country Way stretch of the A316 have pointed, stared and sang songs as they waved past the herd perched on Hanworth Dairy Crest’s rooftop.
Prior to that, millions more also had the privilege of seeing the concrete cows grazing the lawn at the site, originally called Job’s Dairy.
But then the company decided to take down the fibre glass cows due to health and safety reasons.
Chronicle historian Eddie Menday, of Percival Road, Feltham, who described the feature as a ‘heritage’ of the A316, said: “Once a bus driver found all the cows lined up at the bus stop.
“Another time students from the London School of Economics (LSE) would borrow them as a joke, ring up Dairy Crest and say ‘have you lost your cows’, then put them back.”
Passion to save this bit of heritage continued into the weekend and on Monday the ‘missing cows’ website was launched with people starting to boycott other Dairy Crest products, such as Frijj milkshakes and Cathedral City cheese.
But people also threw the company a lifeline, suggesting ways to change the rooftop in homage to the animals ahead of their 40th anniversary.
Mr Jellinek added: “I have had some comments suggesting people’s personal dairy buying choices have changed in light of the situation.
“Dairy Crest could use this opportunity and in anticipation of the forthcoming 40 year anniversary of the cows on the roof, they could upgrade the display in any number of interesting or exciting ways.”
Dairy Crest said the matter was a priority, although a decision has not been made due to other company issues, including £20million cost-cutting measures and a recruitment freeze. However, it quashed rumours over the future of the glass bottling site, despite dwindling numbers in door-to-door delivery, and denied the depot was being closed.
A spokeswoman said: “In the past two years we have closed two glass bottling sites – there is no demand for it.
“Hanworth is where all the glass bottling is done and there is no truth in the site being closed.
“We do not want to make any snap decisions.
"We do not have a time frame for a decision.
“We take our community matters seriously and it’s nice people have noticed, but we have to be honest about where we are and we cannot commit to putting the cows back up – these ones are not in any fit state – but we are listening.”
Sign the petition at http://chn.ge/1r5X2qw