Waterfall to flow against in tribute to healthcare heroes

Water has not flowed since the 1980s.

A waterfall which has been switched off for 30 years is finally flowing again – as a tribute to healthcare workers and those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

The waterfall, part of a 320-metre long wall along the Ringway in Kidderminster, formed part of a huge sculpture by William Mitchell who became known for creating attractive buildings out of concrete, is now being lit up in rainbow colours every night.

It was switched off in the early 1980s during a drought and since then had become overgrown by shrubs and trees.

Local resident and diabetes campaigner Fred Holland wanted a memorial created and representatives from Kidderminster Town Council and Kidderminster Civic Society, which secured Grade II Listed status for the Great Wall last year, felt that restoring the fountain would be a suitable tribute.

Fred said: "I wanted to see a memorial to those who lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic and as a tribute to the work of the National Health Service and the local community and am delighted to see the fountain working again.

The waterfall has since been switched back on as a tribute. Photo: Colin Hill

"It is switched on intermittently but is to be lit in rainbow colours every night."

Wyre Forest District and Kidderminster Town councillors gave funding from their community allowances to the project.

The wall and fountain now belong to the Town Council which will be responsible for its ongoing upkeep.

Michael Loftus, a member of the Civic Society, said: "I am delighted that this is complete again and back as it was when it was first conceived.

"It will bring a much-loved facility back again and commemorates the community spirit of the townsfolk and the people who died.

"A. huge number of people have said it is great to see it back again and it is good to have something that is unique to the town.

"The wall was conceived as a civil engineering project and the only way to soften this was to design the edge of this as a piece of public art.

"William Mitchell died last year but I informed his daughter's about this and sent them a video and they said their father would have been delighted to see the whole structure back again as it was originally conceived."

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