'Hideous' Thames Water Drinking Fountain Gets Thumbs Down In Chiswick

Friends of Turnham Green want traditional design instead of 7-foot high structure

Picture of the one recently installed beside the Lyric in Hammersmith


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A proposal for a free water fountain, which was described as looking like "the love child of a smurf and an exocet missile' was turned down at the AGM of the Friends of Turnham Green this week.

A majority of those at the meeting decided a traditional water fountain would best suit the conservation status of the area, despite the offer from Thames Water for a modern design which would installed and maintained for free.

The offer of the seven-foot high blue and white water dispenser, was part of an initiative called “Refill London” which is sponsored by the Mayor’s office and which aims to encourage people to stop using single use plastic water bottles, and use refill stations in public places instead.

The meeting could not decide on where a suitable site could be found for such a modern design and eventually concluded by a majority vote, that it would not be an addition to the area. A suggestion that it be placed near the rockery where children play, was dismissed as the fountain needs to be near the existing Thames Water pipe network.

The Friends landscape committee had, prior to the AGM, unanimously voted it to be inappropriate for such a heritage setting and described the design as looking like 'the love child of a Smurf and an exocet missile'.

Hounslow Council were keen to accept the offer as the dispenser would be installed for free and maintained, and the Council felt it would make a positive contribution to reducing single use plastic and reducing sugary drinks.

Following a lively discussion when it came to a vote, only 2 people at the meeting were in favour. The design of the Thames Water dispenser was described as 'hideous and comedic' by others at the meeting. It was also felt that there was a strong likelihood it would be vandalised or defaced.

Instead it was decided by an overwhelming majority to come up with a proposal to Hounslow Council for s106 money to be deployed towards a traditional style water fountain - this would also build in a 10-year maintenance programme.

The AGM also discussed a Tree Planting proposal where Karen Liebriech of Abundance London spoke about the national and local green strategy in the light of the 2019 climate emergency declaration.

An anonymous donor had pledged £5,000 to fund the planting of more trees on the Green. She and other members of the landscape committee of FoTG had come up with a suggestion to plant cherry trees along the path at the north west end of the Green and along the path east of the Church and parallel to the High Street.

After some discussion, it was agreed by a majority vote that the cherry tree planting should go ahead. Community planting has been pencilled in for 8 February 8 from 9 am. Volunteers welcome.


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January 18, 2020

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