They were model citizens.

Always in the market to stop for a chat with strollers on the beach, especially if the latter happened to have some baking about them.

Brought up a succession of well behaved offspring who charmed the entire neighbourhood as they grew up to be as stunning as their parents. (And you can’t say that about many kids.)

In short, they were universally loved and admired. Which is why the entire neighbourhood went into collective mourning when news that they had been killed by a hit and run driver at Cove began to circulate. And our lovely, lovely swans are no more.

READ MORE: Cove swans' hit-and-run deaths spark road safety plea from residents

They gave huge pleasure to everyone who watched them glide with supreme elegance along our shoreline, birds who mate for life and spent their lives giving pleasure to those who fed them, photographed them or just felt a smile break out unchecked when they turned a corner and spotted them in one of the local bays.

It may have been the recent storms which drove them off the verge on to the road, but it’s difficult to believe that these snowy white, large birds would not have been visible to anyone driving along the road where they were mown down.

I know the world is full of many tragedies just now as a result of these stubborn enemies, war, famine and pestilience.

But spare a thought for two of nature’s most dignified and loyal creations.

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