When exposed to oxygen, water, and chemicals all metals undergo a reaction which can be corrosive. This corrosion specifically disfigures and weakens the structure. Cast iron which is prone to rust would seem like an unwise choice of material for water fountains; however, it was a popular choice as it was relatively cheap to manufacture.
Renovation requires that the structures are dismantled and transported to the restoration company’s workshop. Once there, metal is inspected for structural integrity, and the original metalwork is retained where possible. Source patterns are consulted and mouldings created to ensure that the replica is as close to the original casting as possible. A paint analysis is required before layers of paint are blast cleaned to reveal often obscure architectural details. Successful restoration of cast iron structures requires key components of specialist technical knowledge, traditional techniques and modern engineering.
These cast iron structures and monuments are now being recognized as historic artifacts, and are being restored with public and government funding.
Heritage Engineering, Glasgow, Scotland
Heritage Engineering & Restoration is the trading name of The Industrial Heritage Co. Ltd, incorporating Walter MacFarlane & Co Ltd. Committed to restoring and conserving industrial heritage for future generations with a wide range of traditional skills, they restore and replicate structures that our forefathers built during Britain’s great industrial age.
Successful restoration projects include: Bailie James Martin Memorial Drinking Fountain, Glasgow Green, Glasgow, Scotland; King George V Coronation Drinking Fountain, March, Cambridgeshire, England; Hudson Memorial Fountain, Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland.
Ballantine Creative Ironworks
Started by the Ballantine family in the 1820’s as a general iron foundry, the company has a catalogue offering a wide range of cast iron products and castings. Their specialist knowledge of metal has successfully restored projects which include: Aitken Memorial Fountain, Govan, Glasgow, Scotland; Bridgeton Cross Umbrella, Glasgow, Scotland; Kelvingrove Park Fountain, Glasgow, Scotland; Black Boy Fountain, Stirling, Scotland; Portmahock Drinking Fountain, Portmahock, Easter Ross, Scotland.
Note: Unfortunately on 11 September 2013, Ballantine Creative Ironworks went into receivership after 250 years in business.
Established in 1995 this company restores historic, architectural, metal structures. It specializes in creating replicas using traditional design processes.
Successful restoration projects include: the Robert & Lucy Thomas Memorial Fountain in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.
Eura Conservation Ltd.
This company was established in 1987 and specializes in conservation and restoration of small scale, historic structures in a variety of materials.
Successful restoration projects include: Jaffe Memorial Drinking Fountain in Belfast, Ireland.
Based in Stockport, England, this company offers conservation and restoration services using authentic materials and traditional techniques.
Successful cast iron drinking fountain projects include: the Hastings Clock in Rotherham; the drinking fountain in Ormskirk, England; and the Jubilee Fountain in Poynton, England.
This restoration company is based in Wigan, Lancashire, with a staff of skilled crafts people who reproduce and restore objects as historically accurate to the original design as possible. They have successfully restored several spray fountains in England, Albert Park, Middlesborough; Mesnes Park, Wigan, Lancashire; Hesketh Park, Southport, Merseyside; and Paisley, Renfrewshire, in Scotland.