Band of Hope Fountain, Greenhead Park, Huddersfield

The Band of Hope Fountain is a former drinking fountain situated in Greenhead Park.

History

Officially named as "The Rocky Stream", but later often referred to as "Rebecca at Her Well", it was commissioned at cost of £120 by the Huddersfield and District Band of Hope Union and unveiled on Saturday 25 July 1885. The sculpture of an unnamed woman was by Samuel Auty of Lindley and was described by the Huddersfield Chronicle:

The design was called rocky stream, and the idea was a maiden having gone to a stream to fill her pitcher, falling into a reveries, the pitcher filling, running over, and thus forming the stream.

Alongside was a stone with the following inscription:

THE ROCKY STREAM

PRESENTED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE HUDDERSFIELD AND DISTRICT BAND OF HOPE UNION, JULY 1885.

By 1910, the fountain was being referred to as "Rebecca" or "Rebecca at Her Well" — a reference to the testing of Rebecca (or Rebekah) by Isaac in Genesis 24 — despite the fact that the maiden's pitcher was being filled from a rocky spring, not a well. However, it seems by the 1940s that "Rebecca" had become the accepted name. Reportedly the statue some damage and decay over the years.

In 1948, the Ramsden Jubilee Fountain, which had originally been located in the Market Place, was relocated to the park and the area where "The Rocky Stream" was selected. According the David Griffiths' Secured for the Town: The Story of Huddersfield's Greenhead Park, the Band of Hope fountain was dismantled and the statue "moved to a rockery half way up steps ascending from the NW corner of the lake to Park Drive".

The original location is marked on the 1960 Ordnance Survey map in red (the fountain marked on the map being the Ramsden Jubilee Fountain) and the assumed located the statue was relocated to in green.

Sadly, Samuel Auty's statue "survived there for only a few more years." Although rumours eventually circulated to the effect that a local councillor had requisitioned it as an ornament for has garden, it seems the statue was either accidentally toppled or deliberately broken apart, as remnants were discovered during a park restoration project in 2010.[1]

In December 1971, Rex Mason (brother of Huddersfield-born actor James Mason), lamented:[2]

Rebecca, dear, beside her well
For years in Greenhead Park did dwell.
Admittedly she lost some charm,
At first her nose and then her arm.
But still to youngsters she was dear,
Without her nose, her face, her ear.
Now she's vanished, gone away,
Replaced by fount in Gothic shrine.
Memories alone will stay.
Where have you gone, Rebecca mine?

Further Reading

Gallery

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Location

The original location of the fountain is given below:

Notes and References

  1. Secured for the Town: The Story of Huddersfield's Greenhead Park (2011) by David Griffiths, pages 26-27.
  2. Huddersfield Daily Examiner (01/Dec/1971) and reproduced in Secured for the Town: The Story of Huddersfield's Greenhead Park (2011) by David Griffiths, page 27.

Band of Hope Fountain, Greenhead Park, Huddersfield

Categories

Drinking fountains | Features in Greenhead Park | Fountains
This page was last modified on 5 January 2017 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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