Historic fountain revamp bid to commemorate jubilee

WHITBURN'S VICTORIAN FOUNTAIN .... Charch warden John Shields is leading a project to renovate the  Village green fountain and seat

WHITBURN'S VICTORIAN FOUNTAIN .... Charch warden John Shields is leading a project to renovate the Village green fountain and seat

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AN historic fountain is in line for a facelift to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The 115-year-old fountain went up on Whitburn village green in 1897 for the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign.

Now the community wants to refurbish the ageing monument and return it to its former glory in time for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, in June.

But the project will cost about £3,000 and villagers are being asked to make donations to fund the work.

If enough cash is raised, the marble fountain will be inscribed with new wording to commemorate this year’s royal occasion.

The scheme is being led by John Shield, a warden at Whitburn Parish Church, after an idea by fellow church warden, Lorraine Hood.

Mr Shield, 64, of Front Street, Whitburn, said: “It seems like a wonderful idea to renovate something which was presented to the village for an historic royal event, in time for this year’s Diamond Jubilee.

“The fountain is looking sadly neglected, and a substantial facelift is necessary to bring it back to its former glory.”

A monumental mason has assessed the fountain, which originally supplied drinking water.

Professional cleaning and repair work is needed, while the fountain’s metal spire needs to be replaced.

A new inscription will be added to west face of the monument, opposite the original commemorative text.

Mr Shield added: “We are hoping to have a Diamond Jubilee event on the village green where people can come along on Sunday, June 3, for the unveiling of the refurbished fountain.”

The fountain was presented to the people of Whitburn in 1897 by Mrs Barnes, of the Barnes Institute, in East Street, Whitburn.

As the original inscription states, it was then erected by order of Whitburn Parish Council.

Mr Shield is also keen to find out more information about the design of the fountain’s metal spire.

In 2002, a celebration party took place on Whitburn village green to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, when a commemorative bench was unveiled next to the war memorial.

To make a donation to the project, or if you can provide historical information about the fountain’s metal spire, call Mr Shield on 529 3935.

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