For nearly 40 years passers-by driving along the Country Way stretch of the A316 have pointed, stared and marvelled at Dairy Crest's famous rooftop cows.

Prior to that millions more also had the privilege of seeing the concrete herd grazing the lawn at the site originally called Job's Dairy. However it all changed last weekend when the company decided to take down the fibre glass cows later citing health and safety as the reason.

But thanks to an alert two-year-old, Cosmo Jellinek, who spotted the cows had vanished, and his dad Jochaim, 43, of East Twickenham, who launched a campaign, and a petition which has seen a remarkable number of people from all over the world get behind the message for Dairy Crest to restore or replace the cows.

Hounslow Chronicle historian Eddie Menday, from Feltham, said: "It's always been a landmark from the Job's Diary days which used to have a lawn in front where the cows used to be. Once a bus driver found all the cows lined up at the bus stop. Another time students from London School of Economic (LSE) would borrow them as a joke, ring up Dairy Crest and say 'have you lost your cows', then put them back.

"The original ones were concrete which were taken down and sold in aid of charity and then had these lighter ones put up on the roof. They have always been a feature of the A316 - a heritage. Families go past it with their kids and always look out for them - and were often referred to as cows in the sky."

Mr Jellinek said a mammoth 70,000 cars drive past the site daily according to the Department for Transport figures and this has been constant for at least two years.

"This means around 25 million journeys a year, practically a reach of 50 million views of the cows a year (including passengers)," he added.

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Goolistan Cooper said: "As a kid I used to keep an eye out for the cows - my dad would point them out to me. Now as a dad myself point them out to my kids when we drive past them on the A316. 

"It would be sad if they've disappeared permanently. I hope they reappear soon."

Gurjot Singh, 20, from Osterley said: "The cows have become an iconic feature in the area and, I guess, part of the local history. I have been driving down the A316 almost every day for the last fifteen years. They brought a bit of character to the area. If it is a health and safety issue, why not just restore or replace them?"

People have also taken to social media site Twitter airing their views and asking Dairy Crest to 'restore the model cows to the roof'.

Twickenham tweets said: "Bring back the Dairy Crest cows in Hanworth. It's like the Angel of the North for M3 users!"

Juzza07 tweeted: "#DairyCrestCows; an icon of the great A316,Hanworth for decades. Used to drive past & say "look at those cows."

Remember to sign and share the story with your friends and family. Sign the petition at  http://chn.ge/1r5X2qw            

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