Melly Drinking Fountain No.15 (1)
Byrom Street, Liverpool L3

Sketch donated by Tony Brown

Made of polished red Aberdeen Granite, erected in August 1857,
originally it would have had a Satyr's Head water spout made of brass.


This wonderful sketch by local artist Tony Brown ( shows a Melly Drinking Fountain, made of polished red Aberdeen Granite, which was erected in a railway bridge in August 1857 at Byrom Street. Originally it would have had a Satyr’s Head (Greek & Roman mythological half-human half-animal woodland deity), which trickled a continuous stream of water from its mouth. Later a tap mechanism was connected. The Drinking Fountain with tap can still seen in a wall in Byrom Street just opposite the John Moore University.

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Debate on the Reintroduction of Downtown Drinking Fountains

The 'Friends of Liverpool Monuments' (FOLM) supported by FACT held a debate on the merits of introducing new and restoring historic water fountains. This will took place at the Box, the FACT, Wood Street, Liverpool L1, on Wednesday 8th June 2005, 4-6p.m. during Downtown Week in Liverpool

Tony Siebenthaler (Chairperson of FOLM), asked all those present introduce themselves, he then read out apologies from:

a) David Charters (Daily Post):
b) Ron Formby (Scottie Press)
c) Peter Cahill (Ex - United Utilities)

In attendance were:

Tony Siebenthaler - Chair (FOLM)
Patrick Neill - Vice Chair (FOLM) - Spoke about the Melly Drinking Fountains
Mike Kelly - Author - Spoke about the 'Dandy Pat' Byrne Drinking Fountain 
Fred O'Brien - Northern Design Unit - Spoke about the Simpson Drinking Fountain  
Peter O'Brien - Liverpool City Council - Gave the City Councils point of view
Jenny Collins - Radio Merseyside 
Brendan Murry - Local Historian - Spoke about the John Cross Drinking Fountain at Seaforth
Andrew Pearce - Liverpool Heritage Forum 
Joyce Culling - Liverpool Family History Society
Carly Neill - Respect Party
Jayne Clough - Knowsley Council
Francis Garner - Senior Projects Architect, dtr:UK
Andrew F. Richardson - Author 
And other members of the public and another person from Radio Merseyside who interviewed and recorded several of the speakers after the debate, some of which were broadcast the following morning on the Linda McDermott show.

During the meeting using a laptop and the FACT projection system the Melly and other Liverpool Drinking Fountains were projected onto the large screen in the 'BOX ' so that those in attendance could see the simple beauty of the Melly Drinking Fountains the later more elaborate and magnificent Bowden Drinking Fountains. (The Bowden Fountains I suspect would never have been erected if Melly had not started his philanthropic gesture to the working men of Liverpool and the Liverpool docks.)

At the end of the meeting, the Chairman Tony Siebenthaler proposed a motion, something like:

'We at this meeting would like to initiate the refurbishment of the historic Downtown Drinking Fountains and the commissioning of new modern Drinking Fountains as part of a civic improvement and public health initiative'. 

The vote in favour of the motion was unanimously carried by all those in attendance at that time.


On Sunday 12th June 2005, Jenny Collins of Radio Merseyside broadcast an interview with Tony Brown about the Byrom Street Melly Drinking Fountain. Between Tony and Jenny they gave a lot of information and history on Melly and his drinking Fountains. At the end of the broadcast there was a competition about the Drinking Fountains, the prize being a limited edition print of the Byrom Street Melly drink fountain, by Tony Brown. This was won by a couple who live in Crosby; Vin & Jill.  Jenny Collins took the picture round on the night of Monday 13th June 2005. The couple were absolutely DELIGHTED!  Vin's grandma used to live in Scotland Road and he remembers drinking out of a fountain near there, when he was a kid, reaching up to get at the water.. It could possibly even have been the Byrom Street one. So Tony's picture couldn't have gone to a better home.


Update on Tuesday 14th June 2005 by Patrick Neill

I rang Peter O'Brien of the Liverpool City Council to thank him for
his input at the Drinking Fountain debate held at the FACT last week.
He says that funding is just one of the problems to overcome as there
is not enough money the system to enable all the competing
applications to be funded.

I advised him about the Radio Merseyside broadcast last Sunday which
featured the Bryom Street Melly Drinking Fountain. In the broadcast
both Tony Brown & Jenny Collins gave a great amount of detail about
Melly and his Drinking Fountains. I am pleased that the history of the
great philanthropist Melly and his fountains has been brought back to
public attention.

Peter said that the City Council has responsibility for the railway
bridge where the Byrom Street Melly is erected and he will get a
survey carried out on the wall and the Drinking Fountain. As he said
"it is in a prominent position opposite the John Moore University and
is on view to passing traffic, especially from buses".

So even though the Byrom Street Melly is not a strictly speaking a
Downtown Drinking Fountain, the meeting and the broadcast have helped
to highlight the poor state of these historic Drinking Fountains and
hopefully this will be the start of restoring some of them back to an
acceptable state.