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Friends Newsletter No. 70

March 2016

Friends are the recognised guardians of Malvern's water heritage (Malvern Gazette 1 March 2013 p.14). We are an independent voluntary group who relentlessly promote research, conservation and celebration of the Springs, Spouts, Fountains and Holy Wells of the Malvern Hills and of Great Malvern as a Spa Town.
Lodge Fountain Restoration up and running
We were delighted to receive a letter from a local resident at The Lodge thanking us for our efforts to secure funding for the fountain restoration detailed in our earlier Newsletters. Despite being promised, some funding had to be turned down when unreasonable conditions were demanded. Nevertheless, the project went ahead after an anonymous donor stepped in. The fountain remained dry for several weeks after the restoration was completed but following constant rain in the latter part of last year the water flow was reinstated. What better way to start 2016 with a gushing fountain. Our thanks go to Catherine James who successfully masterminded the restoration once we had negotiated the funding.
Malvern Landmark to be Demolished?
It is whispered that there is a demand to remove the 'four monsters' on Belle Vue Island in Malvern town centre. This move sounds very similar to the removal of the Wilson Fountain much earlier, the loss of which has subsequently been mourned and has led to the recent replacement with a new memorial.
In the picture the Enigma Fountain at the annual well decorating in 2015. The Enigma Fountain as the four monsters are known, is a significant landmark in Malvern now and probably requires a rethink rather than demolition. It includes a water feature that can be seen one way but not from ninety degrees away. It is therefore symbolic of Elgar's composition 'The Enigma Variations'  and this is what it is named after. It also commemorates Elgar as a local world famous composer.
Opinions are divided on what should be done. Perhaps the stones merely require a facelift. Ideas for a revamp could include turning them into a Stonehenge type structure with lintels and an imaginative restoration of the fountain. Alternatively, how about using it as a LED light display to brighten up the evenings in Malvern? Lighting is very creative these days and continually innovating. Demolition is short sighted and lacks ingenious resolution of a problem. This is a creative opportunity; as was the case with the Wilson Fountain which succumbed to the demolition lobby - see the following editorial.
Wilson's Memorial Fountain replacement
We have heard a lot in recent years about the possible replacement to the Wilson Memorial Fountain, demolished in 1948. At last we are able to see the new creation on the site in Abbey Road, where the original fountain was located. It is pleasing that the site has at last regained a memorial to Dr Wilson, the famous water cure doctor in 19th century Malvern. But is it something that will lure people away from the town centre to view it? In the past the public have welcomed a clock to tell the time by and a water fountain to drink from. This has been reflected in the tower that we recently saw in Barnstable. It was erected in 1862 to commemorate Queen Victoria's late husband Prince Albert.
In this day and age, might a free public Wi-fi access point be more appropriate? Or perhaps some decorative lighting that would lure people from the town centre to a quiet night-time corner of Victorian Malvern.  Whatever your view it does seem like a missed opportunity to do something stunning that would attract visitors to the spot.
For more details of the Wilson Memorial Fountain history see site number 94 on our web site.

In the pictures Cora inspects Barnstable's memorial drinking fountain and clock tower compared with the new Wilson Memorial right.
25 June 2016
10.30 - opening of Malvern Civic Week ceremony Belle Vue Terrace, orchestrated by Malvern Civic Society.

12.00 - Unveiling of the Mulberry Tree plaque and tree in Priory Park by Di Foster, ambassador from Malvern, Victoria, part of the City of Stonnington - orchestrated by FMSW using the Elgar Spade. Those attending will get a free ticket for refreshments to follow.

1.00 - Mulberry Pie and tea/coffee hosted by the Mount Pleasant Hotel - Free tickets for tea / coffee and mulberry pie to those attending the unveiling and a chance to visit Malvern Museum afterwards to see a special Two Malverns display. We plan to show film of original events in the Mulberry Tree history at the Mount Pleasant Hotel. A lunchtime food menu will be available should anyone wish to supplement the free Mulberry Pie and tea/coffee.
There will then be a break until early evening when we return to the Mount Pleasant Hotel for dinner and entertainment.
7.00 - Welcome by Bruce Osborne on behalf of FMSW  - welcoming in particular our ambassador from Malvern Victoria, a separate bar will be available.

7. 10 - Evening hot and cold buffet meal at the Mount Pleasant Hotel, orchestrated by FMSW. tickets to be presold at fifteen pounds each. This is a chance to meet to socialise with the visitors.
8.10  - 5 minutes by Bruce explaining the Mulberry Tree project; followed by an auction of a Mulberry tree sapling.
8.20  - A short presentation on the Two Malverns friendship by Cora Weaver.
8.30 -  A presentation by Di Foster from and about Malvern, Victoria, Australia, followed by questions and answers and general discussion.

10.00 - close

In the picture - the Mulberry Tree in Malvern, Victoria 2009 planted from a cutting of George Bernard Shaw's original tree in Priory Park. Cuttings from this tree were reared to provide the replacement for Shaw's Tree in Priory Park. The original blew down in a storm in the year 2000.
A souvenir booklet will be published as a limited edition detailing the two Malverns in Australia and England and the history of the Mulberry Tree project. This will be available on the day price 2.00 pounds while stocks last. Further details as finalised will be advised. The Mulberry Tree project and events would not be possible without the generous assistance of Coca-Cola. Requests for tickets for the evening meal should be made to Cora direct Cora@malvernspa.com.

For more details of the project see our web site by clicking on the tree vandal above.
Springs and Wells of the other Malvern - Malvern, City of Stonnington, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Malvern England has many similarities to Malvern, Victoria.  One of these common themes is the spring waters that played such an important part in founding both towns. It is ironical therefore that the proposed unveiling of the Mulberry Tree later this year will take place adjacent to one of Malvern, England's famous springs, the Spring and Water Gardens in Priory Park (site 106).

The picture above: the fountain in the Public Park in Malvern, Victoria. The fountain disappeared sometime after 1940, likely due to removal following disrepair. A perfect copy was made in 1992 and now stands in its place. The picture above is of the modern day fountain.
Malvern is a suburb in Melbourne and is located 8 km south-east from Melbourne's central business district. The Local Government Area is the City of Stonnington. At the 2006 Census, Malvern had a population of about 11,000. The area around Malvern was first settled in 1835. John Gardiner was one of its first settlers when he overlanded 400 head of cattle who grazed where Malvern now is. When the first migrants came in the area in the 1850s they put up tents around a spring, which lay at the foot of the Malvern Hill.  As a result a canvas town sprung up.
A small hamlet known as "Gardiner" named after the local creek, was established by 1851 near what is now Malvern but it declined with the gold rush. Like Malvern England the later township was founded on spring water. The area around the spring has been designated a water reservation since 1856. The natural spring, used by the Wurundjeri people prior to European settlement, supplied the developing suburb with water before a formal water supply scheme was implemented in 1869. After various local government reorganisations the City of Malvern was eventually so named. In the mid 19th century more formal water supply systems were under consideration, using the spring water. In addition wells were dug to enhance the availability of good water. In 1885 the government intended auctioning the land around the spring, but a public protest caused it to be secured for public use. The public reserve, which included 8 acres of land, was thereafter secured for the community of Malvern, leading to the formal development as the park.
Malvern Gardens in Spring Road became Malvern's first public gardens. The official opening took place on December 12,1890. In 1888 Malvern Council approached Thomas Pockett who was appointed curator of Malvern Gardens and from 1888, over a period of twenty years, he landscaped the area. Pockett's original design included a fish pond where the handsome fountain was installed above artistic grotto work designed by Robinette. Today visitors can still enjoy the gardens and fountain when exploring this Malvern on the other side of the world.
In the picture Di Foster, ambassador from Australia in Malvern's Public Park.

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Best wishes, Cora & Bruce
Bruce Osborne, Tower House, Tadworth, Surrey. KT20 5QY
Tel. 01737 213169   email
Cora Weaver, 4 Hall Green, Malvern, Worcs. WR14 3QX            
Tel. 01684 561215   email

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