Jubilee Commemorative Pump Newspaper Reports from 1897 to 1898

(provided by Tom English; transcribed by Nigel Heriz-Smith)

Saturday, 8th May, 1897 Greenstreet

The commemoration of the Queen’s Long Reign. – There was a joint meeting of the parish councils of Lynsted and Teynham, in the Wesleyan school-room, Greenstreet, on Monday evening to consider in what form Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee should be commemorated by the two parishes. Lieut.-Col. Tyler (chairman, Lynsted Parish Council), presided, and other members of the Lynsted parish Council present were Messrs. R. Lake (chairman), J.F.Honeyball, H.T.Bensted, S.Streetfield, W.H.Crippen, W.J.Read and I.Holmes. A letter of apology for absence was received from Lord Teynham, and a telegram from F.Gorell Barnes, M.P., was read, in which he stated he would agree with any decision made at the meeting.

Several schemes came under consideration. Mr.Lake was in favour of a convalescent home but Dr.Selby thought it was unnecessary, as the isolation hospital already dealt with convalescent people. The doctor suggested that a pump and drinking fountain be erected, at a spot advantageous to the two parishes, as a permanent and suitable recognition in the district to Her Majesty’s long and memorable reign. The proposal met with general approval, and it was suggested that a trough for cattle be added. It was mentioned that the top of Teynham Lane, adjoining the main road would be a suitable site for the pump, which would cost about £100.

Greenstreet.- Saturday, 29th May, 1897.

The proposed jubilee memorial. – A handsome design for the pump and drinking fountain has been submitted by Mr.Aymer Vallance for consideration by the committee. The county council have given their approval to the site, providing it meets with the approval of the county surveyor.

Greenstreet.- Saturday, 21st August, 1897

Jubilee pump.- the arrangements for erecting the proposed Diamond Jubilee pump, which is to commemorate at Teynham and Lynsted the Queen’s 60 year reign, are in abeyance for the moment. The subscriptions amount to £105, but this is not enough for the committee to adopt the original design in its entirety. Mr. Vallance has been asked to submit another design. On Wednesday night some wag beat the committee to it by erecting a comic pump near the intended sign, thus hinting to the committee to get on with the work!

Greenstreet.- Saturday, 2nd October, 1897.

Jubilee pump again - Further designs have been submitted for the pump at Teynham, the building of which has still been held up. Copies purported to be a design have been circularised in the area.

Greenstreet.- Saturday 19th February, 1898.

In Memoriam.- The inhabitants of Greenstreet were on Saturday morning surprised at the funereal aspect of the hoarding surrounding the suggested site of the long-talked-of Jubilee pump. Operations for boring for water took place some time ago, but they had to be abandoned because an old cesspool was discovered underneath; and matters since then have remained in abeyance. On Saturday morning the hoarding was surmounted by a black flag while a miniature coffin dangled from a pole attached to the wooden structure. A black-edged placard bore the inscription, “In memoriam of the late jubilee pump.” Underneath that was a superscription, indited, “To the mayor and Burgesses of Greenstreet, lamenting the death of the Jubilee pump,” while below that were the significant words: “Sleep on, committee, sleep.” Mourning bows adorned the pole, while, to give a realistic effect to the “memorial,” the tolling of a bell solemnly sounded the death knell of the Jubilee pump.

If it be a fact that the scheme for erecting a pump in commemoration of the Queen’s Diamond jubilee has collapsed, the subscribers want to know if their money is to be returned or whether it is intended to retain the money in order that the pump may be completed ten years hence. Generally speaking, the suggested pump does not find favour with the inhabitants.

Teynham.- Saturday 23rd April, 1898.

Cricket club concert.- Greenstreet Cricket club were fortunate in enlisting the assistance of those ladies and gentlemen by whose combined efforts the Barrow green schoolroom was filled with a crowded audience on Monday evening, when the annual concert on behalf of the club funds was given. The various songs were interspersed with several jokes in which local topics, and the never-to-be-forgotten Greenstreet Jubilee pump, of course, figured conspicuously.

Greenstreet.- Saturday, 28th May, 1898.

The Jubilee memorial Pump. – A correspondent writes:-

"Happening to be in Greenstreet the other day I strolled as far as the Mount, where a singular construction at the roadside catches the eye of the passers-by. The body is somewhat squatty in proportion, construction of stone; and it is surmounted by a long attenuated spire, vanishing almost to an invisible point, on the top of which perches a vane. The roof-work of the spire is of oaken tiles, suitably stained. But, unfortunately, the colour has not proved very fast; the recent heavy rains have been more than the colour can stand and at the time of my visit the massive stonework was disfigured by ugly stains, which had washed down from the needle-pointed spire, indelibly smearing it, after the fashion of a blotted page of a copy-book.

Closer inspection revealed the fact that this quaint and curious structure is unfinished for although there is a drinking trough at the side nearest the road yet at present there is not any means of raising the water to fill it – for I understand that a well has been sunk at this spot, and that it was intended to erect a pump over it. But the requisite gear for raising the water still remains to be put in. And when it is completed I must confess that I fail to see how any human being, unless possessed by telescopic arms, will be able to hold a pail under the pump on one side and manipulate the handle on the other. But why was this extraordinary structure erected? – thought I. Was it extended to direct the attention of the travelling public to the fact that there is a comfortable inn opposite; or did it mark the site of some sanguinary struggle in medieval times?"

“Oh, no,” said a resident; “it is our memorial pump, erected by the parishioners of Teynham and Lynsted to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee!”

“But the Jubilee festivities have long passed, and we are nearly half way through another year,” I remarked. “Yes, that’s right enough,” said my communicative friend, “but,” he added, with a merry twinkle in his eye, “it will be finished by the time Her majesty celebrates the seventieth year of her reign!”

Armed with this information, I again viewed this incongruous combination of beauty and ugliness with renewed interest, and then subsequently learned that the reason the work is at a standstill is that the architect will not pass it. Whether the architect does not feel proud of it, and will not allow the work to be completed; or whether the contractor would not see his way clear to aid in the further development of this Chinese puzzle, I am at a loss to know, for here my communicative friend would help me no further. At all events, there it is, unfinished; and, pretty or ugly, as fancy leads, there it will stand, mutely reminding the loyal residents of the district of an aimless expenditure of their subscriptions – unless the deadlock is removed.

Teynham.- Saturday, 31st December, 1898

A condemned well.- At the meeting of the Faversham Rural District Council on Wednesday, the analyst’s report was submitted of a sample of water belonging to Messrs. George, at the corner of Teynham Lane, Greenstreet, showing it to be unsafe for drinking. This was the well first sunk for the purpose of supplying the Jubilee memorial pump but the well was abandoned.

It was resolved that the clerk should call the attention of the Kent County Council to the result of their action in utilizing the condemned Jubilee pump well for surface water, and ask that they will cease to do so.

At the same meeting a favourable report upon a Conyer water supply was received from Mr.I.J.Holmes