A friend of Paula Fletcher, one of our volunteers, unearthed this great panoramic view of the Market Place, taken in the 1950s and showing the buildings that were demolished to make way for the new Shire Hall. In the distance is the old prison.
To judge by the cars, the scene is mid-50s. The paler car third from the bottom in the row on the square is an Austen A40 ‘Somerset’. That model was produced between 1952 and 1954, and the car with the sloping back near the fountain looks like a Jowett Javelin, (1947 – 1953). Vintage car buffs out there will tell me if I am wrong.
But does anyone know exactly when the fountain was removed from the Market Place? Here is another picture showing it more clearly. Originally it had lamps to illuminate the square at night. This terrific photograph was taken on August 10th 1914, with the Warwickshire Yeomanry gathering at the outbreak of WW1.
We asked James Mackay, Chairman of the Warwick Society, if he knows where the fountain went. He said, “It was removed I’ve forgotten when, decades ago, because it had become a negative asset; the cloverleaf-shaped water trough around it became smelly and nasty. I suspect that its cumbersome Victorian stye was also out of fashion, and probably crumbling.
As best as I could establish, it was taken to the waterworks depot at the sewage works down the Stratford Road and broken up. The trough is in the garden of a private house ten miles east”.
Unlocking Warwick volunteer Barbara Wigmore moved to the area in 1953 and can remember the fountain. She thinks changes to the square began in 1957. “I remember the road ran right round the Market Place. The buses used to stop outside The Green Dragon, now The Tilted Wig, and the arches were open so we could shelter from the rain under them while waiting for the bus. The Thomas Lloyd Wetherspoons was Lloyd’s Bank and the old bus station was where Marks and Spencers is now”.
If you have any unusual old photos of Warwick, feel free to email them to email@example.com and I’ll put a few online every now and then to keep us amused during the ‘lockdown’.
Rick Thompson: Secretary Unlocking Warwick