The Ford Fountain APPEAL
To restore the fountain stonework and water supply we need £4,000
as at 18 February 2021
£1,350 more and walkers and their dogs will enjoy fresh water from our beautiful heirloom!
The Ford Fountain on Pound Lane is set to be restored to full working order as a fresh water drinking fountain. The intention is to add life to the village and provide succour to the many walkers (and their dogs) who pass along Pound Lane, allowing them to refill rather than buy yet another plastic bottle of water.
The Parish Council, who own the fountain, is fully behind the project and keen for Little Rissington, if only in this small way, to emulate the kind of hospitality that you so often come across in the third world. The fountain is on a popular walk between the Rissingtons, so it is thought that it will be appreciated and well used. Indeed, walkers sometimes stop at Hill House to have their water bottle refilled.
The cost of restoration is anticipated to be in the region of £4,000. The Parish Council does not have any spare reserves, so we would like to raise the sum needed from public donations. If you would like to make a contribution, however small, please email Suzanne Davidson at email@example.com to let her know.
If you know any animal lovers, in particular, who might like to donate, please forward this page to them. Although not in the original plan, we’d like to provide some kind of drinking trough in the bottom of the fountain for dogs.
But first, you’d probably like to know what it is exactly that you would be investing in.
The Fountain’s History
The fountain was inaugurated in 1873 and was a gift to the parish from Richard Ford, rector from 1811 to 1862, in memory of his younger daughter, Dulcibella Eliza Ford, the assistant schoolmistress. You may have noticed her initials above the key stone. It’s evident, from the well-worn path in the photo below, that the fountain was much in use at a time when not every house would have had running water.
In those days the water came from the holding tanks on Clarks Hill (overlooking Church Lane) and the pipe ran past the fountain by Bobble Court, then under what was at the time an orchard (now Glebe Close), and then down the yard of Clarks Hill Farm House (now Hill House), before supplying a standpipe (marked by a T on the plan below) where The Green is and continuing on its way to the Manor. If you’re passing the fountain and look carefully at the place where the tap used to be, you’ll see the end of the pipe.
Why can’t the fountain simply be reconnected to the old supply? Well, it has not supplied water in living memory, and nobody knows what happened to the supply. Perhaps the pipe was damaged as the old dirt road through the village got worn down. Whatever happened, the pipe would have been severed anyway by the building of the houses on Glebe Close. And the clincher is… if the bit one can see is any indication, it is possibly all made of lead, so not suitable for drinking water.
The Restoration Plan
The plan is to tap into Thames Water’s mains under Pound Lane, a relatively simple job that will cost £1,800. A bib tap and piping to the roadside will be installed and connected to the mains at a cost of £558. In addition, the stonework and mortaring badly need the attention of a master stonemason and lime mortar specialist at a cost of £1,245. The £35pa water rates will be paid from the amount that the parish council sets aside every year to support good causes.
The plan is to record pledges and call in the pledges only when the amount pledged covers the £4,000 (inc. contingencies) we need. If the appeal exceeds the cost of refurbishment, the excess will be ringfenced to cover the making good of the drainage area and the cost of water supply.
At a time when drinking fountains are being installed in the UK and all over the world to stem the tide of plastic, how great would it be if we could play our part in a small way.