Dumfries Set To Celebrate Return Of Refurbished Fountain To Town Centre

The 140 year-old fountain has now been returned to Dumfries town centre, after being fully restored. Following historic photos and descriptions from the time, the fountain is now in its original colour-scheme a looks as it did when it was brand new!

Although the water is flowing again, there has been much controversy over the cost of the restoration and the chosen colour. But many people are also loving the restored fountain, and feel it is bringing life back into the town.

To mark the refurbishment, Dumfries and Galloway Council, alongside their partners from The Stove Network, will be holding a formal ceremony at the fountain on 23rd June where members of the public are invited to attend. This ceremony marks the start of a series of events through the summer which we hope locals and visitors will enjoy and participate in.

The fountain commemorates the introduction of fresh water to Dumfries and Maxwelltown that provided a turning point for the people of Dumfries following the devastating cholera epidemics of 1832 and 1848. Therefore, it’s very fitting, following the recent COVID Pandemic, that the fountain is brought back to its prime state now.

It was an extremely complex operation, with the fountain being made up of over 100 dismountable cast iron parts, many of which were corroded. The fountain also now meets modern water safety standards.

Thanks for the restoration goes to Industrial Heritage Consulting Limited with the works being undertaken by Wigan based Lost Art. These companies are amongst only a handful of specialists in the UK who were able to undertake the restoration of this fountain.

Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy and Resources Committee, Councillor Ian Carruthers said: “The intricate and specialist project, led by Dumfries and Galloway Council, was picked-up after appeals from the public to restore the popular and historic town landmark. I hope the people of Dumfries and the surrounding area will attend the event on the day to see the full reinstatement and mark this once in 100 year occasion.”
Vice Chair, Councillor David Inglis said: “This is great news and the culmination of a community-led project which has taken a long period of planning and hard work behind the scenes to get to this point. It has not been an easy task, and has literally meant stripping back the layers of history, but I am proud to see the results which will now be sustainable and will allow the fountain to continue to be a well-known local landmark for generations to come.”
Katie Anderson, Public Art Lead at The Stove Network adds: “Seven years ago, we were approached by a member of our community who had an idea to preserve the unique history and significance of Dumfries fountain. It’s been quite a journey since then and the Stove has supported the restoration project by working with local artists and groups to host a series of creative investigations and engagement opportunities throughout the project and leading on the creation of a series of new public art pieces set into the surrounding cobbles telling the history of the fountain.”
Kirsten Scott is the member of the local community who had that initial idea and approached The Stove Network. She said: “It is wonderful to be able to see the fountain restoration come to fruition. Everyone involved has shown such dedication and commitment to the project, and a level of craftsmenship that has been a privilege to witness. It would be lovely to build on this wave of infectious positivity by encouraging more people to tackle issues in their communities. Community-led action does get things done!”

Dumfries Fountain: Public Launch & Unveiling

June 23 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

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