Rebuild of fountain in need of historical help

The Duffy Memorial Fountain before it was removed (date unknown).

The Duffy Memorial Fountain before it was removed (date unknown).

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OLD photographs are being sought as part of work to rebuild a prominent feature in a borough park.

A multi-million pound regeneration programme is underway at Wallsend Parks.

And as part of the project, work has begun to rebuild and reinstate the historic Duffy Memorial Fountain.

The fountain, previously situated in Richardson Dees Park, was removed at some point with pieces later found in Burns Closes, Wallsend.

A rebuild of the memorial has been commissioned, with historic photographs and old measurements being used to place it back at its original location.

However, finer details are still needed, such as the style of the water bowl and a supposed cherub feature are unclear.

Officials at North Tyneside Council are hoping that detailed photographs of the fountain can help them.

Coun George Westwater, the council’s cabinet member for community and regulatory services, said: “The restoration and development of the Wallsend Parks is progressing extremely well.

“And to ensure the rebuilding of the Duffy Memorial Fountain progresses just as well, we are asking for help from the public.

“The monument is an important part and key not only to the history of Richardson Dees Park but to Wallsend’s history, too.

“If anyone has any photographs I would urge them to contact the council.”

The fountain was built in memory of Joseph Duffy who opened a brick works near the Carville schools in 1884, helping build a considerable part of the old Buddle ward.

He was elected to the new Wallsend Borough Council in 1901, and became mayor in 1909 but died in office the following year.

The fountain was unveiled in 1912 following a competition by Mr Duffy’s children to design a memorial of their father.

Wallsend Parks is undergoing a £5.2m transformation thanks to funding from the council, Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund ‘Parks for People’ project.

Anyone with old photographs of the fountain or of the park in general should email them to wallsendparks@northtyneside.gov.uk or call park manager Carl McClean on (0191) 643 7897.