Perretts fountain is back in the park
Published on: 27 Oct 2017
Pictured: Stonemason Paul James and Sue Avent, vice chair of Copp, with the restored fountain, now a bird bath.
Charles Perrett dedicates the fountain in 1930.
Fountain finds a new purpose
THE GRANITE fountain donated to Perretts Park in 1930 is back. The park’s friends group, the Community of Perretts Park, has paid for the fountain to be restored as a bird bath close to its old location near Bayham Road.
Stonemason Paul James of Ravenhill Avenue repaired the fountain, which was missing several pieces, after it was discovered at Ashton Court estate by local history enthusiast James Little.
James made it his mission to find the fountain when he was laid up after breaking his back in 2008. Bedbound, he started researching local history and found a photo of the park's benefactor, Charles Perrett, handing over the fountain to the park in 1930 (the photo is captioned in some places as having been taken in 1932 but this is an error). The occasion was Charles Perrett's last public outing – he died soon after, having paid for the fountain, and given £500 towards the £4,500 cost of the park.
With help from Copp, James discovered from Alice Davies-Avery, daughter of Knowle councillor Chris Davies, that the fountain might be at Ashton Court.
Inquiries there turned up one old fountain – but not the right one.
With the help of Alice and of David Martyn, eventually the Perretts fountain was discovered in 2011, very neglected in a pond at Ashton Court.
Staff at the estate said they had found it many years before in the car park of Bower Ashton training centre, next to the original fountain for Ashton Court. It was then taken from there and put in the middle of the pond at Ashton Court estate by two members of staff. No one knew were it came from originally.
James raised funds to get the heavy pieces of granite removed from the pond and stored safely.
Originally the fountain had flowing water and brass drinking cups. It was removed from the park in the 1970s. When rediscovered, the cups and their brass chains were long gone, and so too were its ornate urn on top, and the part of the base.
Years followed in which it was debated whether to restore the fountain to its original state by remaking the missing parts. But this proved too expensive.
Now with the help of stonemason Paul James, who used to have a shop on Wells Road, Totterdown, the damaged pieces have been repaired and fixed firmly back together.
More pictures of James's discovery of the fountain at Ashton Court and its removal can be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/topspictures/albums/72157624432852985/