Location: Tonypandy, Rhondda, Wales
On Thursday October 28, 1909, a memorial fountain commemorating Archibald Hood J.P., a Scotsman who founded the Glamorgan Collieries, was unveiled in Pandy Square, Tonypandy. The fountain was erected using a surplus of the fund subscribed by the workmen and others towards a statue of Hood which had been placed in the grounds of the Workmen’s Institute at Llwynypia. Mr. Hood was greatly honoured, respected and loved throughout the whole of the South Wales coalfield.
The 13 feet high cast iron fountain, designed by Mr. R. S. Griffiths, a local architect, was manufactured by the Coalbrookdale Company. It was seated on a pedestal of Aberdeen granite and had three demi-lune basins into which lion mascarons spouted water. A drinking cup suspended on a chain was provided at each tap. The structure offered two demi-lune troughs at ground level for dogs and a large trough for horses and cattle. The central pedestal contained an inscription; This Fountain Is Erected In Conjunction With The Statue At The Workmen’s Institute, By The Workmen Of Llwynypia Colliery And Others As A Memorial To The Late Archibald Hood. Esq., J.P., Founder Of The Llwynypia Collieries. There was also an inscription in Welsh Y Cyfiawn A Fydd Ofalus Am Fywyd Ei Anifail (Diar. xii. 10.), from Proverbs XII.10: ‘What Feeling Has A Righteous Man For His Beast’.
The capital supported a statue of an Egyptian water carrier. Standing contrapposto,she was dressed in classical robes with her arms stretched upwards clutching a gas lamp atop the anticipated water jug. From the four corners of the capital dolphins lay at her feet (dolphins were considered guardians of all things water related.)
This famous Tonypandy statue was damaged and her arms broken when a car hit the fountain in 1965. The statue was repaired and erected outside the firm of W. Ribbons Limited remaining there until the factory closed. The ‘Lady With the Lamp’ was then relocated behind the War Memorial in Dunraven Street.
The fate of the fountain is unknown. In general, the location of many of these fountains became a hindrance to motor traffic, and public awareness of sanitation meant that many of these structures were demolished.
The statue continued to deteriorate until it was removed in 1993 with the intention of repair. However, it remained in storage until 2010. With money from the Civic Trust Wales, a project to restore and reinstate the statue was led by the Rhondda Civic Society. Nigel Snell of Acorn Restorations refurbished the statue, recreating missing parts by referencing photos of the original drinking fountain when it was officially unveiled in 1909.
The statue is now located not far from the site of its original location in a specially designed community garden in De Winton Street, outside the old Town Hall. It stands on a stone pedestal with the original legend inscribed beneath.
Many of the photos were found on the Facebook page, Tonypandy Past and Present.
- Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
- Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
- Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
- Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
- Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue