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Seymour Square’s fountain has been the central feature of the square for almost 60 years.
A band rotunda was demolished to make way for the fountain when, after much public wrangling and a referendum, it was decided a fountain located close to the WW1 memorial clock tower, rather than a new public swimming pool, would be the appropriate memorial to the Marlborough casualties of WW2.
Designed by local architect Mr E. Hubbard, the fountain was built by T.H. Barnes. F.E. Musgrove did the metal work and Tomlinson and Gifford the electrics.
The architect’s notes from the time say the flared pedestal shape was designed to give the most interesting colour reflection from sunlight and the lights at night.
The lower basin has two dozen lights with colours of red, green and amber while the upper basin has one dozen larger lights with colours of red, green, amber and blue with light changes and combinations triggered by electrical switches. Over an 18-minute period, 62 variations in water and colour shade are possible.
The fountain was a 7000 pound project - a big undertaking given that the total annual rates revenue of the borough at that time was about 50,000 pounds.
When the fountain was turned on, in 1953, the then Blenheim Power Board allowed a free allocation of 14,000 KW of electricity a year to run it because it was a war memorial. Today the fountain costs the Council about $5000 a year in electricity running costs.
THIS FOUNTAIN WAS ERECTED IN MEMORY OF THOSE MEN AND WOMEN OF BLENHEIM AND SURROUNDING DISTRICTS WHO MADE THE EXTREME SACRIFICE IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR. 1939 - 1945
~ the wording on the fountain’s plaque