Drinking Fountain in Tanner Street Park

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Monday 3 March 2014 5.44pm
My query is inspired by the request for more info on Leathermarket Gardens.
Following the 1861 fire and demolition of St. Olave's church in Tooley Street the bell turret on top of the tower was preserved as a drinking fountain in Leathermaket Gardens. I have not been able to get up close to it but from pictures it languishes desecrated and unappreciated today. Who wants to drink water when there is plenty of cheap booze about?
Can anyone tell me when, how and why it got there? It is probably too much to expect the council to improve its preservation. Perhaps it should be moved to a museum for safe keeping.
St Olave's, I should explain was unique in the borough as the only church dedicated to immigrants, particularly glass makers, after the Abolition of the Monasteries in 1539 when Catholicism was made illegal.
Monday 3 March 2014 5.48pm
The drinking fountain is in Tanner Street Park rather than Leathermarket Gardens (I've edited the post title to avoid confusion).

It's a grade II listed building and has been on English Heritage's 'at risk' register for a number of years now.

http://risk.english-heritage.org.uk/register.aspx?id=49380

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Monday 3 March 2014 7.57pm
(James - I think there was a similar thread running on this in the past as I remember posting some links to old photos of the fountain).

I recall the council indicating a couple of years back that they were hoping to renovate the spire, but no progress to date. Perhaps something will move once there is a clearer idea on what is happening to the shelter that stands next to it. The council's invitation to submit bids for the shelter closed some time ago and as yet there hasn't been any news on the outcome. It looks like the buddleja tree that is growing out of its roof will be safe for yet another year!

Its such a shame that this corner of the Tanner St Park remains so neglected, it has such great potential.
Monday 3 March 2014 10.13pm
Many thanks to James Hatts and Scott77 for their rapid replies and correction over the fountain's location.It has spared my blushes over an inaccuracy in the forthcoming 2nd edn. of A History of Glassmaking in London.
Any further help still appreciated although it sounds as though the Borough Council has all the records.
Monday 3 March 2014 10.48pm
Bermondsey Playground as Tanner Street Park used to be known, was set out in 1928 using revenues from the sale of the St Olaves Church site in Tooley St to Hays Wharf (I think). The relocation of the spire and conversion as a water fountain to the rear of the new park was intended as a kind of remembrance or acknowledgment that it was the Church that had funded the park scheme.

For some time I have thought that the derelict buildings in this corner would be best demolished and possibly the children's playground enlarged.

You can see Tanner Street Park in my video Sunday Afternoon in Tanner Street Park (1988).

and again in a second video In and around Tanner Street (1989).

www.richardqmiller.com
Tuesday 4 March 2014 9.10am
What a shame that English heritage have given it a Lewisham postcode..Se13! Wonder why David lane did not notice!
Friday 29 August 2014 9.57am
Has anyone got any further information or news on either the fountain or the pavilion?
Friday 29 August 2014 1.18pm
Jan the old one wrote:
What a shame that English heritage have given it a Lewisham postcode..Se13! Wonder why David lane did not notice!

I think the postcode is SE1 3LE. Might explain where they went wrong.
Sunday 31 August 2014 12.29pm
Doesn't seem that anything is happening at all. The 'To Let' sign has disappeared from the shelter and it is looking increasingly dilapidated. If Southwark can't find anyone to take it on, then it's getting to the point where they should consider demolishing it and replacing it with grass and trees.

The roots of the grass on top of the drinking fountain are now starting to damage the structure, one of the top stones has become dislodged and has moved about 3 inches in the last 12 months! It's time for the Council to take some action and preserve this little piece of Southwark history!
Thursday 13 November 2014 3.22pm
Scott77 wrote:
Doesn't seem that anything is happening at all. The 'To Let' sign has disappeared from the shelter and it is looking increasingly dilapidated. If Southwark can't find anyone to take it on, then it's getting to the point where they should consider demolishing it and replacing it with grass and trees.
The roots of the grass on top of the drinking fountain are now starting to damage the structure, one of the top stones has become dislodged and has moved about 3 inches in the last 12 months! It's time for the Council to take some action and preserve this little piece of Southwark history!

Creating a walkway from the rear of Tanner Street Park through to St Mary's Churchyard (similar to Gibbons Rent) would generate greater use of this area of the park and provide a better focus for the St Olave Drinking Fountain (and therefore a reason to renovate it). A walkway here will provide an alternative traffic free pedestrian route to and from Abbey Street, Bermondsey Square and the shops at Tower Bridge Road.

www.richardqmiller.com
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