Fleetwood Cherub Fountain

Location: Fleetwood, Lancashire, England

The drinking fountain at the east side of the Esplanade in Euston Park was erected in memory of two fishermen who lost their lives in the attempt to save others.

During a violent storm in Morecambe Bay on November 7th, 1890, a schooner was spotted in distress. A small boat was launched from the fishing boat, Osprey, and three fishermen were dispatched to rescue the crew. Although George Wilkinson, James Abram and George Greenall succeeded in rescuing the crew of three, the small boat was swamped by the turbulent seas and sank. Silver Medals were awarded by the Royal National Life Institute to Wilkinson who was the only survivor,  and to the captain, James Fogg.

The fountain was erected in the latter part of the 19th century. Manufactured at the Saracen Foundry it is a modified example of casting number 19 (10’ 10” high.) A quatrefoil basin is supported by a wide base with four lion jambs symbolic of guardians. The stanchion and central column are decorated with acanthus relief. Four tendrils originally protruded from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, a putto holding a parasol, seated on a toadstool.

The fountain was listed a grade II historic building in 1978.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Putto, a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

Sources:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cherub_fountain,_Fleetwood_-_geograph.org.uk_-_429391.jpg

http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-184745-drinking-fountain-on-east-side-of-euston/photos

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1584731

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/3332201123/

http://lanternimages.lancashire.gov.uk/index.php?a=wordsearch&s=item&key=WczoxMToiamFtZXMgYWJyYW0iOw==&pg=1

http://www.dnw.co.uk/auctions/catalogue/lot.php?auction_id=276&lot_id=1409

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2 responses to “Fleetwood Cherub Fountain

  • Ron Walker

    The Silver Medals awarded for this heroic deed did not go to James Abram and George Greenall but to the Osprey’s skipper James Fogg and the only survivor of the swamped boat George Wilkinson. My sources for this are the publications:
    Fleetwood Lifeboats 1859-2009 150 Years of Gallantry by Jeff Morris
    and
    Lifeboat Gallantry by Barry Cox
    It seems a shame that the two who actually gave their lives never received medals and are only commemorated on a monument that had to be funded by public subscription. On reflection though, perhaps as a result this is a more visible and at least as great an acknowledgement for their selfless action.

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