Country Artists Fountain
Type Fountain , Fountain
The centre piece to the fountain depicts two stylised swans rising into flight.
The fountain was commissioned by Stratford-upon-Avon Council to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the granting of market rights to the town of Stratford-upon-Avon by Richard I, and the granting of borough status by the Bishop of Worcester, both in 1196. There was controversy in the town about placement of the fountain, and one counciller unfavourably compared the proposed design to a biscuit tin!(1) Originally planned to stand 520cm its height was reduced to 450cm because of concern about it being out of scale. There was also concern that the Country Artists, who were contributing to the £50,000 cost, were over exploiting the commercial possibilities of the project. It was unveiled by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on 8 November 1996.
The day before the inauguration Brian Harrison, a welder and fabricator who had worked on the maquette with Christine Lee, claimed that he was jointly responsible for the design of the fountain and his contribution should be recognised. Mr Harrison, who runs the Stratford company BCH Welding Services, claimed that he had worked alongside Ms Lee on producing the model detailing the finished product and wanted recognition as co-author of the project. He was also in dispute over payment for his work.(2 )Mr Harrison's claim was disputed by Ms Lee and on 29 June 1998 they went to court. He presented his argument to Mr Justice Jacob at Birmingham High Court but it was not accepted and he was ordered to pay Ms Lee's legal costs of over £20,000 .(3)
(Eastside) (Centralised Text)
'INAUGURATED BY/ HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN ON/ THE OCCASION OF THE VISIT OF/ HER MAJESTY/ AND HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS/ THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH/ IN CELEBRATION OF THE 800TH/ ANNIVERSRY OF THE GRANTING TO/ STRATFORD-UPON-AVON/ OF MARKET RIGHTS BY KING RICHARD I/ AND OF BOROUGH STATUS/BY THE BISHOP OF WORCESTER IN 1196/ 8 NOVEMBER 1996'
"MICHAEL TWITE (space) BMD/ LANDSCAPES (space) ENGINNEERING"
(west side, centralised)
"1196 (Shield) 1996/ COUNTRY ARTIST (Ornate text)/ FOUNTAIN/ IN CELEBRATION OF/ STRATFORD-UPON-AVON'S/ 800TH ANNIVERSARY/ CHRISTINE LEE (Italics)/ SCULPTOR"
PMSA recording information