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Fountain to be moved as part of an £8m rejuvenation project March

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March Coronation Fountain is to be moved as part of an £8m rejuvenation project for the town.

The fountain in Broad Street was chosen to commemorate the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary on June 22nd 1911.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

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.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us of an account of the opening from the Cambridgeshire Times of February 2nd 1912.

And for the photos.

And to Colin Arnold for allowing us to share his photos from 2002 when the fountain was moved – temporarily -and taken back to where it was made in Scotland for a freshen up.

Here’s how the Cambridgeshire Times reported the dedication of the fountain:  

Tuesday January 30th was a notable day in the civic life of March, inasmuch as it saw the dedication to the public use of the handsome and imposing fountain which has been erected as a memorial of the Coronation of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary.

And because it was the occasion of the Urban District Council entertaining their staff in commemoration of the completion and opening of the fountain, and also of the new Council Chamber and Committee Rooms into which the disused Corn Exchange has been converted.

The fountain has been erected at the north end of Broad-street, and the structure is one which calls forth much admiration on account of its elaborate design and the excellence with which the work has been executed.

The cost has been defrayed (provided) by voluntary contributions and the memorial stands as a token of the loyalty of the inhabitants of the town and district who subscribed to it.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

There was a large gathering in the vicinity of the fountain to witness the opening ceremony, which was performed by Ald. William Golden, the Chairman of the Permanent Coronation Memorial Committee, and the gentleman with whom the idea of erecting a memorial fountain originated.

The Chairman of the Urban District Council (Mr. H. H. Truman) acted as Chairman, and other Councillors present were Messrs. J. Collingwood (vice-chairman), G. Brewin, E. Burn, G. Downham, F. D. Grounds, J. W. Morton, T. Morton, T. P. Ogden, and H. G. Singlehurst.  The members of the Fire Brigade were present in uniform, together with other servants of the Council.

Mr. Truman observed that that ceremony marked the end of the Coronation festivities which the citizens of March inaugurated during the summer.

A glorious day

They would remember that last spring the Urban Council, as the authority for the parish, decided by a very narrow majority that the contributions of the loyal subjects of March for the celebration of the Coronation should be voluntary, and having seen THE GLORIOUS DAY which they all enjoyed in the summer, and having seen the beautiful monument, he thought that the Council were justified in trusting to the voluntary efforts of its citizens.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

A public meeting was subsequently called to decide upon the means by which they could celebrate the event, and they would all remember that the township of March on June 22nd 1911 was the centre of a gathering such as he ventured to say it had never seen in its previous history.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

And he thought it would be some time to come before they got those thousands upon thousands of people, not only citizens of the parish, but those who flocked from the neighbouring parishes.

It would be some time before March has such a red-letter day as it had on the occasion of the Coronation of His Majesty King George V.

Part of the amount raised was spent on the festivities of the occasion, but a sum of about £200 was set aside, on the initiative of Mr. Golden, to provide a permanent memorial of the occasion.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

Thanks to March Society (Jennifer Lawler and her colleagues) for reminding us the importance of the fountain to March.

The result they saw before them, and he thought they would all be satisfied that it was a very noble monument, worthy of the town and of the occasion for which it had been erected.

It was not his place to eulogise the opener of the fountain – that would be left in more capable hands than his – but on behalf of the subscribers to the memorial he would ask the Chairman of the permanent Memorial Committee and the originator of the idea, Mr. Wm. Golden, to open the fountain. (Applause)

Mr. Golden said that a public meeting was held to consider the celebration of the Coronation of King George V.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

And then he brought forward the proposal for a permanent memorial to be erected in the shape of a drinking fountain, and he was pleased to see it carried by an overwhelming majority.

Soon afterwards a general Committee was appointed to carry out the Coronation festivities, and they appointed a Permanent Memorial Committee, and did him the honour of electing him the Chairman.

Well, that Committee worked well, with the result that they saw before them, and he hoped it met with their approval.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

After paying for the fountain, the Committee found that they had balance in hand, and this they handed over to the urban District Council, and asked them to fix a site and erect the memorial, to which request they readily complied.

In catering for the public, they would notice that they had not forgotten their dumb friends, a drinking trough being provided for them.

Mr. Golden then turned on the water, and filling one of the drinking cups, he drank, remarking, ‘I drink to your health, in a cup of this most refreshing beverage, which neither inebriates nor cheers, nor ever yet left man in the mire.’

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

He then wished them all prosperity in the New Year, and said that might they and their children and their children’s children live long after they had crossed the bar, to gaze upon that artistic structure, and might it STAND FOR AGES as an ornament to the town, and as a token of the loyalty of the inhabitants. (Applause).

Mr. Collingwood, in proposing a vote of thanks to Mr. Golden, said they all knew that the idea originated with him, and no more fitting gentleman could have been found to perform the ceremony.

He had had the honour and pleasure of working with Mr. Golden on public bodies for nearly twenty years, and he felt it a privilege to be allowed to propose that vote of thanks to him for taking part on that auspicious occasion.

Mr. Ogden seconded and endorsed what had been said about Mr. Golden.  He had had the pleasure of working with him. They had lived to see the fountain erected in their midst and he hoped the public would make good use of it.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

After the dedication of the fountain, the Urban Council entertained the staff to a dinner in the Public Hall and a musical programme by the March Coronation Pierrots.

The Chairman opened proceedings. He went on to praise the work of Mr. Greenwood and of Mr. Unwin the surveyor.  ‘In opening the fountain they had paid eulogies to those who subscribed to it, and he thought that mention should be made of the fact that the contractors had sent them down a piece of work which would DO HONOUR TO THE TOWN as long as it stood.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

It came down as raw material, and the Surveyor had made the plans and carried them out in a workmanlike way, making an erection which would do honour to himself and to the work.

He coupled with the toast the same of the foreman, Mr. George Emery. All the skilled work of the Council fell upon him and he carried it out in the most skilful manner.

ODE TO MARCH FOUNTAIN

There stands the fountain, mid the sound
Of bustling street and busy town,
A landmark permanent.
There to remain through changeful days,
Reared at the parting of the ways,
The people’s monument.
A work of art in iron and stone,
Surmounted by a stately dome,
With local heraldry.
Eight spacious archways, bold and grim,
Lead to the drinking fount within,
On massive masonry….
Of splendid workmanship….
Of Scottish craftmanship…
With one accord, with one consent,
Did contributions bring,
To loyally commemorate
The auspicious day throughout the State
The crowning of the King.
O, witness to the loyalty
And patriotic fealty
Of Fenman brave and true!
Let future generations own
‘Mong champions of England’s throne
Were Marchmen stout and true

STANLEY GREEN   March

 

 

 

 

 

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