An historic drinking water fountain on St Leonards seafront has been fully restored.
A ceremony marking the occasion was held yesterday (Wednesday, June 1) by Peter Chowney, leader of Hastings Borough Council, mayor Judy Rogers, and descendants of James Castello, who gave the fountain to St Leonards in memory of his wife, Edith, who died in 1907.
James lived at No 10 The Mount, named Elliris after his two children Ellis and Iris.
During their lifetime Ellis and Iris ensured the fountain was maintained in good condition.
When their four children, James’ grandchildren, all of whom attended the commemoration, realised that restoration work was required they approached the council.
The authority met just over half of the cost of the work, with the Castello family contributing the rest.
Janet Langdon, 76, James’ youngest grandchild, was the driving force behind the restoration work.
She said: “The family is delighted with the work that has been carried out on this drinking water fountain, which has been operational since my grandfather gave it to the town 108 years ago, and continues to be used by passing walkers, cyclists and dogs.
“Indeed, we believe it has provided drinking water continuously for longer than any other drinking water fountain in the country. Hastings Borough Council has been very supportive, and local stonemasons Burslem, have done a superb job of restoring it.”
Cllr Chowney said: “This has been a great project, and I am very pleased indeed we were able to work in partnership with the Castello family to restore the fountain.
“It was good, too, to see all four of James’ grandchildren here, five of his six great-grandchildren, and one of his five great-great-grandchildren.
“The drinking water fountain has served the town and its visitors well for 108 years, and I am sure it will now continue to do so well into the future.”
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