Copycats at the fountain

THE Coalbrookdale Fountain in Lurgan Park is being cloned.

Expert engineers from a Scottish restoration company were in town this week to take a 3D copy of the historic fountain so it can be rebuilt in Wigan.

The same engineers working on the fountain recently completed a survey on Mount Rushmore in the United States.

Industrial Heritage Consulting Ltd based on the Isle of Bute in Scotland arrived in Lurgan on Monday to undertake a survey of the fountain, but were hampered by the bad weather.

On Tuesday the weather improved slightly allowing them to get on with the highly-skilled task at hand.

The Scottish company were involved with the restoration of Lurgan’s fountain and are now taking a 3D survey of the restored fountain so a replica can be made for Mesnes Park in Wigan.

Park Manager Russell Eastwood said: “It’s interesting to see them at work. It’s just a pity the weather hasn’t helped them.”

He added: “It’s a great compliment to the fountain here that another town want to make a copy of it.

“Ones from Weston-Super-Mare came over last year to take casts from the fountain so they could restore theirs.”

The survey being undertaken this week costs around £20,000. The cost of the rebuild of the fountain is estimated at just under £250,000.

Jim Mitchell, Design Consultant with Industrial Heritage Consulting Ltd said: “The fountain at Mesnes Park was demolished in 1926. It was very similar to the one here.”

Jim explained that Coalbrookdale no longer manufacture fountains which is why they are mapping out Lurgan’s fountain so an exact clone can be made.

He said: “This fountain is the most intact one of its kind that there is.

“We use ultrasound to measure the thickness of the iron and laser scanners which bounce lasers off it to measure the shape of the surface.

“It is accurate to within a millimetre. The problem with the weather is, if the fountain is covered in water the equipment will measure the raindrops.”

Some of the engineers involved with the project on the Coalbrookdale fountain recently did a survey of Mount Rushmore which involved them abseiling down the front of the famous monument.

The team who are rebuilding the fountain are Digital Design Studio, another Scottish-based company. It’s hoped manufacture will start in October and take about a year.

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