Tag Archives: NSW

Corowa Drinking Fountain

Location: Corowa, New South Wales, Australia

On 12 April 1907, a drinking fountain was purchased by Mayor Alexander Augustus Piggin at his own expense while at a conference in Sydney. The fountain was donated to the town to celebrate Corowa’s new water supply which was officially opened on 18th May 1907. It was located at the corner of Sanger Street and Deniliquin Road outside the Commercial Bank property.

The following year in December 1908 the fountain’s drinking cups were removed by children, and the police were notified of the vandalism. In 1922 the drinking fountain was moved to the kerb outside the Municipal Council Offices to facilitate the erection of a war memorial. The memorial incorporating a clock tower which became known as the Soldier’s Memorial was unveiled on 10 September 1922 to commemorate those who died in service during the two World Wars.

The fountain was again relocated in 1938 to the children’s playground at R. T. Ball Park. This move may have been initiated due to the 1937 sewerage scheme and the 1938 Main Roads maintenance programme.

The fountain is currently located at the entrance to the RT Ball Park Caravan Park although in a state of disrepair. The crane terminal missing from the structure resides in the Federation Museum. Also on display at the museum is a wooden water pipe used for the town water supply in the late 1800’s; it is made with two or more pieces of wood bound together with wire.

water pipe

Design number 7 standing 5ft 8ins from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. It was seated on an octagonal base inscribed with the following legend; Presented By The Mayor / Alderman A A Piggin / At The Opening Of The Corowa / Water Supply On 18th May 1907

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Circa 1908

The drinking fountain features a single pedestal basin with four pilasters rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descend the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery.

The basin, 2ft 6 ins in diameter, has a scalloped edge and decorative relief. The interior surface is engraved, and a sculptured urn is terminated by the figure of a crane, a symbol of vigilance. Four elaborate consoles once supported drinking cups on chains. Water flowed from a spout into the drinking cup by pressing its edge against a projecting stud below the spout. The self-closing valve allowed for operation with only one hand.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Salamanders represent bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary:

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

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Clean Drinking Water in Sydney

Every street in Sydney should have its drinking-fountain. It should be at least as easy to obtain a drink of pure water as a glass of milk or beer. Sydney is a sub-tropical city, and sometimes it is warm and sometimes it is dusty … Sydney should be a city of fountains.
(J. H. Maiden, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens to the 1909 Royal Commission on Improving Sydney)

In the first decades of the life of Sydney houses were built without water and without taps. Even as late as the mid twentieth century some old housing stock had only an outdoor tap in the back yard. And before the streets were full of cars and buses that drank petrol, they were the domain of horses that needed to drink water.

Drinking Fountains for the City.
At the suggestion, or order of the mayor, eight highly ornamented cast-iron drinking fountains have been imported by Mr. A. Chisholm, from Glasgow, where they were manufactured by Messrs. Walter Macfarlane, and Co., of the Saracen Foundry. The fountains stand about eight feet high.

The structure, which is pagoda-shaped, consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings, encircling ornamental shields bearing the City Arms, a shield charged with a ship and beehive and working bees, surmounted by a mural crown impaled with a pick-axe surmounted by a star. The sinister supporter is an aboriginal native with a spear; the dexter supporter an English sailor. Motto, “I take, but I surrender.”

sydney clean water
On two of the sides provision is made for receiving an inscription; whilst on the other two sides is the useful monition, “Keep the pavement dry.” Surmounting this is an open and highly enriched dome, the apex being occupied by a crown. Under the canopy stands the font with basin about two feet in diameter.

