Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Fountains & Lamps presented 1890

Fountain & Lamp at the bottom of George Street on the Esplanade, Ryde

Miss Brigstocke, was a lady who had much interest in the welfare of the town of Ryde, and had presented gifts to the town on many occasions previously.

She saw in the local press in 1890, what the Town Council had proposed to do in putting up a lamp and fountain with troughs, on the Esplanade, at the bottom of George-street, and feeling a good deal of interest in dumb animals, she thought something of the kind would be just the sort of thing to show her good will.

She made an offer to bear the whole of the expense.  This would be a benefit to cattle going to the westward, she then very kindly and generously said that she would place another at the other end of the Esplanade to benefit the cattle going eastward, if the Council would accept it.  The kind offer was spontaneously and unanimously gladly accepted.

The Borough Surveyor obtained 30 or 40 designs, and after much discussion with the committee, one was chosen.  They informed Miss Brigstocke that the cost of the fountains would be two hundred pounds.  A lamp column with lamps was then added to the design, Miss Brigstock thought the design was very handsome, but said she did not like doing things by halves, and that she would defray the extra cost as well.  The best design chosen came from a firm in the town (Messrs W. and J. Woods) of Cross-street.

It was decided that there would be a proper inscription and the Borough arms could be placed on a kind of shield.  The lamp columns were to be 20 feet high, each surmounted by a splendid lamp.

On the 3rd May 1890 the local press reported that during the week workmen had been busy erecting the splendid drinking fountains and gas standards, generously presented to the town by Miss Brigstocke.  One had been placed at the bottom of Dover-street, and was a great improvement, the large space there evidently needing some adornment of the kind.  The other fountain was placed at the bottom of George-street.  The fountains were identical in design, and bore an inscription stating that they were presented to the borough by Miss Brigstocke, to whom the burgesses felt deeply indebted.

More about Miss Mary Harriette Player Brigstocke here.

Source: IW Observer & RSHG Archive
Image:  Roy Brinton Collection
Article: Ann Barrett