Cammell Laird welcomes Historic England’s decision to safeguard Liverpool’s ‘Bucket Fountain’
Cammell Laird has warmly welcomed the news that Liverpool’s Piazza Fountain, widely known as the Bucket Fountain, will be saved for future generations to enjoy following a successful campaign to have the artwork heritage listed.
Created by artist-engineer Richard Huws and welded by Cammell Laird, the city centre fountain has been at the centre of a dispute between campaigners who want to see it remain at its current location within Beetham Plaza, and others who want the artwork moved to allow a new hotel to be built.
Historic England announced on Friday that the fountain and its associated viewing platforms had been granted Grade II-listed status.
Tony Graham, Cammell Laird Chief Operating Officer, wrote to heritage chiefs earlier this year to confirm the shipyard’s full support of the listing application and to underline the fountain’s importance to the community.
He said: “As patrons of the company who built the fountain and who presented its plaque in 1967 we feel that it is our responsibility to support the preservation of this public monument which has cultural and historical significance.
“Whilst our company is globally recognised for the building of ships such as the Ark Royal, Mersey Ferries, and most recently the RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research vessel, our workforce were proud to participate in the building of Richard Huws fountain which was to be located in our great city and highlighted their great skills. When in operation the fountain is one amongst Liverpool’s many icons.
“We too believe that the stainless steel and bronze artwork has cultural significance for Liverpool in terms of its industrial heritage and social history. Its greater significance is that it is the last remaining example of eight similar commissioned works in the world. Other locations included London, Tokyo and New York.
“We firmly believe that this piece of art should be protected and preserved for further enjoyment by future generations and are delighted Historic England has also seen fit to recognise its considerable value.”
The Piazza Fountain sits in an area that forms part of the World Heritage Site and is also part of the Castle Street Conservation Area. The Friends of the Piazza Fountain campaign group believe its location in a small square, surrounded by buildings on three sides, also serves to enhance the sound quality of the fountain.
A statement released by the group following Historic England’s announcement, said: “The Friends of the Piazza Fountain couldn’t be more delighted that our bucket fountain has been saved for future generations to enjoy. Thanks to all who’ve supported us.
“The application for listing was submitted by Dr Richard Moore, supported by some of his university friends, who were all students of Richard Huws at the Liverpool School of Architecture in the 1960s when he was actually designing his fountain.
“It was also supported by the 20th Century Society, Engage Liverpool, the Public Monuments and Sculpture Society (PMSA), the Friends of the Piazza Fountain, and of course, and so importantly to local people, Cammell Laird.”
The Friends of the Piazza Fountain will now be working to have the fountain restored to its former glory. People can show their support by signing the group’s petition (https://www.change.org/p/liverpool-city-council-save-the-bucket-fountain) Additional information can be found via twitter.com/PiazzaFountain and Facebook.co/PiazzaFountain