History of the Fountain
The current fibreglass fountain was placed by the New Malden branch of the Rotary Club in 1982, to replace the original water fountain and horse trough which was demolished as a result of two historic car accidents.
The Band of Mercy paid for the original stone fountain in 1894. It was located closer to the high street, later being moved to the junction with Presburg Road following repairs after the 1932 accident, where it was seriously damaged again.
In December 1952, Edith Willbourn, the wife of a retired policeman from the New Malden station was killed when her bicycle was in collision with a car at the junction.The public had previously asked that traffic lights be placed there to control vehicles.
The proposed changes at Fountain Roundabout aimed to make a feature of the fountain as an important local landmark while replacing the roundabout with a crossroads.
As part of the proposals the area around the proposed junction would have become a much larger public space with seating and other amenities. An option could have been to include a memorial water feature to remember the three Victoria cross winners of Maldens and Coombe.
The historic layout of the junction was as a crossroads, which was only changed to a roundabout in the 1950s. The proposed crossroads junction would have allowed for a clear gateway into New Malden, and would have an improved and enlarged public space.
A crossroads would have combined safe crossing places for pedestrians at all four corners, created safer cycle facilities, created an attractive public space, and controlled traffic movement through the busy junction, with an opportunity to reposition the fountain near its original 1894 location.
We would like to have had a proper fixture in place to mark the original 1894 fountain and make the area more attractive for local residents.
As an example, TfL and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea worked with the local community to successfully restore the historic stone Cheyne Fountain on Chelsea Embankment offering fresh water to cyclists and pedestrians. (see picture below supplied by TfL).
The 137-year-old Cheyne Fountain was built in the same era as the original New Malden Fountain.
However, at full council in October the council decided that while the proposal for the Fountain Roundabout was fundamentally a good scheme, there had been significant feedback from local residents who were not supportive of changes to the roundabout.
As a consequence the council voted unanimously to not implement the current proposal for Fountain roundabout.