Wednesday 31 October 2012

58: Buckets of the Mersey

We certainly love our public art in Liverpool, from the Lewis's statue exceedingly bare to the Superlambanana. Even so, I was surprised to find that this particular sculpture, the Piazza fountain on Drury Lane (which I've only ever heard called the "bucket fountain"), had its own song. I found it in Spin magazine (published by The Spinners) Vol. 8 No. 1, 1970. The words are by Stuart McTavish, and the music attributed to Jennie Williams.

The fountain was designed by Richard Huws and was completed in 1966. The website Seven Streets has an excellent article on its history in which they quote Huws at some length: "It is a waterfall of a strange new kind... Instead of streaming steadily, water hurtles down unexpectedly in detatched lumps in all directions... The sight and sound of waterfalls is so spellbinding that they have always been centres of attraction in the landscape, and in the places where we work we are prompted to create them artificially... To make it more exciting we contrive various means of providing additional animation, a very simple device which interrupts the regular flow, so as to create a round of action. The sound and movement of which is no longer that of the ever-monotonous bubbling river, but that of the restless, temperamental sea."

The only problem is, as the song says, the thing never seems to be working...

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