THE call to provide more public drinking fountains and so reduce the use of plastic bottles has put the spotlight on such a 130-year-old structure in Blackburn.

A granite drinking fountain, donated to the town by Sarah Ann Thwaites, cousin of brewer Daniel, was erected on Salford in 1882, following the great improvement scheme, to widen the road into the town centre.

It marked the line of the north parapet of the old hump bridge, close to the Bay Horse Hotel - which was moved back 50 feet during the works.

It was approached by a number of steps and for some years was also surmounted by a large gas lamp, before the arrival of electricity.

And it stood there until 1923, when it was removed because it was regarded as a danger to traffic, at one of the busiest crossroads in the borough.

It wasn't scrapped, however, just put away 'for the time being' and in storage it stayed for four years, until a call went out for something to help quench the thirst of those doing strenuous exercise on Pleasington playing fields.

A report in the Blackburn Times from 1927 told how 'corporations, like individuals, sometimes finr they if they keep things long enough, they come in useful again'.

And it was this with fountain, which was agreed among the men of the corporation, to be 'just the thing' and it was re-erected and a water supply laid on.

It was a boon to the sportsmen who used the fields and to the children who played there in the summer.

Today the fountain, with a monogram, comprising the letters TSA, is still at Pleasington, but in need of extensive restoration.

Local historians, including Ray Smith, chairman of the former Blackburn Local History Society believe this little piece of the town's history could be updated for today, brought back to its former glory and made available for public use again.

* Do you support the call? Write and tell us at