The Temperance Jubilee Fountain
|Address||Kirk Brae, Fraserburgh|
|Property History||In the mid 19th century sanitation was sorely lacking. Contaminated drinking water was the cause of many cholera outbreaks and as a result, many public water pumps and wells were closed, and the population substituted water for beer and alcohol.|
The advent of the Temperance Movement who urged abstinence from alcohol and restraint against public drunkenness initiated philanthropic donations for memorial fountains, and ensured that many of these were erected close to pubs, whilst the Evangelical Movement encouraged installation in churchyards.
The Fraserburgh Temperance Jubilee Fountain conforms to both of these requirements, being in front of the Parish Church and a stone’s throw from at least five different hostelries.
There were many iron foundries producing cast iron memorial drinking fountains, and although not considered the best choice for a monument as it is susceptible to rust and corrosion, it was a cheap alternative to other metals. Two of the most prolific companies were the Saracen Foundry owned by Walter Macfarlane & Co.; and George Smith & Co. Sun Foundry; both companies operating out of Glasgow. The Scottish product was ordered from catalogues and shipped to destinations around the world.
The Fraserburgh Fountain was built in 1889, the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, when she had spent 50 years on the British throne. (It is not shown on the 1st Ordnance Survey Map, but is on the 2nd – see image in gallery below). It was provided with a gas or paraffin-filled street lamp on its top, comparable to the fountain situated in Errol Street in Peterhead, also shown.
The Fountain was moved in the 1960s following town centre road improvements , and its water bowls were later filled with concrete to prevent use.
|Works Proposed||To carefully dismantle the Fountain and re-position it, in working order, back in the centre of town near its former location (note: its precise original position cannot be realised, since it is now roadway).|
The Fountain will be restored to dispense drinking water to reusable water bottles. A replica lamp will replace the missing original.
|End use||Dispensation of drinking water – to refill re-usable water bottles.|
|Timescale||Feb – June 2021|
|Repair works||Downtaking and dismantling; Breaking out concrete from bowls; Underground preparation; Reconstruction of stone plinth; Restoration of ironwork; Electrical system; Reproduction lantern; Connection to water supply; Water-dispensing mechanism.|
|Rationale||The Temperance Fountain should be a key element in the Kirk Brae area of Fraserburgh Town Centre Conservation Area, however it has become neglected, incomplete and hidden away in its current position.|
Restoration of the fountain, bringing it back into useful service and repositioning it to make it a noticeable highlight of the Kirk Brae Public Realm Improvement Scheme will undoubtedly improve the Conservation Area and the Fountain itself.
Moving the Fountain closer to its original position will give it back a degree of its original context and will improve interpretation around the site. Finally, a free source of public drinking water should be available in every town centre in order to help address public health and environmental issues.
|Statutory Consents||Planning Permission Ref No. APP/2020/2176|
Date Applied For 03/11/2020
Date Awarded 22/12/2020
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