A fountain restored

Residents in the avenues area of Hull have been campaigning for many years for the reinstatement of a working fountain on the junction of Victoria Avenue and Salisbury Street and on Saturday 8th July 2023 they achieved their goal when a replacement fountain, crafted specially to echo the original, was switched on in front of a large crowd of residents and supporters.

Until her death in 2011, Jean Hartley, a close friend and publisher of Philip Larkin, had been a prominent member of the campaign group and had proposed that the new fountain should carry these lines from Larkin’s poem, ‘Water’.

‘If I were called in
To construct a religion
I should make use of water’

The switch-on ceremony included a poetry reading by Professor Graham Chesters, Chair of The Philip Larkin Society, and a short speech by the local Member of Parliament, The Right Honourable, Dame Diana Johnson. On a day when the heavens opened, the Dagger Lane Singers bravely fought their way through what was, on more than one level, a most appropriate composition – ‘We Won’t Give Up’.

Local artist, Jackie Ward-Lomax, who played such a massive part in the fund-raising scheme, was given the privilege of pressing the button that made the waters flow again after more than 100 years.

Video coverage of the switching on ceremony can be found on our YouTube channel or by clicking here

For more information about the Victoria Road Fountain and the campaign to reinstall it see: