Object Details

Jubilee drinking fountain

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General Information
Classification
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:The Steyne
Town:Bognor Regis
Parish:Bognor Regis
Council:Arun District Council
County:West Sussex
Postcode:PO21
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Garden
Access is:Public
Location note:Steyne Gardens
In the AZ book:West Sussex
Page:181
Grid reference:L1
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.
Previous location:Originally on The Steyne (moved 1928)
Previous location:Hotham Park (moved 1969); the corner of Waterloo Square (moved 1966)

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Makers

Company/Group :A. Seymour, Bognor
     Role:Builder

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General Information

Commissioned by: Councillor James Hughes
Construction period:1898
Unveiling date:06/07/1898
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Bognor regis Town Council
Object listing:Grade II: of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them
Building listing:II
Description:Square pedestal with semi-circular drinking stoops on each side, encircled by cornice angled into a pediment on each side. Above, ogee cap supporting crown on 4 colonnettes, over pool.
Signatures:Signature to the bottom right of the north face of the pedestal:
A.SEYMOUR
BOGNOR
Inscription:South face of the pedestal, incised letters:

THIS FOUNTAIN
WAS ERECTED
TO COMMEMORATE
THE DIAMOND JUBILEE
OF
HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY
QUEEN VICTORIA
AND WAS PROVIDED BY
SUBSCRIPTIONS RAISED BY
COUNCILLOR JAMES HUGHES

Below this inscription on a small bronze plaque:

THIS FOUNTAIN WAS
RE-ERECTED
APRIL 1969
BY
PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION

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Classification

Categories:Commemorative, Functional, Free Standing
Object type1:Fountain
     Object subtype1:Drinking Fountain
Subject type1:Non-figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Circular stepped (1) base
     Material:Inset red brick
     Width (cm):720
     Depth (cm):720
Part 2:Base
     Material:Grey granite
     Height (cm):20
     Width (cm):125
     Depth (cm):125
Part 3:Column, canopy and crown
     Material:Red and grey granite, bronze
     Height (cm):200
     Width (cm):75
     Depth (cm):75
Part 4:Pedestal
     Material:Polished grey granite
     Height (cm):123
     Width (cm):88
     Depth (cm):88

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Broken or missing parts
     Condition 2: Cracks, splits, breaks, holes
     More details:Cups missing. Crack to east side of base. On the north side, chips to the edge of the base.
Date of on-site inspection:29/05/2008

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History

History:'During the 1890’s the seaside resort of Bognor continued to develop. Visitors were coming into the town from London and other places in the South of England to enjoy the seaside. However one shopkeeper James Hughes, a chemist in West Street, was very concerned that the large number of children who visited the area could not obtain even a drink of water. James’ shop in West Street looked down the length of The Steyne to the seafront promenade, a site he believed would be ideal for a drinking fountain. As with many new ideas, others did not perceive his suggestion as being of any importance, as many of the council in 1897 were more concerned with the celebrations for Queen Victoria’s sixtieth anniversary as Queen. James Hughes was very keen on his suggestion and started a fund to raise the necessary cash, and at the same time ‘Bodie of Aberdeen’ selected a design. The fountain was to cost a staggering £111 although the local Water Company did agree to supply the water at half price. The site was confirmed to be at the end of the Steyne, against the edge of the promenade. On July 6th 1898 the new drinking fountain was eventually unveiled, and was to be a permanent reminder of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebrations, for the residents and all the children who came to the seaside, as well as supplying the much needed drink of water. The Steyne continued to be a popular area for visitors, not only for accommodation but the prospect of a stroll through the gardens from West Street, down to the seafront. In line with many seaside resorts around the country it was becoming fashionable to have ‘open spaces’ running down to the sea, such that it was copied from resort to resort. However it was decided eventually to move the drinking fountain from it’s original place on the promenade looking into The Steyne. I have been unable to ascertain why, (does anyone know?), but it was removed to the corner of Waterloo Square. In 1928, where today we have the Crazy Golf green. It remained there and was shown on numerous postcards of the town, allowing visitors to send home their messages describing their holidays by the sea. With changing needs it was decided that the corner of Waterloo Square would be more suitable for an entertainment marquee in 1956. At that time the fountain was dismantled and removed, in pieces, to Hotham Park, where it lay undisturbed until 1966. At this time the Natural Science Society sought its whereabouts and asked for the fountain to be re-erected. As with the first idea of the fountain, the Council was not that interested and showed no enthusiasm for the request. At one of the Council meetings held to discuss this project, it was felt that perhaps the ‘drinking cups’ would not be hygienic. The Chairman of the Council said “It is a horrible thing – perhaps we could put it behind some hedge ……” Another Council member thought, “the Council should be thinking of the year 2000 instead of going backwards.” Another committee member thought it should be retained so that visitors to the resort could “see one of these funny things.” Yet another Councillor thought it was the sort of thing that would be found in a churchyard. There were other suggestions, which included selling it to the Americans or giving it to the Bognor Regis Society, who had remarked, “it was a lovely piece of architecture.” In 1966 another comment was that the fountain would be a reminder of Victorian times. Things went quiet until 1968 when Mr. R. J. Seymour, a local Builder, was looking through his collection of old photos of Bognor and came across one of the original ceremony, and again asked the Council for the whereabouts and re-erection of the fountain. This time the Council had no objection however there was to be no public money available for this project, and as with the first project, members of the public were asked to contribute and a fund of “sixpences and shillings” was started. There were numerous locations discussed one of which was to be in front of Hotham Park House, another site was Marine Park Gardens. Eventually a location was agreed upon and in January 1969 all the sections of the fountain were moved to the current resting place, on the promenade end of the Steyne, and erection was completed by March of that year. It is still today an interesting piece of architecture and a reminder of Victorian Times. The Steyne itself is also a very interesting area of the town and I would suggest that it is well worth a visit to see the gardens, and maybe just sit awhile and imagine all the people who have visited this particular area since the 1820’s. Not much has changed in the Steyne, visually, although in the 1990’s new buildings and flat conversations have taken place, but the builders have endeavoured to blend in with it’s historical past. Today houses are sold as period town houses and the virtues of the area are extolled to future purchasers. Whilst the pace of life has changed, as has the pattern of visitors, this area still contains an area, where during the day it is possible to sit and enjoy the area and gardens.'
(http://www.bognor-local-history.co.uk/article39.html)

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References


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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