It has been suggested that if practicable one of these fountains, an engraving of which is appended, shall be placed in each ward of the municipality, in that part which constitutes the greatest thoroughfare. It is likely that they will be erected at or near the following places. Alfred Park, Flagstaff Hill near the Observatory, junction of William and Madleay streets, the entrance to Moore Park, the Haymarket, near the intersection of Park and Elizabeth streets, near the corner of Market and Sussex streets, and on the Circular Quay near the Custom House. The erection of these handsome fountains will be of general utility, and they will have a very pleasing effect. Their entire cost is £269 3s. 8d. (Australian Town and Country Journal Saturday 9 July 1870)


Joseph Weston Memorial Drinking Fountain

Location: Kiama, NSW, Australia

In 1913 after the death of Joseph Weston, the Kiama Council decided to purchase a drinking fountain in his memory funded by subscriptions. It was erected outside the Council Chambers on Manning Street near the original site of the Kiama Independent Newspaper premises.

Weston was the founder of the Kiama Independent newspaper, initiator of the first Dairy Farmers Co-operative in Australia, and was also actively involved in obtaining a water supply for the town.

The cast iron drinking fountain was removed when it was hit by a truck in the mid 1950’s, and in 2009 was discovered in a private garden.

Design number 7 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow featuring a single pedestal basin with four decorative columns rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descend the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery. The basin has a scalloped edge and decorative relief. A central urn with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal is a crane recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

During the 150th celebrations of the Kiama Council a sculpture created by Vivienne Lowe, funded by the Weston family and the Kiama Council Chambers, was erected to commemorate Joseph Weston. In the form of a wave etched with the image of a newspaper, it was installed at the original site of the drinking fountain and unveiled by Mayor Sandra McCarthy. A dedication plaque is inscribed, This Sculpture Replaces The Original/ Memorial Erected / In The Memory Of The Late / Joseph Weston / By Residents Of / Kiama And District / Nov. 1913, Thomas Love, Mayor. 

Joseph_Weston-24128-101325

Many thanks to the owner of the Kiama Local History blog who provided me with useful information. https://kiamalocalhistory.wordpress.com/

Glossary:

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Golden Jubilee Fountain

Location: Keppel & George Streets, Machattie Park, Bathurst, NSW

To commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, a drinking fountain was erected in November 1888 by the Women and Girls of Bathurst. It was located on Russell Street between the Kings Parade and the courthouse. Flags were suspended across the street in celebration, and the ceremony was attended by a large audience which was entertained by a band. Mrs. McHattie presented the gift of a fountain to Mayor Webb. Following the advent of the motor vehicle, it became an obstacle and was relocated to Machattie Park.

The 18 ft. drinking fountain was a customization of number 27 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. at the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The design was well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.

It provided a drinking trough for horses with a small basin for dogs at ground level. The trough was a circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The central stanchion supported the structure which was seated on a circular plinth. A central fluted column was capped with a central lamp and four additional lamps on arm extensions. A shield on the post offered inscription. Four projecting tendrils suspended cups allowing humans to drink from the spouting water whilst horses drank from the large basin.

The structure was part of a Heritage study in 1990 and 1997, and was reviewed again in 2006. It was listed on the State Heritage Register in 2007 as a decorative and rare item of Victorian street furniture of historical, cultural and aesthetic significance.


Beare Park Fountain

Location: Elizabeth Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Beare Park is located close to the corner of The Esplanade and Ithaca Road. The drinking fountain, number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue, was erected in 1870.

The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette host the image of a crane, and an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.’; the circular seal of the City of Sydney which contains an inscription identifying Mayor, Aldermen and Citizens of City of Sydney, 1857. The Coat of Arms consists of a shield with a ship and beehive surmounted by a mural crown impaled with a pick-axe and a star. The shield is flanked by an aboriginal native with a spear; and an English sailor. The Seal bears the motto, “I take, but I surrender.”

On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy there was originally a font with a basin, a statue, and four drinking cups suspended on chains. Initially, the fountain contained an iron tap which regulated the flow of water. In the interest of hygiene, drinking cups were abolished and the font was replaced with a bubbler so named because it produced a flow of bubbling water. The bubblers were produced by John Danks & Co.

Although there is no photographic evidence to reveal the original casting, it was more than likely number 7, 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was supported by a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and four descending salamanders. A central urn with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary

  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pattée cross, a cross with arms that narrow at the centre and flare out at the perimeter
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal