Interesting Items

This area of the site is called "Interesting" because we hope you'll find the collection of items gathered here just that.

We would like to add more memorable "occasions" in March and the surrounding area. If you have any you would like to see here, email me text and pictures and I'll do my best to add it here.

March Coronation Memorial Fountain
Compiled and researched by Jennifer Lawler and with many thanks to the staff of March Library for their help. June 2011.

The March Fountain was part of March's celebrations for the coronation of George V. It has a plaque bearing the date of 22nd June 1911. 

The Memorial Fountain in Broad Street was chosen to commemorate the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. The idea of a drinking fountain for both humans and animals, as a permanent memorial in March for the Coronation, was suggested by Mr William Golden in a public meeting on May 9th 1911.(i)

 

It was made of cast-iron by Scottish engineers, W. Macfarlane and Co., of Possilpark(ii) and is a listed Grade II building, listed by English Heritage on 22 February 1985. Elaborately worked, it is open-sided with an octagonal stepped base and a domed roof.(iii)
The drinking water fountain was removed in the last century as it obstructed the view of traffic and was sold. The troughs have also been
removed.

Although dated June 22nd 1911, there is no mention of the fountain in the report of the Coronation Day celebrations in The March Advertiser, Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely County Press of June 28th 1911.(iv)  It is said to have been dedicated on June 26th 1912 by Mr. William Golden.(v)

 This would have given them time to make it, since they only decided to do it a month before the coronation. The date on the plaque is that of the coronation not the erection of the fountain. Also, here is a link to someone with a different photograph and another link to a fountain teapot at the March and District Museum site.)

February 7th 1912 The March Advertiser, Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely County Press  THE FOUNTAIN LAMP
The Surveyor reported that he had communicated with Mr. W. Phillips, the engineer to the March Gas Company, with regard to a lamp suitable for lighting the situation of the fountain, and he had forwarded him particulars of the "Harp" lamp, which he recommended. It was of the inverted type, and was said to give a light equal to one thousand candle power. The price was £5 5s., and the cost per hour when lighted would be about 1d.  The matter was fully discussed, and it was eventually decided that the Council should adjourn to the fountain and consider the matter.

The picture is of a "harp" inverted gas lamp of about the same time from a German catalogue.
 

100 year celebration in 2011

A small ceremony took place at the fountain to mark its centenary.

  Fountain

More fountains in Scotland - by email

Mr Tom Sharkey emailed us to say: 'I glimpsed your fountain on the Tommy Walsh programme (Repeat of build a House in 60 Days). A fountain is on display in the National Museum of Scotland and is very similar.(vi)


There is an even better working example -The James Martin Fountain fountain 1893 on The Glasgow Green - I have good pictures but you may find it on the internet. My family worked at the Saracen Foundry so we have a special interest. Hope this of interest.' 
It is, thank you, Tom.

South African Fountain (vii) Information supplied by David Edwards. 

Merthyr Tydfil Fountain - If you were watching the BBC's snow news in January 2013, a picture of Merthyr Tydfil came on the screen with another fountain prominent.(viii)

 

Cleethorpes Fountain - David Edwards has found a photo of another fountain in Cleethorpes. It was put up in 1897 to commemorate Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, moved to a new location at some time and then taken down in 1949 after it had been hit by a motor vehicle. 


Jennifer Lawler also found this one.(ix) 

More information on Macfarlane fountains here http://natalia.org.za/Files/46/Natalia%20No%2046%20Ironworks.pdf


i The March Advertiser, Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely County Press May 9th 1911.

ii Streetwise 2000 Edna Stacey, adapted and updated from the book "Highways and Byways of Old March" by Fred Gosling.

iii www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-401385-coronation-fountain-march

iv The March Advertiser, Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely County Press of June 28th 1911.

v Streetwise 2000 Edna Stacey, adapted and updated from the book highways and Byways of Old March by Fred Gosling.

vi National Museums Scotland.

vii From the Cambs Times of Friday 26th July 1996

viii www.alangeorge.co.uk/thefountain.htm

ix www.tappin-family.org.uk/index.html