Governor’s gift to Portsmouth was a drinking fountain

The Scarlett drinking fountain is seen here in the mid-distance on the left at the entrance to Pembroke Gardens
The Scarlett drinking fountain is seen here in the mid-distance on the left at the entrance to Pembroke Gardens
Two clerks on duty in James Taylors offices in Old Portsmouth. 			 (Robert James collection)

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Last week I published the picture, below, of two men standing beside a fountain bearing what appeared to be the Portsmouth crest.

It came from Graeme Swain who wondered if indeed it was in the city and, if so, where.

John Burgoyne Baker

John Burgoyne Baker

Karen Newland has come up with the answer. She says it was built by her great great grandfather John Burgoyne Baker. He was a stonemason and ran his business from premises in Marmion Road, Southsea where the Waitrose multi-storey car park now stands.

Karen says: ‘The drinking fountain was commissioned as a farewell gift to Portsmouth by General James Yorke Scarlett, the governor of Portsmouth from 1857 to 1860. It stood close to the corner of Long Curtain Road and Pier Road by Clarence Pier.

‘I have seen plenty of postcards with the fountain in the background as it is close to the tram terminus but have never seen a photo as detailed as this.’

She adds: ‘It appeared in postcards up to the early 1920s but disappears after that and sadly I do not know what happened to it.’

The Scarlett fountain on the left with a tram on Pier Road. Does anyone know what happened to the fountain? Was it lost in the Second World War when Clarence Pier was bombed?

The Scarlett fountain on the left with a tram on Pier Road. Does anyone know what happened to the fountain? Was it lost in the Second World War when Clarence Pier was bombed?

Graeme Swain's original Victorian picture of two chaps beside the drinking fountain complete with Portsmouth crest

Graeme Swain's original Victorian picture of two chaps beside the drinking fountain complete with Portsmouth crest