Plenty of support for bid to restore village monument

An artist's impression of the proposed fountain monument for the centre of Wooler.
An artist's impression of the proposed fountain monument for the centre of Wooler.

Residents in Wooler seem to be largely in favour of the plan to build a fountain memorial in the centre of the village, where it once stood.

The application is due to go before Northumberland County Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

And on the Wooler and district memories for all Facebook page, where the community initiative to reinstate the fountain began, a majority of people have shown their support for the scheme.

However, that is not to say that everyone is behind the plans. Some have pointed out that while the fountain memorial is not a bad thing itself, the money and effort could be put into something else that is more needed for people in Wooler.

Others have raised concerns about the location in the Market Place and existing road and parking issues in that area.

Wooler’s ward councillor, Anthony Murray, will be speaking at the planning meeting and he is keen to gauge residents’ true feelings before he makes representations. Email Anthony.murray99@northumberland.gov.uk or call 01668 281062.

The original fountain, in the Market Square on High Street, was erected in 1879 as a tribute to William Wightman, who brought a proper water supply to Wooler in the late 1850s.

In the severe winter of 1966, cracks appeared in the pillars and in 1970, Glendale Council decided to have it demolished so the road could be widened.

A design and access statement submitted with the planning application states: ‘It is proposed that the fountain be rebuilt in sandstone as was the original, following the original design as much as possible.

‘The original dedication to William Wightman will be reinstated to the fountain.

‘However, this will be a fountain in name only, as there will be no water supply to the monument’.

Around four wooden benches will be situated round the fountain.