Water fight: the battle for London’s Victorian drinking fountains

Heritage charity says many ‘renovated’ monuments are filled with cement, not water, so can’t quench thirst or help reduce plastic pollution They were a much-loved feature of London life for over a century, ever since the first of hundreds of public drinking fountains opened in 1859 at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate church in the City. At its peak, thousands of people a day were drinking from it and Charles Dickens observed that “300,000 people take advantage of the fountains on a summer’s day”, although some preferred to drink beer for fear of polluted water. But now, London’s few remaining historic fountains are under threat, with some local councils filling the fountain bowls with cement rather than water – ensuring that no one will ever be able to quench their thirst at their taps again. Related: Arts world dismayed at fate of London home of Rimbaud and Verlaine Continue reading...

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